Armed conflict in Sabah & Protocols I & II of the Geneva Conventions

POSTED AT 4:28pm March 5, 2013:

On the on-going armed conflict in Sabah, the following are the pertinent provisions on bombardment (bombings), means of combat, protection of civilians, treatment of journalists, etc. enshrined in Protocol I (if the conflict were to be treated as an international armed conflict, i.e., between states or sovereigns) and Protocol II (if the conflict were to be treated as a non-international one)

Protocol I. [Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977.]

On bombings, bombardment, means of combat:

“Art 35. Basic rules

 

“1. In any armed conflict, the right of the Parties to the conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited.

 

“2. It is prohibited to employ weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.

 

“3. It is prohibited to employ methods or means of warfare which are intended, or may be expected, to cause widespread, long-term and severe damage to the natural environment.

XXX

Art. 51. xxx 4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:

(a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective;

(b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or

(c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol;

 

and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:

(a) an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects;

and

(b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

xxx

Art 48. Basic rule

 

In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.

 

 

Art 49. Definition of attacks and scope of application

 

1. “Attacks” means acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or in defence.

 

2. The provisions of this Protocol with respect to attacks apply to all attacks in whatever territory conducted, including the national territory belonging to a Party to the conflict but under the control of an adverse Party.

 

3. The provisions of this section apply to any land, air or sea warfare which may affect the civilian population, individual civilians or civilian objects on land. They further apply to all attacks from the sea or from the air against objectives on land but do not otherwise affect the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict at sea or in the air.

 

4. The provisions of this section are additional to the rules concerning humanitarian protection contained in the Fourth Convention, particularly in part II thereof, and in other international agreements binding upon the High Contracting Parties, as well as to other rules of international law relating to the protection of civilians and civilian objects on land, at sea or in the air against the effects of hostilities.

 

Chapter II. Civilians and civilian population

 

Art 50. Definition of civilians and civilian population

 

1. A civilian is any person who does not belong to one of the categories of persons referred to in Article 4 (A) (1), (2), (3) and (6) of the Third Convention and in Article 43 of this Protocol. In case of doubt whether a person is a civilian, that person shall be considered to be a civilian.

 

2. The civilian population comprises all persons who are civilians.

 

3. The presence within the civilian population of individuals who do not come within the definition of civilians does not deprive the population of its civilian character.

 

 

Art 51. – Protection of the civilian population

 

1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules, which are additional to other applicable rules of international law, shall be observed in all circumstances.

 

2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

 

3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this section, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.

 

4. Indiscriminate attacks are prohibited. Indiscriminate attacks are:

(a) those which are not directed at a specific military objective;

(b) those which employ a method or means of combat which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or

(c) those which employ a method or means of combat the effects of which cannot be limited as required by this Protocol;

 

and consequently, in each such case, are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction.

 

5. Among others, the following types of attacks are to be considered as indiscriminate:

(a) an attack by bombardment by any methods or means which treats as a single military objective a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located in a city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians or civilian objects;

 

and

 

(b) an attack which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.

 

6. Attacks against the civilian population or civilians by way of reprisals are prohibited.

 

7. The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The Parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.

 

8. Any violation of these prohibitions shall not release the Parties to the conflict from their legal obligations with respect to the civilian population and civilians, including the obligation to take the precautionary measures provided for in Article 57.

xxx

Art 54. Protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population

 

1. Starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is prohibited.

 

2. It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as food-stuffs, agricultural areas for the production of food-stuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive.

 

3. The prohibitions in paragraph 2 shall not apply to such of the objects covered by it as are used by an adverse Party:

(a) as sustenance solely for the members of its armed forces; or

(b) if not as sustenance, then in direct support of military action, provided, however, that in no event shall actions against these objects be taken which may be expected to leave the civilian population with such inadequate food or water as to cause its starvation or force its movement.

 

4. These objects shall not be made the object of reprisals.

 

5. In recognition of the vital requirements of any Party to the conflict in the defence of its national territory against invasion, derogation from the prohibitions contained in paragraph 2 may be made by a Party to the conflict within such territory under its own control where required by imperative military necessity.

xxx

Chapter III. Journalists

 

Art 79. Measures or protection for journalists

 

1.Journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered as civilians within the meaning of Article 50, paragraph 1.

