World Intellectual Property Organization

Protocol (I) Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts

Algeria

Declaration made upon accession:
"The Government of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria reserves judgment on the definition of mercenary as set out in Article 47, para. 2 of the present Protocol, this definition being deemed restrictive."

Declaration made upon accession:
"As concerns the repression of breaches of the Conventions and the present Protocol as defined in Articles 85 and 86 of Section II of Protocol I, the Government of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria considers that to judge any decision, the circumstances, the means and the information available at the time the decision was made are determinant factors and elements in assessing the nature of the said decision."

Declaration made upon accession:
"The Government of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria declares that the expressions "feasible precautions" (Art. 41, para. 3), "everything feasible" (Art. 57. para. 2), and "to the maximum extent feasible" (Art. 58) are to be interpreted as referring to precautions and measures which are feasible in view of the circumstances and the information and means available at the time."

Angola

Declaration made upon accession:
"In acceding to Protocol I of 1977, additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, the People's Republic of Angola declares that, pending the entry into force of the International Convention on Mercenary which is at present being drafted by the United Nations, and until such time as the State of Angola becomes a party to that Convention, the People's Republic of Angola will consider the following to be committing the crime of mercenary:
A) those who recruit, organize, finance, equip or train mercenaries or employ them in any other way;
B) those who, in the territory under jurisdiction or in any other place under their control, allow the performance of any of the acts referred to in the previous paragraph or afford facilities for the transit or transport of mercenaries;
C) any alien who, on Angolan territory, commits any of the acts mentioned above against another country;
D) any Angolan national who, with a view to subverting the sovereignty or the territorial integrity of a foreign country or to opposing the self-determination of a people, commits any of the acts referred to in the preceding articles."

Argentina

Declaration made upon accession:
"With reference to Article 43, paragraph 1, and Article 44, paragraph 1, of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), the Argentine Republic interprets these provisions as not implying any derogation of:
a) the concept of the permanent regular armed forces of a Sovereign State;
b) the conceptual distinction between regular armed forces, understood as being permanent army units under the authority of Governments of Sovereign States, and the resistance movements which are referred to in Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949."

Declaration made upon accession:
"With reference to Article 44, paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, of the same Protocol, the Argentine Republic considers that these provisions cannot be interpreted:
a) as conferring on persons who violate the rules of international law applicable in armed conflicts any kind of immunity exempting them from the system of sanctions which apply to each case;
b) as specifically favoring anyone who violates the rules the aim of which is the distinction between combatants and the civilian population;
c) as weakening respect for the fundamental principle of the international law of war which requires that a distinction be made between combatants and the civilian population, with the prime purpose of protecting the latter."

Australia

Declarations made upon ratification:
"In depositing its instrument of ratification for Protocol I, Australia hereby makes declarations of understanding in relation to Articles 5, 44 and 51 to 58 inclusive of the said Protocol.
It is Australia's understanding that in relation to Article 5, with regard to the issue whether, and in what measure, Protecting Powers may have to exercise any functions within the combat zone (such as may be implied by provisions in Parts II and IV of the Protocol), the role of the Protecting Power will be of a like character to that specified in the First and Second Conventions and Part II of the Fourth Convention, which apply mainly to the battlefield and its immediate surroundings.
It is the understanding of Australia that in relation to Article 44, the situation described in the second sentence of paragraph 3 can exist only in occupied territory or in armed conflicts covered by paragraph 4 of Article 1. Australia will interpret the word "deployment" in paragraph 3(b) of the Article as meaning any movement towards a place from which an attack is to be launched. It will interpret the words "visible to the adversary" in the same paragraph as including visible with the aid of binoculars, or by infra-red or image intensification devices.
In relation to Articles 51 to 58 inclusive it is the understanding of Australia that military commanders and others responsible for planning, deciding upon, or executing attacks, necessarily have to reach their decisions on the basis of their assessment of the information from all sources, which is available to them at the relevant time.
In relation to paragraph 5(b) of Article 51 and to paragraph 2(a)(iii) of Article 57, it is the understanding of Australia that references to the "military advantage" are intended to mean the advantage anticipated from the military attack considered as a whole and not only from isolated or particular parts of that attack and that the term "military advantage" involves a variety of considerations including the security of attacking forces. It is further the understanding of Australia that the term "concrete and direct military advantage anticipated", used in Articles 51 and 57, means a bona fide expectation that the attack will make a relevant and proportional contribution to the objective of the military attack involved.
It is the understanding of Australia that the first sentence of paragraph 2 of Article 52 is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective."

Austria

Reservation made upon ratification:
"In view of the fact that Article 58 of Protocol I contains the expression "to the maximum extent feasible", sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) will be applied subject to the requirements of national defense."

Reservation made upon ratification:
"For the purposes of judging any decision taken by a military commander, Articles 85 and 86 of Protocol I will be applied on the understanding that military imperatives, the reasonable possibility of recognizing them and the information actually available at the time that decision was taken, are determinative."

Reservation made upon ratification:
"Article 57, paragraph 2, of Protocol I will be applied on the understanding that, with respect to any decision taken by a military commander, the information actually available at the time of the decision is determinative."

Reservation made upon ratification:
"Article 75 of Protocol I will be applied insofar as:
a) sub-paragraph (e) of paragraph 4 is not incompatible with legislation providing that any defendant, who causes a disturbance at the trial or whose presence is likely to impede the questioning of another defendant or the hearing of a witness or expert witness, may be removed from the courtroom;
b) sub-paragraph (h) of paragraph 4 is not incompatible with legal provisions authorizing the reopening of proceedings that have resulted in a final declaration of conviction or acquittal."

