Practice Relating to Rule 113. Treatment of the Dead

Hague Convention (X)
Article 16 of the 1907 Hague Convention (X) provides: “After every engagement, the two belligerents, so far as military interests permit, shall take steps … to protect … the dead … against pillage”. 
Hague Convention (X) for the Adaptation to Maritime Warfare of the Principles of the Geneva Convention, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 16.
Geneva Convention I
Article 15, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention I provides: “At all times, and particularly after an engagement, Parties to the conflict shall, without delay, take all possible measures to … prevent [the dead from] being despoiled.” 
Convention (I) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 15, first para.
Geneva Convention II
Article 18, first paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention II provides: “After each engagement, Parties to the conflict shall, without delay, take all possible measures to … prevent [the dead from] being despoiled.” 
Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 18, first para.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 16, second paragraph, of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides: “As far as military considerations allow, each Party to the conflict shall facilitate the steps taken … to protect [the killed] against pillage”. 
Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949, Article 16, second para.
Additional Protocol II
Article 4 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides:
2. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the following acts against [all persons who do not take a direct part or who have ceased to take part in hostilities] are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever:
(g) pillage. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 4. Article 4 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.50, 3 June 1977, p. 90.
Additional Protocol II
Article 8 of the 1977 Additional Protocol II provides: “whenever circumstances permit, and particularly after an engagement, all possible measures shall be taken, without delay, to … prevent [the dead from] being despoiled.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 8. Article 8 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.51, 3 June 1977, p. 110.
Oxford Manual
Article 19 of the 1880 Oxford Manual provides: “it is forbidden to rob … the dead lying on the field of battle.” 
The Laws of War on Land, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 September 1880, Article 19.
UN Command Rules and Regulations
Rule 4 of the 1950 UN Command Rules and Regulations gave Military Commissions of the UN Command in Korea jurisdiction over offences including acts of marauding. 
Rules of Criminal Procedure for Military Commissions of the United Nations Command, Tokyo, 22 October 1950, Rule 4.
Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and IHL in the Philippines
Article 4(9) of Part IV of the 1998 Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and IHL in the Philippines provides: “Every possible measure shall be taken, without delay, to … prevent despoliation [of the dead].” 
Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, The Hague, 16 March 1998, Part IV, Article 4(9).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1969) provides that the dead shall be prevented from being despoiled. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, RC-46-1, Público, II Edición 1969, Ejército Argentino, Edición original aprobado por el Comandante en Jefe del Ejército, 9 May 1967, § 3.005; Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 2.06.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states: “Parties must take measures to protect the bodies from being despoiled.” 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 986.
It adds that the remains of the dead “must be protected against pillage and despoilment”. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 998.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
9.91 The parties to a conflict must … take measures to protect the bodies from being despoiled.
9.103 The remains of the dead … shall be … protected against pillage and despoilment. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 9.91 and 9.103.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Field Regulations (1964) states: “It is forbidden to despoil the dead.” 
Belgium, Règlement sur le Service en Campagne, Règlement IF 47, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, Etat-Major Général, Force Terrestre, Direction Supérieure de la Tactique, Direction Générale du Planning, Entraînement et Organisation, 1964, Article 24; see also Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 49.
The manual adds: “Only weapons, ammunition, war material and personal documents may be removed from the body.” 
Belgium, Règlement sur le Service en Campagne, Règlement IF 47, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, Etat-Major Général, Force Terrestre, Direction Supérieure de la Tactique, Direction Générale du Planning, Entraînement et Organisation, 1964, Article 24.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides: “Combatants must prevent the dead from being despoiled.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 10; see also Fascicule III, p. 5.
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso’s Disciplinary Regulations (1994) states that it is prohibited “to despoil the dead”. 
Burkina Faso, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 94-159/IPRES/DEF, Ministère de la Défense, 1994, Article 35(2).
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that “[c]ombatants must participate in the … search for the dead and protect them from despoliation”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 25.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975) states that it is forbidden “to despoil the dead”. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 32.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (2007) states: “It is prohibited to soldiers in combat: … to despoil the dead, wounded, sick and shipwrecked. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline générale dans les forces de défense, Décret N° 2007/199, Président de la République, 7 July 2007, Article 32.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states that the belligerents “must … prevent [the] remains [of the dead] from being despoiled”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 9-1, § 9; see also p. 11-2, § 16.
With respect to non-international armed conflicts in particular, the manual states: “Steps must also be taken to … prevent despoliation [of the dead].” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 17-4, § 32.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides: “The personal property of … the dead shall not be taken.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 8, § 2.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on the treatment of the wounded, sick and shipwrecked:
The parties to a conflict must protect the wounded, sick and shipwrecked from pillage and ill-treatment and ensure their adequate care. They must also search for the dead and prevent their remains from being despoiled. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 904.2.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) states: “The personal property of … the dead shall not be taken.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 8, § 2.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders): “Combatants must … prevent … [the dead] from being despoiled.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section III, § 3.2.
In Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police), the manual states: “At all times, and especially following a battle, the dead must be protected against despoilment”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Section II, § 2.3.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Disciplinary Regulations (2009) states: “During combat, it is also prohibited for servicemen to … despoil the dead”. 
Central African Republic, Décret 09.411 portant règlement de discipline générale dans les Armées, Ministre de la Défense Nationale, des Anciens Combattants, des Victimes de Guerre, du Désarmement et de la Restructuration de l’Armée, 10 December 2009, Article 12(11).
