Practice Relating to Rule 77. Expanding Bullets
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states that the use of
bullets which expand or transform inside the human body is prohibited; this is the prohibition of the so-called dum-dum bullet. These are bullets with a soft, possibly flattened head. The effect of transformation can also be obtained by using a saw or similar tool to remove the tip of the bullet.
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands prohibits the use of dum-dum bullets.
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
It is prohibited to use bullets which fragment or expand in the human body: this is known as the ban on dum-dum bullets, bullets with a soft and possibly flattened head. The expansion effect can also be achieved by sawing off or otherwise removing the tip of a bullet (the prohibition is specified in a declaration dated 1899, which has the status of an international entente).
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “It is prohibited to use weapons causing unnecessary suffering or excessive injury, or that are indiscriminate. This means that … dum-dum bullets … are forbidden.”
The Definition of War Crimes Decree (1946) of the Netherlands includes the “use of … expanding bullets” in its list of war crimes.
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, “employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions” is a crime, when committed in an international armed conflict.