Belgium

Declaration made upon ratification:
"On depositing the instrument of ratification by Belgium of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), done at Geneva on 8 June 1977, the Belgian Government makes the following declarations of interpretation:
1. The Belgian Government, in view of the preparations for the international instrument herewith ratified, wishes to emphasize that the Protocol was established to broaden the protection conferred by humanitarian law solely when conventional weapons are used in armed conflicts, without prejudice to the provisions of international law relating to the use of other types of weapons.
2. The Belgian Government, in view of paragraph 3 of Article 43 (Armed forces) and the special status of the Belgian Gendarmerie (constabulary), has decided to notify the High Contracting Parties as follows of the duties assigned to the Belgian Gendarmerie in time of armed conflict. It considers that this notification fully satisfies any and all requirements of Article 43 pertaining to the Gendarmerie.
a) The Belgian Gendarmerie, which was formed to maintain law and order, is a police force stated by national legislation to be one of the armed forces and is therefore covered by the expression "armed forces of a Party to a conflict" within the meaning of Article 43 of Protocol I. Thus in time of international armed conflict members of the Gendarmerie have the status of "combatant" within the meaning of this Protocol.
b) In addition to this notification the Belgian Government wishes to state exactly what duties the law entrusts to the Gendarmerie in time of war. Those duties are described in the "Act on the Gendarmerie" of 2 December 1957 (published in the "Moniteur belge" official gazette of 12 December 1957). Part VI of that Act, in its Articles 63, 64, 66 and 67, covers the special duties assigned to the Gendarmerie in time of war in addition to their peacetime duties. The said special duties are as follows:
63. The Gendarmerie shall take part in the internal defense of Belgian territory to the extent fixed by mutual agreement between the Minister of National Defense, the Minister of Justice and the Minister of the Interior. Territorial units shall not be required to perform any duties other than intelligence and warning duties. Mobile units may be placed in support of units of the other armed forces.
64. Throughout the duration of the time of war the Gendarmerie shall provide detachment known as "prévôtés" (military police) to maintain order in and police the other armed forces. Each prévôté shall be under the command of a "prévôt" (Assistant Provost Marshal), who shall be an officer of the Gendarmerie.
66. Throughout the duration of the time of war the Gendarmerie shall keep in constant touch with prosecuting officers at courts martial. The Gendarmerie shall report on events concerning security and public order.
67. Throughout the duration of the time of war the Gendarmerie may be instructed by prosecuting officers at courts martial to serve subpoenas on the parties or witnesses.

c) The Belgian Government wishes to emphasize that even in time of war the Gendarmerie's principal duty is still the general one conferred on it by Article 1 of the "Act on the Gendarmerie". Indeed the Royal Order of 14 March 1963 "respecting the organization of the general services of the Gendarmerie" (published in the "Moniteur belge" official gazette of 29 March 1963) stipulated in its Article 17:
In time of war:
a) The Gendarmerie shall retain its normal duties of maintaining law and order;
b) Without prejudice to Article 63 of the Act on the Gendarmerie and the measures that shall result from its execution, all Gendarmeries forces, whether mobile or territorial, shall remain under the command of the Commanding Officer of the Gendarmerie. He shall use and distribute them as the maintenance of order and the judicial service shall require. Each subordinate echelon shall act similarly within the limits of its powers and responsibilities.
3. With respect to Articles 41, 57 and 58, the Belgian Government considers that, in view of the preparations, the expression "feasible precautions" in Article 41 must be interpreted in the same way as the "feasible precautions" mentioned in Articles 57 and 58, that is, those that can be taken in the circumstances prevailing at the moment, which include military considerations as much as humanitarian ones.
4. With respect to article 44, the Belgian Government declares that the armed conflict situations described in paragraph 3 can arise only in occupied territory or in the armed conflicts covered by Article 1, paragraph 4, of the Protocol. Furthermore the Belgian Government interprets the term "deployment" used in sub paragraph (b) of the said paragraph 3 as comprising any individual or collective movement towards a position from which an attack is to be launched.
5. With respect to Articles 51 and 57, the Belgian Government interprets the "military advantage" mentioned therein as being that expected from an attack considered in its totality.
6. With respect to Part IV, Section I, of the Protocol, the Belgian Government wishes to emphasize that, whenever a military commander is required to take a decision affecting the protection of civilians or civilian objects or objects assimilated therewith, the only information on which that decision can possibly be taken is such relevant information as is then available and that it has been feasible for him to obtain for that purpose.
7. With respect to Article 96, paragraph 3, the Belgian Government declared that the only authority that could address a declaration having the effects described in paragraph 3 of Article 96 would be an authority that in any case:
a) is recognized by the intergovernmental regional organization concerned, and
b) does in fact represent a people engaged in an armed conflict the characteristics of which strictly and exactly conform to the definition given by Article 1, paragraph 4, and to the interpretation given to the exercise of the right of self-determination at the time of the adoption of the Protocol."

Canada

Reservations made upon ratification:
"Article 11 - Protection of persons (Medical procedures): The Government of Canada does not intend to be bound by the prohibitions contained in Article 11, sub-paragraph 2 (c), with respect to Canadian nationals or other persons ordinarily resident in Canada who may be interned, detained or otherwise deprived of liberty as a result of a situation referred to in Article 1, so long as the removal of tissue or organs for transplantation is in accordance with Canadian laws and applicable to the population generally and the operation is carried out in accordance with normal Canadian medical practices, standards and ethics.
Article 39 - Emblems of nationality (Enemy uniforms): The Government of Canada does not intend to be bound by the prohibitions contained in paragraph 2 of Article 39 to make use of military emblems, insignia or uniforms of adverse parties in order to shield, favor, protect or impede military operations."

Declarations made upon ratification:
"Conventional weapons: It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that the rules introduced by Protocol I were intended to apply exclusively to conventional weapons. In particular, the rules so introduced do not have any effect on and do not regulate or prohibit the use of nuclear weapons.
Article 38 Recognized emblems (Protective emblems): It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that, in relation to Article 38, in situations where the Medical Service of the armed forces of a party to an armed conflict is identified by another emblem than the emblems referred to in Article 38 of the First Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949, that other emblem, when notified, should be respected by the adverse party as a protective emblem in the conflict, under analogous conditions to those imposed by the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Additional Protocols of 1977 for the use of emblems referred to in Article 38 of the First Geneva Convention and Protocol I. In such situations, misuse of such an emblem should be considered as misuse of emblems referred to in Article 38 of the First Geneva Convention and Protocol I.
Article 41, 56, 57, 58, 78 and 86 (Meaning of "feasible"): It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that in relation to Article 41, 56, 57, 58, 78 and 86 the word "feasible" means that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations.
Article 44 Combatants and prisoners of war (Combatant status): It is understanding of the Government of Canada 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.
Part IV, Section I General protection against effects of hostilities (Standard for decision-making): It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that, in relation to Articles 48, 51 to 60 inclusive, 62 and 67, military commanders and others responsible for planning, deciding upon or executing attacks have to reach decisions on the basis of their assessment of the information reasonably available to them at the relevant time and that such decisions cannot be judged on the basis of information which has subsequently come to light.