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “the parties to the conflict must take the measures needed to … prevent risks of [dead] bodies being stripped of goods”. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 52; see also pp. 75 and 93.
Congo
The Congo’s Disciplinary Regulations (1986) states that, under the laws and customs of war, it is forbidden to “despoil the dead”. 
Congo, Décret No. 86/057 du 14 janvier 1986 portant Règlement du Service dans l’Armée Populaire Nationale, 1986, Article 32(2).
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Disciplinary Regulations (1982) states: “It is prohibited for combatants to … despoil the dead”. 
Djibouti, Décret no. 82-028/PR/DEF du 5 mai 1982 portant règlement de la discipline générale dans les Forces armées, Article 30(3).
France
France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended, provides that, under international conventions, “it is prohibited to despoil the dead”. 
France, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Armées, Decree No. 75-675 of 28 July 1975, replacing Decree No. 66-749, completed by Decree of 11 October 1978, implemented by Instruction No. 52000/DEF/C/5 of 10 December 1979, and modified by Decree of 12 July 1982, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-Major de l’Armée de Terre, Bureau Emploi, Article 9 bis.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states: “The dead are to be … prevented from being despoiled.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten KonfliktenHandbuch, August 1992, § 611.
Guinea
Guinea’s Disciplinary Regulations (2012) states: “Military personnel in combat are prohibited from: … despoiling the dead and the wounded”. 
Guinea, Règlement de Service dans les Forces Armées, Volume 1: Règlement de Discipline Générale (Service Regulations in the Armed Forces, Volume 1: General Discipline Regulations), 2012 edition, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, approved by Presidential Decree No. D 293/PRG/SGG/2012, 6 December 2012, Article 12(b).
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “Parties to a conflict must … prevent [the dead] being despoiled.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 14; see also Précis No. 3, p. 11.
Lebanon
Lebanon’s Army Regulations (1971) and Field Manual (1996) prohibit pillage of the dead. 
Lebanon, Règlement Général de l’Armée, No. 1/400, Ministère de la Défense, Commandement de l’Armée, 14 January 1971, § 17; Manuel de Service du Terrain dans l’Armée Libanaise, Arrêt No. 3188/A.A./Q, Département de l’Armée pour la Planification, Direction des Etudes Générales, 23 October 1996, § 8.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “All possible measures must be taken … to prevent [the dead] being despoiled.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 2-T, § 22.
Mali
Mali’s Army Regulations (1979) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited to plunder the dead. 
Mali, Règlement du Service dans l’Armée, 1ère Partie: Discipline Générale, Ministère de la Défense Nationale, 1979, Article 36.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section on the 1949 Geneva Convention II, states: “After each engagement, parties to the conflict … must … prevent [the dead] from being despoiled.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 118.
Morocco
Morocco’s Disciplinary Regulations (1974) provides that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited “to despoil the dead”. 
Morocco, Règlement de Discipline Général dans les Forces Armées Royales, Dahir No. 1-74-383 du 15 rejeb 1394, 5 August 1974, Article 25(2)(6).
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “The property [of the dead] must not be taken or destroyed.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-37.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “The Parties to a conflict are obliged … to prevent [the dead] … being looted.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 1003(1).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War provides: “At all times and particularly after a campaign, the belligerents must immediately take measures to … prevent [the dead] being despoiled.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 34(c).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) defines “spoliation” as: “Removal of the movable property belonging to wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons, prisoners of war or the dead on the battlefield by non-violent means. Spoliation is prohibited.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, Annex 9, Glossary of Terms.
The manual further states: “This prohibition extends to remains, ashes and graves.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 33.a.(3); see also § 88.a.(2).
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) defines “spoliation” in its Glossary of Terms as: “Removal, not necessarily through violent means, of the movable property belonging to wounded, sick or shipwrecked persons, prisoners of war or the dead on the battlefield. Spoliation is prohibited.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, p. 404.
The manual further states: “This prohibition extends to remains, ashes and graves.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 34(a)(1), p. 252.
The manual also states:
At all times in an armed conflict, and particularly after an engagement, parties to the conflict must take all possible measures, to the extent permitted by military requirements and taking into account the circumstances and location, in order to:
(2) Search for the dead and prevent their spoliation. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 77(a)(2), p. 227.
Poland
Poland’s Procedures Governing the Interment of Soldiers Killed in Action (2009) states: “In the case of an emergency burial, the following principles shall apply: … Protect the bodies from desecration and looting.” 
Poland, Norma Obronna NO-02-A053:2004, Działania wojenne Procedury pochówku poległych i zmarłych, enacted by decision No. 134/MON related to the Approval and Enforcement of Regulatory Instruments in Respect of State Defence and Security, 21 April 2009, published in the Official Gazette of the Ministry of National Defence, No. 8, Item 99, April 2009, Section 2.1.
Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) provides that it is prohibited to despoil or pillage dead enemy combatants. 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, p. 9.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
Search for, collection, identification and burial of the dead members of the enemy armed forces as well as of other victims of armed conflicts shall be organized immediately, as soon as the situation permits, and carried out to prevent … looting (pillage of the dead bodies). 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 164.
With regard to internal armed conflict, the Regulations states: “Whenever circumstances permit and particularly after an engagement, all possible measures shall be taken, without delay … to search for the dead [and] to prevent them being despoiled.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 82.
Senegal
Senegal’s Disciplinary Regulations (1990) states that, under the laws and customs of war, it is prohibited for soldiers in combat “to despoil the dead”. 
