United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Practice Relating to Rule 146. Reprisals against Protected Persons
Section B. Wounded, sick and shipwrecked in the power of the adversary
The UK Military Manual (1958), in the part dealing with the sick, wounded and dead, refers to the provisions which the 1949 Geneva Conventions I and II have in common with the 1949 Geneva Convention III and states: “The provisions of [the 1949 Geneva Convention I] are substantially the same as in the other 1949 [Geneva] Conventions. This applies in particular to such questions as … the prohibition of reprisals.”
In the part dealing with reprisals, and referring to Articles 14 and 46 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I and Articles 16 and 47 of the 1949 Geneva Convention II, the manual states: “Reprisals against … sick, and wounded and against shipwrecked members of the enemy armed forces … protected by [the 1949 Geneva Convention I and the 1949 Geneva Convention II] … are … prohibited.”
In a footnote relating to this provision, the manual notes: “The effect of this rule is that reprisals are unlawful against all persons except enemy combatants and those few classes of civilians who are not protected persons.”
In a footnote relating to another provision, the manual moreover states: “Reprisals against wounded and sick … constitute war crimes.”
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “The  Geneva Conventions and [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] prohibit reprisals against … the wounded, sick and shipwrecked”.
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “Reprisals are never lawful if directed against any of the following: a. the wounded, sick and shipwrecked”.
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, the United Kingdom stated:
To be lawful, a belligerent reprisal must meet two conditions. First, it must not be directed against persons or objects against which the taking of reprisals is specifically prohibited … The Geneva Conventions of 1949 prohibit the taking of reprisals against persons or objects protected by the Conventions.
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the United Kingdom stated that in the event of violations of Articles 51–55 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I by the adversary, the United Kingdom would regard itself entitled to take measures otherwise prohibited by these Articles, noting, however, that: “Any measures thus taken by the United Kingdom … will not involve any action prohibited by the Geneva Conventions of 1949.”