Article 52 General protection of civilian objects (Military objectives): It is the understanding of the Government of Canada in relation to Article 52 that:
a. a specific area of land may be a military objective if, because of its location or other reasons specified in the Article as to what constitutes a military objective, its total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization in the circumstances governing at the time offers a definite military advantage; and
b. the first sentence of paragraph 2 of the Article is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective.
Article 53 Protection of cultural objects and of places of workshop (Cultural objects): It is the understanding of the Government of Canada in relation to Article 53 that:
a. such protection as is afforded by the Article will be lost during such time as the protected property is used for military purposes; and
b. the prohibitions contained in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Article can only be waived when military necessity imperatively requires such a waiver.
Article 51, sub-paragraph 5 (b), 52, paragraph 2, and 57, clause 2 (a) (iii) (Military advantage): It is the understanding of the Government of Canada in relation to sub-paragraph 5 (b) of Article 51, paragraph 2 of Article 52, and clause 2 (a) (iii) of Article 57 that the military advantage anticipated from an attack is intended to refer to the advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not from isolated or particular parts of the attack.
Article 62 General protections (Protection of civil defense personnel): It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that nothing in Article 62 will prevent Canada from using assigned civil defense personnel or volunteer civil defense workers in Canada in accordance with nationally established priorities regardless of the military situation.
Article 96 Treaty relations upon entry into force of this Protocol, paragraph 3 (Declaration by national liberation movement): It is the understanding of the Government of Canada that the making of a unilateral declaration does not, in itself, validate the credentials of the person or persons making such declaration and that States are entitled to satisfy themselves as to whether in fact the makers of such declaration constitute an authority referred to in Article 96. In this respect, the fact that such authority has or has not been recognized as such by an appropriate regional intergovernmental organization is relevant."

China

Reservation made upon accession:
"At present, Chinese legislation has no provisions concerning extradition, and deals with this matter on a case-by-case basis. For this reason China does not accept the stipulations of Article 88, paragraph 2, of Protocol I."

Denmark

Reservation made upon ratification:
"Denmark expresses a reservation with regard to the application of Article 75, paragraph 4 (h) (Protocol I), to the effect that the provisions of this paragraph shall not prevent the reopening of criminal proceedings in cases where the rules of the Danish Code of civil and criminal procedure, in exceptional circumstances, provide for such a measure."

Egypt

Declaration made upon ratification:
"The Arab Republic of Egypt, in ratifying Protocols I and II of 1977 additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, wishes to express its conviction that the provisions of Additional Protocols I and II represent the minimum level of legal and actual protection that must be afforded to persons and civilian and cultural objects in armed conflict.
On the basis of its strong conviction of the principles of the great Islamic Sharia, the Arab Republic of Egypt wishes at the same time to emphasize that it is the duties of all nations alike to refrain from the involvement of innocent civilians in armed conflict; furthermore they should make all efforts, to the maximum extent possible, to that end as this is indispensable for the survival of humanity and the cultural heritage and civilization of all countries and nations.
The Arab Republic of Egypt, while declaring its commitment to respecting all the provisions of Additional Protocols I and II, wishes to emphasize, on the basis of reciprocity, that it upholds the right to react against any violation by any party of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocols I and II with all means admissible under international law in order to prevent any further violation. In this context it wishes to assert that military commanders planning or executing attacks make their decisions on the basis of their assessment of all kinds of information available to them at the time of the military operations."

Notification made upon ratification:
"The Arab Republic of Egypt, while welcoming the adoption by the Diplomatic Conference in June 1977 of Protocols I and II additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 in six languages, including the Arabic language, notes that all original texts are certified and equally authentic with no prevalence of one single language over the other.
However, on comparison of the original Arabic text of Additional Protocols I and II with the other original texts, it became evident that in some respects the Arabic text does not fully correspond to the other original texts to the extent that it is at variance in terms of both expression and substance with some of the provisions of Additional Protocols I and II adopted by States in the field of international law and human relations.
Hence the Arab Republic of Egypt, on the occasion of the deposit of its instrument of ratification of Protocols I and II additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 with the depositary, the Swiss Federal Council, wishes to declare that in that respect it shall adopt the meaning which best concurs with the original texts of Additional Protocols I and II."

Finland

Declarations made upon ratification:
"With reference to Articles 75 and 85 of the Protocol, the Finnish Government declare their understanding that, under Article 72, the field of application of Article 75 shall be interpreted to include also the nationals of the Contracting Party applying the provisions of that Article, as well as the nationals of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict, and that the provisions of Article 85 shall be interpreted to apply to nationals of neutral or other States not Parties to the conflict as they apply to those mentioned in paragraph 2 of that Article.
With reference to Article 75, paragraph 4 (h) of the Protocol, the Finnish Government wish to clarify that under Finnish law a judgment shall not be considered final until the time-limit for exercising any extraordinary legal remedies has expired."