Senegal, Règlement de Discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret 90-1159, 12 October 1990, Article 34(2).
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
It is therefore the responsibility that at the end of every engagement soldiers should …
c. Take necessary action to prevent the dead from being despoiled.
j. The above mentioned actions shall be applied to all dead persons, whether civilian or military, own or enemy forces. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, pp. 38–39.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
2.1 Basic Categories of Persons and Objects Recognised under the LOAC [law of armed conflict]
d. Wounded, sick, shipwrecked, the dead and missing.
Search for Casualties
[1949] Geneva Convention I article 15 stipulates that the Parties to the conflict must, at all times, particularly after an engagement, without delay, take all possible measures to[:]
- search for the dead and prevent their being despoiled.
The Dead (Article 17 [1949] Geneva Convention I)
- The bodies of the dead must be collected and protected against plundering. 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 2, pp. 52, 102, 103–104 and 106.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “The dead shall not be … despoiled.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 5.2.d.(6); see also § 7.5.a.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “The dead must … not be despoiled.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 5.2.d.(6); see also § 7.5.a.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides that it is prohibited “to despoil the … dead”. 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 72; see also Lois et coutumes de la guerre, Manuel 51.7/III dfi, Armée suisse, 1984, p. 4, and Droit des gens en temps de guerre, Programme d’instruction fondé sur le Manuel 51.7/III “Lois et coutumes de la guerre”, Cours de base pour recrues de toutes les armes 97.2f, Armée suisse, 1986, p. 38.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states: “I respect civilian property. Pillaging and robbing, even of wounded or dead persons, are strictly prohibited.” 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rule 6.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides: “Combatants must … prevent the dead from being despoiled.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 10; see also Fascicule III, p. 5.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
1.4.12. … As soon as the circumstances allow, all parties to an armed conflict shall … organize the search for the dead to prevent their pillage …
2.5.3.1. … Measures to search for, collect, identify and burial of the dead shall be organized as soon as the situation permits. Those measures shall be aimed at the prevention of … pillage. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, §§ 1.4.12 and 2.5.3.1.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides that “the dead must be protected against pillage”, specifying that “this is a well-established rule of customary international law”. It adds: “Belligerents must at all times, and particularly after an engagement, take all possible measures … to prevent [the dead] … being despoiled.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, §§ 380 and 381.
The manual further states:
A special class of war crime is that sometimes known as “marauding”. This consists of ranging over battlefields and following advancing or retreating armies in quest of loot, robbing … and plundering the dead – all acts done not as a means of carrying on the war but for private gain. Nevertheless, such acts are treated as violations of the law of war. Those who commit them, whether civilians who have never been lawful combatants, or persons who have belonged to a military unit, an organised resistance movement or a levée en masse, and have deserted and so ceased to be lawful combatants, are liable to be punished as war criminals. They may be tried and sentenced by the courts of either belligerent. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 636.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “Combatants are required to … prevent [the dead] being despoiled.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 6, p. 22, § 3; see also Annex A, p. 47, § 15.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) provides that the dead must be protected against pillage and that the looting of their property is a war crime. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 7.31.
The manual refers to this as a “well-established rule of customary international law”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 7.31, footnote 72, and § 7.34.
In its chapter on internal armed conflict, the manual states: “The dead must not be despoiled.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.29.1.
With regard to internal armed conflicts in which the 1977 Additional Protocol II is applicable, the manual specifies: “Whenever circumstances permit, and particularly after an engagement, all possible measures shall be taken without delay … to … prevent [the dead] being despoiled”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.44.
United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) reproduces Article 15 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I. 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare , US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 216.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) refers to Article 15 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 12-2(a).
United States of America
The US Instructor’s Guide (1985) states: “In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, the following acts are further examples of war crimes: … taking and keeping … property from dead bodies”. 
United States, Instructor’s Guide – The Law of War, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, April 1985, pp. 13 and 14.
United States of America
The US Operational Law Handbook (1993) states: “The LOW [law of war] requires Parties to a conflict to prevent [the] despoilment [of the dead].” 
United States, Operational Law Handbook, JA 422, Center for Law and Military Operations and International Law Division, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1781, 1993, p. Q-185.
United States of America
The Annotated Supplement to the US Naval Handbook (1997) provides that the “requirement [to protect from harm and ensure the care of wounded, sick and shipwrecked] also extends to the dead and includes a requirement to prevent despoiling of the dead”. 
United States, Annotated Supplement to the Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, prepared by the Oceans Law and Policy Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, November 1997, § 11.4, footnote 19.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2007), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
INTENTIONALLY MISTREATING A DEAD BODY.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally mistreats the body of a dead person, without justification by legitimate military necessity, shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused mistreated or otherwise violated the dignity of the body of a dead person;
(2) The accused’s actions were not justified by legitimate military necessity;
(3) The accused intended to mistreat or violate the dignity of such body; and
(4) This act took place in the context of and was associated with armed conflict.
c. Comment.
(1) This offense is designed to criminalize only the most serious conduct.
(2) To mistreat or otherwise violate the dignity of the body of a dead person requires severe physical desecrations, such as dismemberment, sexual or other defilement, or mutilation of dead bodies, especially if publicly displayed, that, as a result, do not respect the remains of the deceased; it does not include photography of a corpse unaccompanied by acts of severe disrespect.
d. Maximum punishment. Confinement for 20 years. 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, 10 U.S.C. §§ 948a, et seq., 18 January 2007, Part IV, § 6(20), pp. IV-15 and IV-16.
