Practice Relating to Rule 151. Individual Responsibility
Section A. Individual criminal responsibility
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902) provides for the punishment of “anyone who uses a weapon or means of combat which is prohibited by any international agreement to which Norway has acceded, or who is accessory thereto”. It also provides for the punishment of:
anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in
a) the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 concerning the amelioration of the conditions of the wounded and sick in armed forces in the field, the amelioration of the conditions of wounded, sick and shipwrecked members of armed forces at sea, the treatment of prisoners of war, and the protection of civilian persons in time of war,
b) the two additional protocols to these conventions of 10 June 1977.
Norway’s Penal Code (1902), as amended in 2008, states:
Any person who conspires with another person to commit a criminal offence mentioned in sections 101 to 107 [genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes] is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years. The same applies to any person who directly and publicly incites another person to commit such an offence.
In 2000, during a debate in the UN Security Council regarding the protection of UN personnel, associated personnel and humanitarian personnel in conflict zones, Norway stated: “States need to hold … non-State actors accountable for their attacks on humanitarian workers operating in territory under their control.”
[T]here is still a lack of accountability for violations of international law committed against children in armed conflict. The fight against impunity and assuring the victims’ access to justice are crucial. … Individual responsibility must be upheld and this means that all perpetrators must be held accountable and punished accordingly, regardless of their status or capacity.