Germany

Declarations made upon ratification:
"It is the understanding of the Federal Republic of Germany that the rules relating to the use of weapons introduced by Additional Protocol I were intended to apply exclusively to conventional weapons without prejudice to any other rules of international law applicable to other types of weapons.
The Federal Republic of Germany understands the word "feasible" in Articles 41, 56, 57, 58, 78 and 86 of Additional Protocol I to mean that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time including humanitarian and military considerations.
The criteria contained in the second sentence of Article 44, paragraph 3, of Additional Protocol I for distinction between combatants and the civilian population are understood by the Federal Republic of Germany to apply only in occupied territories and in the other armed conflicts described in Article 1, paragraph 4. The term "military deployment" is interpreted to mean any movements towards the place from which an attack is to be launched.
It is the understanding of the Federal Republic of Germany that in the application of the provisions of Part IV, Section I, of Additional Protocol I, to military commanders and others responsible for planning, deciding upon or executing attacks, the decision taken by the person responsible has to be judged on the basis of all information available to him at the relevant time, and not on the basis of hindsight.
In applying the rule of proportionality in Article 51 and Article 57, "military advantage" is understood to refer to the advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not only from isolated or particular parts of the attack.
The Federal Republic of Germany will react against serious and systematic violations of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocol I and in particular its Articles 51 and 52 with all means admissible under international law in order to prevent any further violation.
Article 52 of Additional Protocol I is understood by the Federal Republic of Germany to mean that a specific area of land may also be a military objective if it meets all requirements of Article 52, paragraph 2.
Article 75, paragraph 4, sub paragraph (e) of Additional Protocol I and Article 6, paragraph 2, sub paragraph (e) of Additional Protocol II will be applied in such manner that it is for the court to decide whether an accused person held in custody must appear in person at the hearing before the court of review.
Article 75, paragraph 4, sub paragraph (h) of Additional Protocol I will only be applied to the extent that it is in conformity with legal provisions which permit under special circumstances the re-opening of proceedings that had led to final conviction or acquittal.
[Declaration of recognition according to Article 90, para.2 of Additional Protocol I.]
The Federal Republic of Germany understands paragraph 3 of Article 96 of Additional Protocol I to mean that only those declarations described in sub paragraphs (a) and (c) of paragraph 3 of Article 96 that are issued by an authority which genuinely satisfies all the criteria contained in paragraph 4 of Article 1 can have legally binding effect."

Greece

Declaration made upon signature:
"The Hellenic Government hereby states that it reserves the right to formulate reservations, in accordance with constitutional provisions, upon deposit of the instrument of ratification."

Holy See

Declaration made upon ratification:
"By ratifying the two Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, relating to the Protection of Victims of International (Protocol I) and Non-International (Protocol II) Armed Conflicts and adopted in Geneva on 8 June 1977, the Holy See wishes, first of all, to acknowledge the merits and the positive results obtained by the "Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts", in which it played an active part.
The Holy See believes that, from an overall historical and legal point of view, the two Protocols represent and confirm a significant advance in humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts, an advance that deserves approval and support.
At the same time, with regard to the provisions of the above-mentioned legal texts, the Holy See wishes to remind the Secretariat of the Conference of the considerations that were made known by its delegation at the end of the session. It is a source of great pleasure to recognize the value of provisions which, in certain sectors, increase the scope of humanitarian law, as for example: the protection of the civilian population, especially of women and children; the protection afforded to cultural objects and places of worship which are evidence and signs of the spiritual heritage of nations; the protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population; the respect and protection of medical and religious personnel; the ban on retaliation.

On the other hand, in the opinion of the Holy See, other provisions are less satisfactory in substance or are not very well formulated. Furthermore, uncertainties and omissions were found on important issues in relation to the development of humanitarian standards. With regard to Protocol II in particular, the Holy See regrets that, after having been stripped of a large part of its humanitarian substance by the plenary Assembly of the Conference, the Protocol has become the instrument of a rigorous legal system both in its text and in its spirit. Although the Holy See signed the Protocol, with serious reservations, and although it is now ratifying it, it is mainly because it looks upon the Protocol as an open door to future developments of humanitarian law in a crucial and, until now, much neglected sector.
The Holy See also announces that it has taken note of the reservations and declarations formulated by some States that have deposited an instrument of ratification or of adhesion to the Protocols.
Finally, the Holy See reasserts, on this occasion, its strong conviction as to the fundamentally inhumane nature of war. The humanization of the effects of armed conflicts, such as that undertaken by the two Protocols, is received with favour and encouraged by the Holy See in so far as it aims to alleviate human suffering and strives, amid unbridled passions and evil forces, to safeguard the basic principles of humanity and the supreme benefits of civilization. The Holy See expresses, moreover, its firm belief that the ultimate goal, that which is worthy of the calling of man and of human civilization, is the abolition of war. One cannot help thinking that the measures embodied in the Geneva Conventions and more recently by the two Additional Protocols - measures which are already in themselves frail instruments for the protection of victims of conventional armed conflicts - would prove to be not only insufficient but totally inadequate in the face of the ruinous devastation of a nuclear war.
The Holy See, considering itself the spokesman for the fears and the hopes of nations, hopes that the encouraging start made in Geneva by the codification of humanitarian law in armed conflicts may not go unheeded or remain a purely formal commitment but that people may become aware of it, put it into practice and follow it to its final conclusion: the abolition of war, of any kind whatever."

Iceland

Reservation made upon ratification:
"subject to a reservation with respect to Article 75, paragraph 4(h), of Protocol I regarding the resumption of cases which have already been tried, the Icelandic law of procedure containing detailed provisions on this matter."

Ireland

Declarations and Reservations in relation to Additional Protocol I:
"Ireland, in ratifying Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 adopted at Geneva on 8 June 1977, declares its belief that the provisions of this Protocol represent the minimum level of legal and actual protection bound to be afforded to persons and civilian and cultural objects in armed conflicts.
Article 11: For the purposes of investigating any breach of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 or of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 adopted at Geneva on 8 June 1977, Ireland reserves the right to take samples of blood, tissue, saliva or other bodily fluids for DNA comparisons from a person who is detained, interned or otherwise deprived of liberty as a result of a situation referred to in Article 1, in accordance with Irish law and normal Irish medical practice, standards and ethics.
Article 11 paragraph 2(c): Ireland declares that nothing in Article 11 paragraph 2(c) shall prohibit the donation of tissue, bone marrow or of an organ from a person who is detained, interned or otherwise deprived of liberty as a result of a situation referred to in Article 2 to a close relative who requires a donation of tissue, bone marrow or an organ from such a person for medical reasons, so long as the removal of tissue, bone marrow or organs for transplantation is in accordance with Irish law and the operation is carried out in accordance with normal Irish medical practice, standards and ethics.
Article 28 paragraph 2: Given the practical need to make use of non-dedicated aircraft for medical evacuation purposes, Ireland does not interpret this paragraph as precluding the presence on board of communication equipment and encryption materials or the use thereof solely to facilitate navigation, identification or communication in support of medical transportation as defined in Article 8 (f).
Article 35: Ireland accepts, as stated in Article 35 paragraph 1, that the right of Parties to the conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited. In view of the potentially destructive effect of nuclear weapons, Ireland declares that nuclear weapons, even if not directly governed by Additional Protocol I, remain subject to existing rules of international law as confirmed in 1996 by the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons.
Articles 41, 56, 57, 58, 78 and 86: It is the understanding of Ireland that in relation to Article 41, 56, 57, 58, 78 and 86 the word "feasible" means that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all circumstances at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations.
Article 44: 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.
Article 47: It is the understanding of Ireland that Article 47 in no way prejudices the application of Articles 45(3) and 75 of Protocol I to mercenaries as defined in this Article.
Articles 51 to 58: In relation to Articles 51 to 58 inclusive, it is the understanding of Ireland that military commanders others responsible for planning, deciding upon, or executing attacks necessarily have to reach decisions on the basis of their assessment of the information from all sources which is reasonably available to them at the relevant time.
Article 53: It is the understanding of Ireland in relation to the protection of cultural objects in Article 53 that if the objects protected by this Article are unlawfully used for military purposes they will thereby lose protection from attacks directed against such unlawful military use.