Albania
Under Albania’s Military Penal Code (1995), “stealing on the battlefield” is an offence. 
Albania, Military Penal Code, 1995, Articles 91–93.
Algeria
Under Algeria’s Code of Military Justice (1971), it is a punishable offence for a military or civilian person to steal from dead persons in the area of operation. 
Algeria, Code of Military Justice, 1971, Article 287.
Armenia
Under Armenia’s Penal Code (2003), stealing objects from the dead on the battlefield is a punishable offence. 
Armenia, Penal Code, 2003, Article 383.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Discipline Act (1982), in an article concerning looting, provides:
A person, being a defence member or a defence civilian, who, in the course of operations against the enemy, or in the course of operations undertaken by the Defence Force for the preservation of law and order or otherwise in aid of the civil authorities –
(b) takes any property from the body of a person killed … in those operations … is guilty of [a punishable] offence. 
Australia, Defence Force Discipline Act, 1982, Section 48(1).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Discipline Act (1982), as amended to 2007, states:
48 Looting
(1) A person who is a defence member or a defence civilian is guilty of an offence if, in the course of operations against the enemy, or in the course of operations undertaken by the Defence Force for the preservation of law and order or otherwise in aid of the civil authorities, the person:
(b) takes any property from the body of a person who has been killed or from a person who has been wounded, injured or captured
Maximum punishment: Imprisonment for 5 years. 
Australia, Defence Force Discipline Act, 1982, as amended to 2007, Division 5A, Subdivision D, § 48(1), p.56.
Australia
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with respect to serious war crimes that are committed in the course of an international armed conflict:
268.58 War crimeoutrages upon personal dignity
(2) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator severely humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of the body or bodies of one or more dead persons; and
(b) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 17 years. 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.58, p. 338.
The Criminal Code Act also states with respect to war crimes that are serious violations of common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and are committed in the course of a non-international armed conflict:
268.74 War crimeoutrages upon personal dignity
(2) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator severely humiliates, degrades or otherwise violates the dignity of the body or bodies of one or more dead persons; and
(b) the dead person or dead persons were not, before his, her or their death, taking an active part in the hostilities; and
(c) the perpetrator knows of, or is reckless as to, the factual circumstances establishing that the dead person or dead persons were not, before his, her or their death, taking an active part in the hostilities; and
(d) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an armed conflict that is not an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 17 years.
(3) To avoid doubt, a reference in this section to a person or persons who are not, or a dead person or dead persons who were not before his, her or their death, taking an active part in the hostilities includes a reference to:
(a) a person or persons who:
(i) are hors de combat; or
(ii) are civilians, medical personnel or religious personnel who are not taking an active part in the hostilities; or
(b) a dead person or dead persons who, before his, her or their death:
(i) were hors de combat; or
(ii) were civilians, medical personnel or religious personnel who were not taking an active part in the hostilities;
as the case may be. 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, §268.74, pp. 351–353.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “pillage of property of persons killed … on the battlefield” constitutes a war crime in international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Azerbaijan, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 118.
Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s International Crimes (Tribunal) Act (1973) states that the “violation of any humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts laid down in the Geneva Conventions of 1949” is a crime. 
Bangladesh, International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, Section 3(2)(e).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Under the Criminal Code (1998) of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, “the unlawful appropriation of belongings from the killed … on the battlefield” is a war crime. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 159(1).
The Criminal Code (2000) of the Republika Srpska contains the same provision. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Criminal Code, 2000, Article 439(1).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) states:
(1) Whoever orders the unlawful appropriation of belongings from the killed … on the battlefield, or who carries out such appropriation,
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of between six months and five years.
(2) If the criminal offence referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article has been perpetrated in a cruel manner, the perpetrator
shall be punished by imprisonment for a term of between one and ten years. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 178.
Botswana
Botswana’s Geneva Conventions Act (1970) provides: “Parties to the conflict, shall, without delay take all possible measures … to protect [the dead] being despoiled.” 
Botswana, Geneva Conventions Act, 1970, Article 15, Schedule 1.
Bulgaria
Bulgaria’s Penal Code (1968), as amended in 1999, provides that any “person who, on the battlefield, takes away objects from … a killed person, with the intention to unlawfully appropriate them” commits a punishable crime. 
Bulgaria, Penal Code, 1968, as amended in 1999, Article 405.
Burkina Faso
Under Burkina Faso’s Code of Military Justice (1994), the despoliation of the dead in the area of operations of military units is a punishable offence. 
Burkina Faso, Code of Military Justice, 1994, Article 193.
Burundi
Burundi’s Military Penal Code (1980) states:
Any person, military or not, who, in the area of operation of a force or a unit:
1. Plunders a … dead person, is punished with five years’ imprisonment. 
Burundi, Military Penal Code, 1980, Article 50(1).
Canada
Canada’s National Defence Act (1985) provides: “Every person who … steals from, or with intent to steal searches, the person of any person killed … in the course of warlike operations … is guilty of [a punishable] offence.” 
Canada, National Defence Act, 1985, Section 77(g).
Chad
Under Chad’s Code of Military Justice (1962), taking the property of the dead on the battlefield is a criminal offence. 
Chad, Code of Military Justice, 1962, Article 62.
