Practice Relating to Rule 70. Weapons of a Nature to Cause Superfluous Injury or Unnecessary Suffering
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) provides a list of “Soldiers Rules”, one of which is: “Do not alter your weapons or ammunition to increase suffering.”
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 35, is a punishable offence.
Article 20 of the draft Additional Protocol II, prohibiting the use of weapons of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, was deleted at the last moment by the CDDH, without any plenary debate, as part of a general revision of the 1977 Additional Protocol II. During the amendment voting at this stage, Ireland voted in favour of the article because it believed that “the principles enunciated in the article are of a purely humanitarian nature”.