Article 55: In ensuring that care shall be taken in warfare to protect the natural environment against widespread, long-term and severe damage and taking account of the prohibition of the use of methods or means of warfare which are intended or may be expected to cause such damage to the natural environment thereby prejudicing the health or survival of the population, Ireland declares that nuclear weapons, even if not directly governed by Additional Protocol I, remain subject to existing rules of international law as confirmed in 1996 by the International Court of Justice in its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. Ireland will interpret and apply this Article in a way which leads to the best possible protection for the civilian population.
Article 62: It is the understanding of Ireland that nothing in Article 62 will prevent Ireland from using assigned civil defence personnel or volunteer civil defence workers in Ireland in accordance with nationally established priorities regardless of the military situation.
Article 75 paragraph 4(e): Article 75 will be applied in Ireland insofar as paragraph 4(e) is not incompatible with the power enabling a judge, in exceptional circumstances, to order the removal of an accused from the court who causes a disturbance at the trial.
Article 90: Ireland declares that it recognises ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other High Contracting Party accepting the same obligation, the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission to enquire into allegations by such other Party, as authorised by Article 90 of Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The exercise by the Commission of powers and functions in Ireland shall be in accordance with Irish law.
Article 96 paragraph 3: It is the understanding of Ireland that the making of a unilateral declaration does not in itself, validate the credentials of the persons making such a declaration and that States are entitled to satisfy themselves as to whether in fact the makers of such a declaration, constitute an authority referred to in Article 96. In this respect, the fact that such authority has or has not been recognised as such by the UN or an appropriate regional intergovernmental organisation is relevant."

Italy

Declaration made upon ratification:
"It is the understanding of the Government of Italy that the rules relating to the use of weapons introduced by Additional Protocol I were intended to apply exclusively to conventional weapons. They do not prejudice any other rule of international law applicable to other types of weapons.
The Italian Government understands, in relation to Articles 41, 56, 57, 58, 78 and 86 that the word "feasible" is to be understood as practicable or practically possible taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations.
The situation described in the second sentence of paragraph 3 of Article 44 can exist only in occupied territory.
The word deployment in paragraph 3 (b) means any movement towards a place from which an attack is to be launched.
In relation to Articles 51 to 58 inclusive, the Italian Government understands that military commanders and other responsible for planning, deciding upon or executing attacks necessarily have to reach decisions on the basis of their assessment of the information from all sources which is available to them at the relevant time.
In relation to paragraph 5 (b) of Article 51 and paragraph 2 (a) (iii) of Article 57, the Italian Government understands that the military advantage anticipated from an attack is intended to refer to the advantage anticipated from the attack as a whole and not only from isolated or particular parts of the attack.
A specific area of land may be a "military objective" if, because of its location or other reasons specified in Article 52, its total or partial destruction, capture or neutralisation, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers definite military advantage.
The first sentence of paragraph 2 of the Article prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives. Such a sentence does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives.
If and so long as the objectives protected by Article 53 are unlawfully used for military purposes, they will thereby lose protection.
Italy will react to serious and systematic violations by an enemy of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocol I and in particular its Articles 51 and 52 with all means admissible under international law in order to prevent any further violation."

Japan

Declaration made upon accession:
"The Government of Japan declares that it is its understanding that 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. The Government of Japan also declares that the term "deployment" in paragraph 3 (b) of Article 44 is interpreted as meaning any movement towards a place from which an attack is to be launched. The Government of Japan understands that the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission which it recognizes ipso facto and without special agreement by the attached declaration is effective only with regard to facts subsequent to the date of the said declaration."

Kuwait

On 21 June 2013, the State of Kuwait deposited with the Swiss Federal Council the following declaration (original English version):
"The Government of the State of Kuwait declares that it recognises ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other High Contracting Party accepting the same obligation, the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission to enquire into allegations by such other Party, as authorized by Article 90 of Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949".

Liechtenstein

Reservation made upon ratification:
"Article 75 of Protocol I will be implemented provided that:
a) paragraph 4(e) is not incompatible with legislation under which any accused who causes a disturbance in court or whose presence could impede the questioning of another accused, a witness or expert may be excluded from the courtroom;
b) paragraph 4(h) is not incompatible with legislation providing for the reopening of a trial which has already led to a person's conviction or acquittal;
c) paragraph 4(i) is not incompatible with legislation relating to the public nature of hearings and of the pronouncement of judgment."

Reservation made upon ratification:
"Article 6, paragraph 2(e), of Protocol II will be implemented provided that it is not incompatible with legislation under which any accused who causes a disturbance in court or whose presence could impede the questioning of another accused or of a witness or expert may be excluded from the court room."

Malawi

On 10 January 2014, the Republic of Malawi deposited with the Swiss Federal Council the following declaration (original English version):
WHEREAS the Republic of Malawi is a contracting Party to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August, 1949, and Protocols I and II Additional thereto, of 8 June, 1977.
AND WHEREAS Article 90 (1) (a) of Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International
Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), of 1977 establishes an International Fact-Finding Commission (the Commission);
AND WHEREAS Article 90 (2) (a) of Protocol I provides that the High Contraction Parties may at the time of signing, ratifying or acceding to the Protocol, or at any other subsequent time, declare that they recognize ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other High Contracting Party accepting the same obligation, the competence of the Commission to enquire into allegations by such other Party, as authorized by Article 90;
AND WHEREAS the Republic of Malawi did not make a declaration when signing, ratifying or acceding to the Protocol;
AND WHEREAS it is the wish of the Republic of Malawi to recognize the competence of the Commission;
NOW THEREFORE, I, DR. JOYCE BANDA, President of the Republic of Malawi, for and on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Malawi, DO HEREBY declare that the Republic of Malawi recognizes ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other High Contracting Party accepting the same obligation, the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission to enquire into allegations by such other Party, as authorized by Article 90 of Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949.