Chile
Chile’s Code of Military Justice (1925) provides that “military personnel who plunder soldiers or auxiliary personnel dead on the battlefield of their money, jewellery or other objects, in order to appropriate them,” commits a punishable offence. 
Chile, Code of Military Justice, 1925, Article 365.
Colombia
Colombia’s Penal Code (2000) imposes a criminal sanction on “anyone who, during an armed conflict, despoils a dead person”. 
Colombia, Penal Code, 2000, Article 151.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Penal Code (1981), as amended in 1998, punishes “whoever, in an area of military operations, despoils … a dead person”. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Penal Code, 1981, as amended in 1998, Article 465.
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), “the unlawful taking of the personal belongings of those killed on the battlefield” is a war crime. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 162(1).
Cuba
Cuba’s Military Criminal Code (1979) punishes “anyone who, in areas of military operations, for personal gain, despoils the money or other belongings of … the dead”. 
Cuba, Military Criminal Code, 1979, Article 43(1).
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1999, punishes “a person who, in the area of combat, on the battlefield, in places affected by war operations or in occupied territory, … robs the war dead”. 
Czech Republic, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1999, Article 264(c).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
24. …
(2) Any person who unlawfully takes an object from a person killed through an act of war shall be punishable for theft.
25. (1) … Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, §§ 24(2) and 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
36. …
(2) Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment].
38. (1) Any person who deliberately during armed conflict unlawfully takes an object from a person killed through an act of war shall be punished for robbery from a dead body with imprisonment for up to 18 months.
(2) The punishment can be extended to six years’ imprisonment when the crime is of a particularly grave nature, mainly because of the extent or the method. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, §§ 36(2) and 38.
Egypt
Under Egypt’s Penal Code (1937), the theft of property belonging to a dead combatant … in zones of military operations, “even if he is an enemy”, is an offence. 
Egypt, Penal Code, 1937, Article 317(9).
Egypt
Egypt’s Military Criminal Code (1966) punishes “any person who, in an area of military operations, steals from a dead … soldier, even if he is an enemy”. 
Egypt, Military Criminal Code, 1966, Article 136.
The provision applies both to the military and to civilians. 
Egypt, Military Criminal Code, 1966, Articles 123 and 136.
El Salvador
El Salvador’s Code of Military Justice (1934) punishes “the soldier who despoils his comrade-in-arms, killed on the battlefield, of the money or jewellery carried with him, and appropriates it for himself”. 
El Salvador, Code of Military Justice, 1934, Article 71.
Ethiopia
Under Ethiopia’s Penal Code (1957), “whoever, in time of war and contrary to public international law and humanitarian conventions, … lays hands on or does violence to a … dead enemy on the field of battle, with intent to rob or plunder him” commits a punishable offence against the law of nations. 
Ethiopia, Penal Code, 1957, Article 287(c).
Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (2004) states:
Article 275.- Dereliction of Duty Towards the Enemy.
Whoever, in time of war and contrary to public international law and humanitarian conventions:
(c) lays hands on or does violence to a … dead enemy on the field of battle, with intent to rob or plunder him; or
(d) orders one of the above acts,
is punishable with rigorous imprisonment, or, in cases of exceptional gravity, with life imprisonment or death. 
Ethiopia, Criminal Code, 2004, Article 275.
The Criminal Code of 2004 repealed Ethiopia’s Penal Code of 1957.
France
Under France’s Code of Military Justice (1982), “any individual, military or not, who, in the area of operation of a force or a unit, … plunders a … dead person” commits a punishable offence. 
France, Code of Military Justice, 1982, Article 428.
France
France’s Code of Military Justice (2006) states:
Pillage
The offence by any person, military or not, who, in the area of operation of a force or a unit:
1. Plunders a … dead person, is punished with ten years’ imprisonment. 
France, Code of Military Justice, 2006, Article L. 322-6.
France
France’s Penal Code (1992), as amended in 2010, states in its section on war crimes common to both international and non-international armed conflicts: “Unless they are justified by military necessity, the following offences committed against a person protected by the law of armed conflict constitute … war crimes: … [s]tealing [or] extorting … objects”. 
France, Penal Code, 1992, as amended in 2010, Article 461-16.
Gambia
The Gambia’s Armed Forces Act (1985) provides that “every person subject to this Act who … steals from or with intent to steal searches, the person of any person killed … in the course of war-like operations” commits a punishable offence. 
Gambia, Armed Forces Act, 1985, Section 40(g).
Georgia
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), “pillage, i.e. seizure in a combat situation of things which are on a dead person,” is a crime. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 413(a).
Ghana
Ghana’s Armed Forces Act (1962) provides that “every person subject to the Code of Service Discipline who … steals from or with the intent to steal searches, the person of any person killed … in the course of warlike operations” commits a punishable offence. 
Ghana, Armed Forces Act, 1962, Section 18(g).
Guinea
Guinea’s Criminal Code (1998) provides that “whoever, in an area of military operation, plunders a … dead person” commits a punishable offence. 
Guinea, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 570.
Guinea
Guinea’s Code of Military Justice (2011) states: “Any person who despoils a … dead person in an area of military operations, shall be punished with 1 to 5 years’ imprisonment.” 
Guinea, Code of Military Justice, 2011, Articles 112 and 149.
Hungary
Under Hungary’s Criminal Code (1978), as amended in 1998, “the person who loots the dead … on the battlefield” is guilty, upon conviction, of a war crime. 