(blog admin’s note: In other words, journalists are entitled to the same protection as civilians and persons in custody if they are embedded, and have the same rights.)

 

2. They shall be protected as such under the Conventions and this Protocol, provided that they take no action adversely affecting their status as civilians, and without prejudice to the right of war correspondents accredited to the armed forces to the status provided for in Article 4 (A) (4) of the Third Convention.

(Art 4. A.  xxx 4) (4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, members of labour units or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization, from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed model.)

3. They may obtain an identity card similar to the model in Annex II of this Protocol. This card, which shall be issued by the government of the State of which the Journalist is a national or in whose territory he resides or in which the news medium employing him is located, shall attest to his status as a journalist.

XXX

Protocol II [Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), 8 June 1977.]

xxx

Art 13. Protection of the civilian population

 

1. The civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations. To give effect to this protection, the following rules shall be observed in all circumstances.

 

2. The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.

 

3. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this part, unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.

 

 

Art 14. Protection of objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population

 

Starvation of civilians as a method of combat is prohibited. It is therefore prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless for that purpose, objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population such as food-stuffs, agricultural areas for the production of food-stuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies and irrigation works.

Art 18. Relief societies and relief actions

 

1. Relief societies located in the territory of the High Contracting Party, such as Red Cross (Red Crescent, Red Lion and Sun) organizations may offer their services for the performance of their traditional functions in relation to the victims of the armed conflict. The civilian population may, even on its own initiative, offer to collect and care for the wounded, sick and shipwrecked.

 

2. If the civilian population is suffering undue hardship owing to a lack of the supplies essential for its survival, such as food-stuffs and medical supplies, relief actions for the civilian population which are of an exclusively humanitarian and impartial nature and which are conducted without any adverse distinction shall be undertaken subject to the consent of the High Contracting Party concerned.

 

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About marichulambino

Pls visit my blog at marichulambino@wordpress.com, i post there daily; i'm not on Facebook/ Twitter or any social network site. Asst submitted this to VP for Acad last week upon request for faculty highlights/ bullet points for the University site: “TOWNS Awardee for Law (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service) 2004-2007. "Marie Claire Magazine launch issue voted and listed as Top 25 Women Who Changed Our Lives (“Top 25 Women Who Rock”, Oct. 21, 2005). "Philippine Graphic Magazine voted and listed as the Top 25 Young Leaders for 2004, anniversary issue. "Award, 16th Anniversary, Ombudsman’s Office: 'selfless service, dedication, tireless efforts in assisting the Office of the Ombudsman for in the prosecution of the plunder case against former President Joseph Estrada'. "Citation for excellent public service, Special Prosecutor, Ombudsman’s Office for her work in the plunder case People vs. Estrada, Oct. 17, 2007 upon successful termination of the case. "Tribute, Philippine Collegian 2001 as 'private prosecutor, for integrity held above price, for service freely given, for truth steadfastly pursued, for embracing the ideals of the Philippine Collegian beyond the confines of the University.' "Award, St. Scholastica Student Council July 6, 2001 'for her undying patriotism, love and service to all her Filipino countrymen.' "Tribute, Konggreso ng Mamamayang Pilipino (KOMPIL) (Congress of Filipino Citizens) for helping in the fight against corruption in the highest offices of the land and for upholding justice, 2002. "1996 Award of Merit from U.P. Diliman: 'In recognition of her dedicated and exemplary services as U.P. Diliman Chief Legal Officer ...pioneering efforts, outstanding leadership, team-building skills, administrative competence...' "Visiting Forces Agreement case, delivered the oral arguments in the Supreme Court for main petitioner, Bayan, in Bayan et al vs. Executive Secretary. "Her case Posadas, Torres-Yu, & Lambino vs. Dizon (NBI), et al, on attempted invalid warrantless arrests on-campus, is now included in criminal law and criminal procedure textbooks, syllabus, and lectures in MCLE"

Posted on March 5, 2013, in Armed conflict, international law, News, The News Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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