Malta

Reservations made upon accession:
"Article 75 of Protocol I will be applied insofar as:
a) sub-paragraph (e) of paragraph 4 is not incompatible with legislation providing that any defendant, who causes a disturbance at the trial or whose presence is likely to impede the questioning of another defendant or the hearing or another witness or expert witness, may be removed from the courtroom;
b) sub-paragraph (h) of paragraph 4 is not incompatible with legal provisions authorizing the reopening of proceedings that have resulted in a final declaration of conviction or acquittal.
Article 6, paragraph 2, sub-paragraph (e) of Protocol II will be applied insofar as it is not incompatible with legislation providing that any defendant, who causes a disturbance at the trial or whose presence is likely to impede the questioning of another defendant or the hearing of a witness or expert witness, may be removed from the courtroom."

Mongolia

Declaration made upon ratification:
"In regard of Article 88, paragraph 2 of "The Additional Protocol to the Protection of Victims in the International Armed Conflicts ('Protocol I') which states "The High Contracting Parties shall co-operate in the matter of extradition", the Mongolian law which prohibits deprivation and extradition of its citizens from Mongolia shall be respected.
By a note verbal addressed on 26 February 1996 to the depositary, the government of Mongolia added the following clarification: The expression "deprivation" means "deprivation of one s rights as a citizen of Mongolia".
Pursuant to their provisions, the Protocols will come into force for Mongolia on 6 June 1996."

Namibia

Declaration made upon accession:
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that the Protocols are binding on Namibia, in accordance with Article 143 of the Namibian Constitution, which provides that "All existing international agreements binding upon Namibia shall remain in force, unless and until the National Assembly acting under Article 63(2)(d) hereof otherwise decides."

Netherlands

Declarations made upon ratification (for the Kingdom's territory within Europe and the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba):
“With regard to Protocol I as a whole : It is the understanding of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that the rules introduced by Protocol I relating to the use of weapons were intended to apply and consequently do apply solely to conventional weapons, without prejudice to any other rules of international law applicable to other types of weapons;
With regard to Article 41, paragraph 3, Article 56, paragraph 2, Article 57, paragraph 2, Article 58, Article 78, paragraph 1, and Article 86, paragraph 2 of Protocol I: It is the understanding of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that the word "feasible" means that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations;
With regard to Article 44, paragraph 3 of Protocol I: It is the understanding of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that the words "engaged in a military deployment" mean "any movement towards a place from which an attack may be launched";
With regard to Article 47 of Protocol I: It is the understanding of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that Article 47 in no way prejudices the application of Articles 45 and 75 of Protocol I to mercenaries as defined in this Article;
With regard to Article 51, paragraph 5 and Article 57, paragraphs 2 and 3 of Protocol I: It is the understanding of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that military advantage refers to the advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not only from isolated or particular parts of the attack;
With regard to Articles 51 to 58 inclusive of Protocol I: It is the understanding of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that military commanders and others responsible for planning, deciding upon or executing attacks necessarily have to reach decisions on the basis of their assessment of the information from all sources which is available to them at the relevant time;
With regard to Article 52, paragraph 2 of Protocol I: It is the understanding of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that a specific area of land may also be a military objective if, because of its location or other reasons specified in paragraph 2, its total or partial destruction, capture, or neutralization in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage;
With regard to Article 53 of Protocol I: It is the understanding of the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands that if and for so long as the objects and places protected by this Article, in violation of paragraph (b), are used in support of the military effort they will thereby lose such protection."

New Zealand

Declaration made upon ratification:
"It is the understanding of the Government of New Zealand that in relation to Article 44 of Protocol I, the situation described in the second sentence of paragraph 3 can exist only in occupied territory or in armed conflicts covered by paragraph 4 of Article 1. The Government of New Zealand will interpret the word "deployment" in paragraph 3(b) of the Article as meaning any movement towards a place from which an attack is to be launched. It will interpret the words "visible to the adversary" in the same paragraph as including visible with the aid of any form of surveillance, electronic or otherwise, available to help keep a member of the armed forces of the adversary under observation.
In relation to Articles 51 to 58 inclusive, it is the understanding of the Government of New Zealand that military commanders and others responsible for planning, deciding upon, or executing attacks necessarily have to reach decisions on the basis of their assessment of the information from all sources which is reasonably available to them at the relevant time.
In relation to paragraph 5 (b) of Article 51 and to paragraph 2 (a) (iii) of Article 57, the Government of New Zealand understands that the military advantage anticipated from an attack is intended to refer to the advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not only from isolated or particular parts of that attack and that the term "military advantage" involves a variety of considerations, including the security of attacking forces. It is further the understanding of the Government of New Zealand that the term "concrete and direct military advantage anticipated", used in Articles 51 and 57, means a bona fide expectation that the attack will make a relevant and proportional contribution to the objective of the military attack involved.
In relation to Article 52, it is the understanding of the Government of New Zealand that a specific area of land may be a military objective if, because of its location or other reasons specified in the Article, its total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization in the circumstances ruling at the time offers a definite military advantage. The Government of New Zealand further understands that the first sentence of paragraph 2 of the Article is not intended to, and nor does it deal with, the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective."

Oman

Declaration made upon accession:
"While deposing these instruments, the Government of the Sultanate of Oman declares that these accessions shall in no way amount to recognition of nor the establishment of any relations with Israel with respect to the application of the provisions of the said protocols."

Palestine

On 21 June 1989, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs received a letter from the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Office at Geneva informing the Swiss Federal Council "that the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, entrusted with the functions of the Government of the State of Palestine by decision of the Palestine National Council, decided, on 4 May 1989, to adhere to the Four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the two Protocols additional thereto".
On 13 September 1989, the Swiss Federal Council informed the States that it was not in a position to decide whether the letter constituted an instrument of accession, "due to the uncertainty within the international community as to the existence or non-existence of a State of Palestine".