Hungary, Criminal Code, 1978, as amended in 1998, Section 161.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Military Penal Code (1947) provides that “those who commit theft from dead bodies” commit a punishable offence. 
Indonesia, Military Penal Code, 1947, Article 143.
Iraq
Iraq’s Military Penal Code (1940) provides: “Every person who, with the intent to appropriate for himself or unjustifiably, takes money or other things from the killed in the field of battle … shall be punished.” 
Iraq, Military Penal Code, 1940, Article 115(a).
Iraq’s Military Penal Code (2007) provides: “Whosoever, with the intent of unlawful possession, seizes monies or possessions of persons murdered on the battlefield … is punishable with imprisonment for (15) fifteen years.” 
Iraq, Military Penal Code, 2007, Article 61(10).
Ireland
Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, provides that any “minor breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, including violations of Article 15 of the Geneva Convention I, Article 18 of the Geneva Convention II and Article 16 of the Geneva Convention IV, as well as any “contravention” of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, including violations of Article 8, are punishable offences. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Islamic Republic of Iran
The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Army Penal and Procedure Code (1939) states that “anyone who robs … [a] dead person within the domain of military-army operations will be sentenced to solitary imprisonment from two to 10 years”. 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Army Penal and Procedure Code, 1939, Article 384.
Italy
Italy’s Wartime Military Penal Code (1941) provides that anyone who despoils a cadaver on the battlefield for private purposes is guilty of a punishable offence. 
Italy, Wartime Military Penal Code, 1941, Article 197.
Kazakhstan
Under Kazakhstan’s Penal Code (1997), “theft of objects belonging to the dead … on the battlefield” is a punishable offence. 
Kazakhstan, Penal Code, 1997, Article 385.
Kenya
Under Kenya’s Armed Forces Act (1968), anyone who steals from the person of the dead commits a punishable offence. 
Kenya, Armed Forces Act, 1968, Section 23.
Latvia
Under Latvia’s Criminal Code (1998), the pillage of persons killed on the battlefield is a punishable offence. 
Latvia, Criminal Code, 1998, Section 74; see also Section 71 (deliver children on a compulsory basis from one group of people into another as a part of a genocide campaign).
Lebanon
Lebanon’s Code of Military Justice (1968) provides that “any person, military or not, who, in an area of military operations, despoils a … dead person” commits a punishable offence. 
Lebanon, Code of Military Justice, 1968, Article 132.
Lithuania
Under Lithuania’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended in 1998, “an order to plunder or seize things from fallen … victims on the battlefield” is a war crime. 
Lithuania, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended in 1998, Article 341.
Malaysia
Malaysia’s Armed Forces Act (1972) provides:
Every person subject to service law under this Act who –
(a) steals from, or with intent to steal searches, the person of anyone killed … in the course of warlike operations …
shall be guilty of looting and liable on conviction by court-martial to imprisonment or any less punishment provided by this Act. 
Malaysia, Armed Forces Act, 1972, Section 46(a).
Mali
Under Mali’s Code of Military Justice (1995), “anyone who despoils a … dead person” commits a punishable offence. 
Mali, Code of Military Justice, 1995, Article 134(1).
Netherlands
Under the Military Criminal Code (1964), as amended in 1990, of the Netherlands, “theft from a dead … person, who belongs to one of the parties to the conflict” is a criminal offence. 
Netherlands, Military Criminal Code, 1964, as amended in 1990, Article 156.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Armed Forces Discipline Act (1971) provides:
Every person subject to this Act commits the offence of looting, and is liable to imprisonment … who –
(a) Steals from, or with intent to steal searches, the person of anyone killed … in the course of any war or warlike operations in which New Zealand is engaged, or killed … in the course of operations undertaken by any service of the Armed Forces for the preservation of law and order or otherwise in aid of the civil power. 
New Zealand, Armed Forces Discipline Act, 1971, Section 31(a).
Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Military Penal Law (1980) punishes “anyone who, in military operations, steals, for personal gain, the money or other belongings of … the dead”. 
Nicaragua, Military Penal Law, 1980, Article 81.
Nicaragua
Nicaragua’s Military Penal Code (1996) provides for the punishment of the soldier who, in the zone of operations, “despoils a dead person … of his or her clothes or other personal effects”. 
Nicaragua, Military Penal Code, 1996, Article 56(1).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Armed Forces Act (1993), as amended in 1994, states:
A person subject to service law under this Act who-
(a) steals from, or with intent to steal, searches the body of a person killed … in the course of war-like operations, or killed … in the course of [an] operation undertaken by any service of the Armed Forces for the preservation of law and order or otherwise in aid of the civil authorities; or
is guilty of looting and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or any less punishment provided by this Act. 
Nigeria, Armed Forces Act, 1993, as amended in 1994, Article 51(a).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 … [and in] the two additional protocols to these Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108.
Republic of Korea
Under the Republic of Korea’s Military Criminal Code (1962), “a person who takes the clothes and other property of the dead … in the combat area” commits a punishable offence. 
Republic of Korea, Military Criminal Code, 1962, Article 82.
Republic of Moldova
Under the Republic of Moldova’s Penal Code (2002), “pillage of the dead on the battlefield” is a punishable offence. 
Republic of Moldova, Penal Code, 2002, Article 389.
Romania
Romania’s Penal Code (1968) criminalizes “robbing the dead … on the battlefield of objects they possess”. 
Romania, Penal Code, 1968, Article 350.
