Practice Relating to Rule 106. Conditions for Prisoner-of-War Status
Section C. Situations where combatants cannot distinguish themselves
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Articles 44(3) and 45(3), is a punishable offence.
At the CDDH, Ireland abstained in the vote on Article 42 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 44) because it considered that “the protection of the civilian population demanded by humanitarian principles is eroded by Article 42 to an unacceptable extent”.
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Ireland stated:
It is the understanding of Ireland that:
a. The situation described in the second sentence of paragraph 3 of Article 44 can exist only in occupied territory or in armed conflicts covered by paragraph 4 of Article 1; and
b. The word “deployment” in paragraph 3 of Article 44 includes any movement towards a place from which an attack is to be launched”.