Philippines

Declaration made upon ratification:
"a) The application of Protocol I, particularly Articles 1(4), 4 and 96(3) shall not affect the legal status of the Parties to the conflict, nor the legal status of the concerned territory; as such, no claim of status of belligerency may be invoked therefrom;
b) The application of Protocol I may in no case be invoked in internal armed conflicts within sovereign States;
c) The terms “armed conflict” and “conflict” do not include the commission of ordinary crimes, whether collective or isolated."

Portugal

Declaration made upon signature:
"The Portuguese Government defers until the time of respective ratification the formulation of reservations which it may deem appropriate."

Qatar

Declaration made on 24 September 1991:
"The State of Qatar declares before any other High Contracting party accepting the same commitment, that it recognizes ipso facto and without special agreement the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission to consider the allegations of such other Party.
Yet the State of Qatar expressing reservations that this declaration is by no means construed as a recognition of Israel by the State of Qatar or as consenting to enter into dealings with Israel."

Declaration made upon accession:
"This accession shall in no way imply recognition of Israel by the State of Qatar nor agreement to establish any relations whatsoever with it."

Republic of Korea

Declaration made upon ratification:
" In relation to Article 44 of Protocol I, the situation described in the second sentence of paragraph 3 of the Article can exist only in occupied territory or in armed conflicts covered by paragraph 4 of Article 1, and the Government of the Republic of Korea will interpret the word deployment in paragraph 3 (b) of the Article as meaning any movement towards a place from which an attack is to be launched;
In relation to paragraph 4 (b) of Article 85 of Protocol I, a party detaining prisoners of war may not repatriate its prisoners agreeably to their openly and freely expressed will, which shall not be regarded as unjustifiable delay in the repatriation of prisoners of war constituting a grave breach of this Protocol;
In relation to Article 91 of Protocol I, a party to the conflict which violates the provisions of the Conventions or of this Protocol shall take the responsibility for paying compensation to the party damaged from the acts of violation, whether the damaged party is a legal party to the conflict or not;
In relation to paragraph 3 of Article 96 of Protocol I, only a declaration made by an authority which genuinely fulfills the criteria of paragraph 4 of Article 1 can have the effects stated in paragraph 3 of Article 96, and it is also necessary that the authority concerned be recognized as such by the appropriate regional intergovernmental organization."

Russian Federation

Declaration made upon ratification:
"The Soviet Union's ratification of the Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions for the protection of the victims of war constitutes an unusual event in the recent diplomatic history of our country.
It reflects the spirit of new political thinking and demonstrates the Soviet State's commitment to humanizing international affairs and strengthening the system of international law.
At the same time, it exemplifies the spirit of continuity between Russian and Soviet diplomacy, extending back to the 1860s, in seeking to ensure that the principles of humanism and mercy are respected even in the tragic circumstances of war.
The Additional Protocols, in whose drafting the Soviet Union played a universally recognized role, were among the first international instruments presented for ratification to the new Soviet Parliament.
It should be pointed out that the Supreme Soviet of the USSR chose to ratify the Protocols without any reservation whatsoever. At the same time, our State recognized the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission in cases where international humanitarian law is violated.
We in the Soviet Union hope that the ratification of the Additional Protocols will be duly appreciated by all those involved in the noble cause of humanism and the endeavor to free mankind from the horrors of war."

Saudi Arabia

Reservation made upon accession:
"We declare hereby the accession of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with a reservation in respect of article 5 stipulating "Appointment of protecting powers and of their substitute"."

Spain

Declarations made upon ratification:
"It is the understanding [of the Government of Spain] that this Protocol, within its specific scope applies exclusively to conventional weapons, and without prejudice to the rules of International Law governing other types of weapons.
Article 1, paragraph 4 and Article 96. paragraph 3: These articles shall be interpreted in accordance with the Principle contained in Article 2, paragraph 4 of the United Nations Charter, as developed and reaffirmed in the following texts:
1. Operative paragraph 6 of Resolution 1514 (XV) of the United Nations General Assembly, 14 December 1960.
2. The final paragraph relative to the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, of the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, approved in Resolution 2625 (XXV) of the United Nations General Assembly on 24 October 1970.
Articles 41, 56, 57, 58, 78 and 86: It is the understanding [of the Government of Spain] that in Articles 41, 56, 57, 58, 78 and 86 the word "feasible" means that the matter to which reference is made is practicable or practically possible taking into account all circumstances at the time when the situation arises, including humanitarian and military considerations.
Article 44, paragraph 3: It is understood that the criteria mentioned in sub-paragraph b of Article 44(3) on the distinction between combatants and civilians can be applied only in occupied territories. The Spanish Government also interprets the expression "military deployment" to mean any movement towards a place from which or against which an attack is going to be launched.
Articles 51-58: It is the understanding [of the Spanish Government] that the decision made by military commanders, or others with the legal capacity to plan or execute attacks which may have repercussions on civilians or civilian objects or similar objects, shall not necessarily be based on anything more than the relevant information available at the time and which it has been possible to obtain to that effect.
Articles 51, 52 and 57: It is the understanding [of the Spanish Government] that the "military advantage" which these articles mention refers to the advantage expected from the attack as a whole and not from isolated parts of it.
Article 52, paragraph 2: It is the understanding [of the Spanish Government] that the capture or holding of a specific area of territory constitutes a military objective when all the conditions set out in this paragraph together offer a concrete military advantage taking into account the circumstances at the relevant time."

Sweden

Reservation made upon ratification:
"I hereby declare on behalf of the Government that Sweden ratifies the said Protocol and undertakes faithfully to perform and carry out all the stipulations therein contained, subject to the reservation that article 75, paragraph 4, sub-paragraph (h), shall be applied only to the extent that it is not in conflict with legal provisions which allow, in exceptional circumstances, the reopening of proceedings which have resulted in a final conviction or acquittal. I furthermore declare, pursuant to article 90, paragraph 2, of the Protocol, that Sweden recognizes ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any other High Contracting Party accepting the same obligation, the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission."