Serbia
Serbia’s Criminal Code (2005) states: “Whoever orders the unlawful appropriation of objects from the dead … on the battlefield, or who commits such an offence, shall be punished by imprisonment of [from] one to five years.” 
Serbia, Criminal Code, 2005, Article 379.
Singapore
Singapore’s Armed Forces Act (1972), as amended in 2000, provides:
Every person subject to military law who –
(a) steals from or, with intent to steal, searches the person of anyone killed … in the course of warlike operations, or killed … in the course of operations undertaken by the Singapore Armed Forces for the preservation of law and order or otherwise in aid of the civil authorities …
shall be guilty of looting and shall be liable on conviction by a subordinate military court to imprisonment. 
Singapore, Armed Forces Act, 1972, as amended in 2000, Section 18(a).
Slovakia
Slovakia’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended, punishes “a person who in the area of combat, on the battlefield, in places affected by war operations or in the occupied territory … robs the war dead”. 
Slovakia, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended, Article 264(c).
Slovenia
Under Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994), plundering or ordering the plunder of the belongings of casualties on the battlefield is a war crime. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Article 380(1).
Somalia
Somalia’s Military Criminal Code (1963) states:
1. Anyone who, on the battlefield and for the purpose of profiting therefrom, plunders a corpse or steals money or precious objects from it shall be punished by imprisonment for 5 to 15 years.
2. If the act is committed by several people acting in concert, the penalty shall be increased by one third to one half. 
Somalia, Military Criminal Code, 1963, Article 381.
Spain
Under Spain’s Military Criminal Code (1985), “the military personnel who … strip a cadaver … of his personal effects in the area of operations, with the intent to appropriate them,” commit punishable offences against the laws and customs of war. 
Spain, Military Criminal Code, 1985, Article 77(2).
Spain
Under Spain’s Penal Code (1995), “anyone who, on the occasion of an armed conflict … strips a cadaver … of his personal effects” commits a punishable “offence against protected persons and objects in the event of armed conflict”. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 612(7).
Spain
Spain’s Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces (2009) states: “Whenever circumstances for the accomplishment of the mission and the security of the unit permit, [members of the armed forces] must take, without delay, all possible measures to … prevent despoliation [of the dead]”. 
Spain, Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces, 2009, Article 108.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended, punishes anyone who, on the battlefield, despoils dead persons. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended, Article 140(1).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), as amended in 2007, states that “any person who has mutilated a dead enemy is to be punished with three years’ or more imprisonment or a monetary penalty or, in less serious cases, a year imprisonment or less”. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended in 2007, Article 111.
The manual further states: “Any person who, on the battlefield, has laid his or her hands on a dead person … with the intention to steal, is to be punished with a year imprisonment or less.” 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, as amended in 2007, Article 139.
Syrian Arab Republic
The Syrian Arab Republic’s Military Penal Code (1950) provides:
Any military or non-military person having committed the following acts in a military combat zone shall be liable to:
A - Provisional arrest if he pillages a … dead military person.
B - Capital punishment if he causes additional injury to a … dead military person through the use of violence in order to pillage him. 
Syrian Arab Republic, Military Penal Code, 1950, Article 132.
Tajikistan
Tajikistan’s Criminal Code (1998) punishes “pillage, i.e. seizure in a combat situation of things which are on the dead”. 
Tajikistan, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 405.
Togo
Under Togo’s Code of Military Justice (1981), taking the property from the dead on the battlefield is a criminal offence. 
Togo, Code of Military Justice, 1981, Article 95.
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago’s Defence Act (1962), as amended in 1979, contains a section on “looting” which states:
Any person subject to military law who –
(a) steals from, or with intent to steal searches, the person of anyone killed … in the course of warlike operations …
is guilty of looting and, on conviction by court-martial, liable to imprisonment or less punishment. 
Trinidad and Tobago, Defence Act as amended, 1962, Section 40(a).
Turkey
Under Turkey’s Military Penal Code (1930), stealing from the dead on the battlefield is an offence punishable by imprisonment. 
Turkey, Military Penal Code, 1930, § 127.
Uganda
Uganda’s National Resistance Army Statute (1992) states:
A person subject to military law who … steals from or with intent to steal, searches the person or any person killed … in the course of war-like operations … commits an offence and shall on conviction, be liable to … imprisonment. 
Uganda, National Resistance Army Statute, 1992, Section 35(f).
Ukraine
Pursuant to Ukraine’s Criminal Code (2001), “stealing belongings of the dead … on a battlefield” is a war crime. 
Ukraine, Criminal Code, 2001, Article 432.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Army Act (1955), as amended in 1971, provides:
Any person subject to military law who –
(a) steals from, or with intent to steal searches, the person of anyone killed … in the course of warlike operations, or killed … in the course of operations undertaken by Her Majesty’s forces for the preservation of law and order or otherwise in aid of the civil authorities …
shall be guilty of looting and liable, on conviction by court-martial, to imprisonment or any less punishment provided by this Act. 
United Kingdom, Army Act, 1955, as amended in 1971, Section 30(a).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Air Force Act (1955), as amended in 1971, provides:
Any person subject to air-force law who –
(a) steals from, or with intent to steal searches, the person of anyone killed … in the course of warlike operations, or killed … in the course of operations undertaken by Her Majesty’s forces for the preservation of law and order or otherwise in aid of the civil authorities …
shall be guilty of looting and liable, on conviction by court-martial, to imprisonment or any less punishment provided by this Act. 