Syrian Arab Republic

Declaration made upon accession:
"...with the reservation that this accession in no way constitutes recognition of Israel nor the establishment of relations with Israel as regards the application of the provisions of the aforementioned Protocol."

the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Declaration made upon ratification:
"The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia states hereby that the provisions of the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) relating to occupation, shall be applied in keeping with Article 238 of the Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia according to which no one shall have the right to acknowledge or sign an act of capitulation, nor to accept or recognize the occupation of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or any of its individual parts."

United Arab Emirates

Declaration relative to each of the two Protocols made at the time of accession:
"On accepting the said protocol, the Government of the United Arab Emirates takes the view that its acceptance of the said protocol does not, in any way, imply its recognition of Israel, nor does it oblige to apply the provisions of the protocol in respect of the said country.
The Government of the United Arab Emirates wishes further to indicate that its understanding described above in conformity with general practice existing in the United Arab Emirates regarding signature, ratification, accession or acceptance of international conventions, treaties or protocols, of which a country not recognized by the United Arab Emirates is a party."

United Kingdom

Reservations made upon ratification (also extended to the territories mentioned in 2 July 2002 declaration):
"(a)It continues to be the understanding of the United Kingdom that the rules introduced by the Protocol apply exclusively to conventional weapons without prejudice to any other rules of international law applicable to other types of weapons. In particular, the rules so introduced do not have any effect on and do not regulate or prohibit the use of nuclear weapons.
(b)The United Kingdom understands the term "feasible" as used in the Protocol to mean that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all circumstances ruling at the time, including humanitarian and military considerations.
(c)Military commanders and others responsible for planning, deciding upon, or executing attacks necessarily have to reach decisions on the basis of their assessment of the information from all sources which is reasonably available to them at the relevant time.
(d)Re: ARTICLE 1, paragraph 4 and ARTICLE 96, paragraph 3: It is the understanding of the United Kingdom that the term "armed conflict" of itself and in its context denotes a situation of a kind which is not constituted by the commission of ordinary crimes including acts of terrorism whether concerted or in isolation. The United Kingdom will not, in relation to any situation in which it is itself involved, consider itself bound in consequence of any declaration purporting to be made under paragraph 3 of Article 96 unless the United Kingdom shall have expressly recognized that it has been made by a body which is genuinely an authority representing a people engaged in an armed conflict of the type to which Article 1, paragraph 4, applies.
(e)Re: ARTICLE 28, paragraph 2: Given the practical need to make use of non-dedicated aircraft for medical evacuation purposes, the United Kingdom does not interpret this paragraph as precluding the presence on board of communications equipment and encryption materials or the use thereof solely to facilitate navigation, identification or communication in support of medical transportation as defined in Article 8(f).
(f)Re: ARTICLE 35, paragraph 3 and ARTICLE 55: The United Kingdom understands both of these provisions to cover the employment of methods and means of warfare and that the risk of environmental damage falling within the scope of these provisions arising from such methods and means of warfare is to be assessed objectively on the basis of the information available at the time.
(g)Re ARTICLE 44, paragraph 3: It is the understanding of the United Kingdom that:
- the situation in the second sentence of paragraph 3 can only exist in occupied territory or in armed conflicts covered by paragraph 4 of Article 1;
- "deployment" in paragraph 3(b) means any movement towards a place from which an attack is to be launched
(h)Re: ARTICLE 50: In the view of the United Kingdom the rule in the second sentence of paragraph 1 applies only in cases of substantial doubt still remaining after the assessment referred to at paragraph (c) above has been made, and not as overriding a commander's duty to protect the safety of troops under his command or to preserve his military situation, in conformity with other provisions of the Protocol.
(i)Re: ARTICLE 51 and ARTICLE 57
In the view of the United Kingdom, the military advantage anticipated from an attack is intended to refer to the advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not only from isolated or particular parts of the attack.

(j) Re: ARTICLE 52: It is the understanding of the United Kingdom that:
- a specific area of land may be a military objective if, because of its location or other reasons specified in this Article, its total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization in the circumstances ruling at the time offers definite military advantage;
- the first sentence of paragraph 2 prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives; it does not deal with the question of collateral damage resulting from attacks directed against military objectives.
(k) Re: ARTICLE 53: The United Kingdom declares that if the objects protected by this Article are unlawfully used for military purposes they will thereby lose protection from attacks directed against such unlawful military uses.
(l) Re: ARTICLE 54, paragraph 2: The United Kingdom understands that paragraph 2 has no application to attacks that are carried out for a specific purpose other than denying sustenance to the civilian population or the adverse party.
(m) Re: ARTICLE 51 – 55: The obligations of Articles 51 and 55 are accepted on the basis that any adverse party against which the United Kingdom might be engaged will itself scrupulously observe those obligations. If an adverse party makes serious and deliberate attacks, in violation of Article 51 or Article 52 against the civilian population or civilians or against civilian objects, or, in violation of Articles 53, 54 and 55, on objects or items protected by those Articles, the United Kingdom will regard itself as entitled to take measures otherwise prohibited by the Articles in question to the extent that it considers such measures necessary for the sole purpose of compelling the adverse party to cease committing violations under those Articles, but only after formal warning to the adverse party requiring cessation of the violations has been disregarded and then only after a decision taken at the highest level of government. Any measures thus taken by the United Kingdom will not be disproportionate to the violations giving rise there to and will not involve any action prohibited by the Geneva Conventions of 1949 nor will such measures be continued after the violations have ceased. The United Kingdom will notify the Protecting Powers of any such formal warning given to an adverse party, and if that warning has been disregarded, of any measures taken as a result.
(n) Re: ARTICLE 56 and 85, paragraph 3c: The United Kingdom cannot undertake to grant absolute protection to installations which may contribute to the opposing Party's war effort, or to the defenders of such installations, but will take all due precautions in military operations at or near the installations referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 56 in the light of the known facts, including any special marking which the installation may carry, to avoid sever collateral losses among the civilian populations; direct attacks on such installations will be launched only on authorization at a high level of command.
(o) Re: ARTICLE 57, paragraph 2: The United Kingdom understands that the obligation to comply with paragraph 2(b) only extends to those who have the authority and practical possibility to cancel or suspend the attack.
(p) Re: ARTICLE 70: It is the understanding of the United Kingdom that this Article does not affect the existing rules of naval warfare regarding naval blockade, submarine warfare or mine warfare."

 

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