United Kingdom, Air Force Act, 1955, as amended in 1971, Section 30(a).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Armed Forces Act (2006) states:
4 Looting
(1) A person within subsection (4) commits an offence if, without lawful excuse –
(a) he takes any property from a person who has been killed, injured, captured or detained in the course of an action or operation of any of Her Majesty’s forces or of any force co-operating with them; or
(b) he searches such a person with the intention of taking property from him.
(4) A person is within this subsection if he is –
(a) a person subject to service law; or
(b) a civilian subject to service discipline. 
United Kingdom, Armed Forces Act, 2006, Section 4.
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2006), passed by Congress following the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006, amends Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950v. Crimes triable by military commissions
(b) OFFENSES.—The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
(20) INTENTIONALLY MISTREATING A DEAD BODY.—Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally mistreats the body of a dead person, without justification by legitimate military necessity, shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2006, Public Law 109-366, Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code, 17 October 2006, p. 120 Stat. 2629, § 950v(b)(20).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Military Penal Code (1943), as amended, punishes “the spoliation of … the dead in combat”. 
Uruguay, Military Penal Code, 1943, as amended, Article 58(10).
Venezuela
Under Venezuela’s Code of Military Justice (1998), as amended, it is a crime against international law to plunder a dead person. 
Venezuela, Code of Military Justice, 1998, as amended, Article 474(12).
Viet Nam
Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1990) punishes “anyone who steals things from … remains of soldiers dead on the battlefield”. 
Viet Nam, Penal Code, 1990, Article 271(2).
Viet Nam
Viet Nam’s Penal Code (1999) provides for the punishment of anyone “who appropriate[s] relics of war dead”. 
Viet Nam, Penal Code, 1999, § 336.4.
Yemen
Under Yemen’s Military Criminal Code (1998), “any person who … despoils … a dead person” commits a war crime. 
Yemen, Military Criminal Code, 1998, Article 20.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, ordering or executing the unlawful seizure of belongings from the killed on the battlefield is a war crime. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, Article 147(1).
Zambia
Zambia’s Defence Act (1964), as amended, states:
Any person subject to military law under this Act who –
(a) steals from or with intent to steal searches the person of anyone killed … in the course of warlike operations …
shall be guilty of looting and liable, on conviction by court-martial, to imprisonment or any less punishment provided by this Act. 
Zambia, Defence Act, 1964, as amended, Section 35(a).
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Defence Act (1972), as amended to 1993, provides:
Any member [of the Defence Forces] who –
(a) steals from or with intent to steal searches the person of anyone killed … in the course of warlike operations …
shall be guilty of the offence of looting and liable to imprisonment or any less punishment. 
Zimbabwe, Defence Act, 1972, as amended to 1993, First Schedule, Section 11(a).
United States of America
In its judgment in the Pohl case in 1947, the US Military Tribunal at Nuremberg stated:
Robbing the dead, even without the added offence of killing, is and always has been a crime. And when it is organized and planned and carried out on a hundred-million mark scale, it becomes an aggravated crime, and anyone who takes part in it is a criminal. 
United States, Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, Pohl case, Judgment, 3 November 1947.
Somalia
In 1998, an ICRC publication entitled “Spared from the Spear” recorded traditional Somali practice in warfare as follows: “The body of a man who is killed should not be searched for gain and any property that he had with him should not be confiscated”. 
Somalia, Spared from the Spear, 1998, p. 25.
In 2011, in its comments on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning Somalia’s report, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia referred to “Spared from the Spear” as its “own Geneva Conventions”:
In times of hostilities, the Biri-Ma-Geydo (Spared from the Spear), i.e. Somalia’s own “Geneva Conventions”[,] which existed long before the adoption of the Hague and Geneva Conventions, mitigated and regulated the conduct of clan hostilities and the treatment of immune groups. 
Somalia, Comments by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning the report of Somalia, submitted 21 September 2011, § 4.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
A training video on IHL produced by the UK Ministry of Defence illustrates the rule that “stealing from a dead soldier is illegal and also a court martial offence”. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Training Video: The Geneva Conventions, 1986, Report on UK Practice, 1997, Chapter 2.3.
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)
In 1994, in its final report on grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of IHL committed in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992) stated: “The Geneva Conventions require parties to a conflict … to prevent [the] bodies and remains [of the dead] from being despoiled.” 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Final report, Annex Summaries and Conclusions, UN Doc. S/1994/674/Add.2 (Vol. I), 31 May 1995, § 503(b).
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ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that “the dead may not be … despoiled”. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 230.
De Zayas
According to German investigations following allegations of crimes committed against members of armed forces in Crete in May 1941, it appeared that:
Dead … soldiers were robbed and deprived of parts of their clothing, primarily by the civilian population …
From these investigations it appears that … the maltreatment of soldiers [was] committed almost exclusively by Cretan civilians. In some cases survivors observed that civilians fell upon dead soldiers [and] robbed them. 
Alfred M. de Zayas, The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939–1945, University of Nebraska Press, 1989, pp. 156–157.
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards
The Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights of Åbo Akademi University in Turku/Åbo, Finland in 1990, states: “Every possible measure shall be taken, without delay … to prevent [the dead] being despoiled.” 
Turku Declaration of Minimum Humanitarian Standards, adopted by an expert meeting convened by the Institute for Human Rights, Åbo Akademi University, Turku/Åbo, 30 November–2 December 1990, Article 13, IRRC, No. 282, p. 335.