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International Humanitarian Law (IHL)
- Rules -

Introduction

 

Chapter Introduction

Introduction
Annex I. National research
Annex II. Research in the ICRC archives
Annex III. Expert consultations

Authors’ Note

Note on Translation

I. The Principle of Distinction

Chapter 1. Distinction between Civilians and Combatants

Rule 1. The Principle of Distinction between Civilians and Combatants

Rule 2. Violence Aimed at Spreading Terror among the Civilian Population

Rule 3. Definition of Combatants

Rule 4. Definition of Armed Forces

Rule 5. Definition of Civilians

Rule 6. Civilians’ Loss of Protection from Attack

Chapter 2. Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives

Rule 7. The Principle of Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives

Rule 8. Definition of Military Objectives

Rule 9. Definition of Civilian Objects

Rule 10. Civilian Objects’ Loss of Protection from Attack

Chapter 3. Indiscriminate Attacks

Rule 11. Indiscriminate Attacks

Rule 12. Definition of Indiscriminate Attacks

Rule 13. Area Bombardment

Chapter 4. Proportionality in Attack

Rule 14. Proportionality in Attack

Chapter 5. Precautions in Attack

Rule 15. Principle of Precautions in Attack

Rule 16. Target Verification

Rule 17. Choice of Means and Methods of Warfare

Rule 18. Assessment of the Effects of Attacks

Rule 19. Control during the Execution of Attacks

Rule 20. Advance Warning

Rule 21. Target Selection

Chapter 6. Precautions against the Effects of Attacks

Rule 22. Principle of Precautions against the Effects of Attacks

Rule 23. Location of Military Objectives outside Densely Populated Areas

Rule 24. Removal of Civilians and Civilian Objects from the Vicinity of Military Objectives

II. Specifically Protected Persons and Objects

Chapter 7. Medical and Religious Personnel and Objects

Rule 25. Medical Personnel

Rule 26. Medical Activities

Rule 27. Religious Personnel

Rule 28. Medical Units

Rule 29. Medical Transports

Rule 30. Persons and Objects Displaying the Distinctive Emblem

Chapter 8. Humanitarian Relief Personnel and Objects

Rule 31. Humanitarian Relief Personnel

Rule 32. Humanitarian Relief Objects

Chapter 9. Personnel and Objects Involved in a Peacekeeping Mission

Rule 33. Personnel and Objects Involved in a Peacekeeping Mission

Chapter 10. Journalists

Rule 34. Journalists

Chapter 11. Protected Zones

Rule 35. Hospital and Safety Zones and Neutralized Zones

Rule 36. Demilitarized Zones

Rule 37. Open Towns and Non-Defended Localities

Chapter 12. Cultural Property

Rule 38. Attacks Against Cultural Property

Rule 39. Use of Cultural Property for Military Purposes

Rule 40. Respect for Cultural Property

Rule 41. Export and Return of Cultural Property in Occupied Territory

Chapter 13. Works and Installations Containing Dangerous Forces

Rule 42. Works and Installations Containing Dangerous Forces

Chapter 14. The Natural Environment

Rule 43. Application of General Principles on the Conduct of Hostilities to the Natural Environment

Rule 44. Due Regard for the Natural Environment in Military Operations

Rule 45. Causing Serious Damage to the Natural Environment

III. Specific Methods of Warfare

Chapter 15. Denial of Quarter

Rule 46. Orders or Threats that No Quarter Will Be Given

Rule 47. Attacks against Persons Hors de Combat

Rule 48. Attacks against Persons Parachuting from an Aircraft in Distress

Chapter 16. Destruction and Seizure of Property

Rule 49. War Booty

Rule 50. Destruction and Seizure of Property of an Adversary

Rule 51. Public and Private Property in Occupied Territory

Rule 52. Pillage

Chapter 17. Starvation and Access to Humanitarian Relief

Rule 53. Starvation as a Method of Warfare

Rule 54. Attacks against Objects Indispensable to the Survival of the Civilian Population

Rule 55. Access for Humanitarian Relief to Civilians in Need

Rule 56. Freedom of Movement of Humanitarian Relief Personnel

Chapter 18. Deception

Rule 57. Ruses of War

Rule 58. Improper Use of the White Flag of Truce

Rule 59. Improper Use of the Distinctive Emblems of the Geneva Conventions

Rule 60. Improper Use of the United Nations Emblem or Uniform

Rule 61. Improper Use of Other Internationally Recognized Emblems

Rule 62. Improper Use of the Flags or Military Emblems, Insignia or Uniforms of the Adversary

Rule 63. Use of Flags or Military Emblems, Insignia or Uniforms of Neutral or Other States Not Party to the Conflict

Rule 64. Conclusion of an Agreement to Suspend Combat with the Intention of Attacking by Surprise the Adversary Relying on it

Rule 65. Perfidy

Chapter 19. Communication with the Enemy

Rule 66. Non-Hostile Contacts between the Parties to Conflict

Rule 67. Inviolability of Parlementaires

Rule 68. Precautions while Receiving Parlementaires

Rule 69. Loss of Inviolability of Parlementaires

IV. Weapons

Chapter 20. General Principles on the Use of Weapons

Rule 70. Weapons of a Nature to Cause Superfluous Injury or Unnecessary Suffering

Rule 71. Weapons That Are by Nature Indiscriminate

Chapter 21. Poison

Rule 72. Poison

Chapter 22. Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear Weapons

Chapter 23. Biological Weapons

Rule 73. Biological Weapons

Chapter 24. Chemical Weapons

Rule 74. Chemical Weapons

Rule 75. Riot Control Agents

Rule 76. Herbicides

Chapter 25. Expanding Bullets

Rule 77. Expanding Bullets

Chapter 26. Exploding Bullets

Rule 78. Exploding Bullets

Chapter 27. Weapons Primarily Injuring by Non-Detectable Fragments

Rule 79. Weapons Primarily Injuring by Non-Detectable Fragments

Chapter 28. Booby-Traps

Rule 80. Booby-Traps

Chapter 29. Landmines

Rule 81. Restrictions on the Use of Landmines

Rule 82. Recording of the Placement of Landmines

Rule 83. Removal or Neutralization of Landmines

Chapter 30. Incendiary Weapons

Rule 84. The Protection of Civilians and Civilian Objects from the Effects of Incendiary Weapons

Rule 85. The Use of Incendiary Weapons against Combatants

Chapter 31. Blinding Laser Weapons

Rule 86. Blinding Laser Weapons

V. Treatment of Civilians and Persons Hors de Combat

Chapter 32. Fundamental Guarantees

Introduction to Fundamental Guarantees

Rule 87. Humane Treatment

Rule 88. Non-Discrimination

Rule 89. Violence to Life

Rule 90. Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment

Rule 91. Corporal Punishment

Rule 92. Mutilation and Medical, Scientific or Biological Experiments

Rule 93. Rape and Other forms of Sexual Violence

Rule 94. Slavery and Slave Trade

Rule 95. Forced Labour

Rule 96. Hostage-Taking

Rule 97. Human Shields

Rule 98. Enforced Disappearance

Rule 99. Deprivation of Liberty

Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees

Rule 101. The Principle of Legality

Rule 102. Individual Criminal Responsibility

Rule 103. Collective Punishments

Rule 104. Respect for Convictions and Religious Practices

Rule 105. Respect for Family Life

Chapter 33. Combatants and Prisoner-of-War Status

Rule 106. Conditions for Prisoner-of-War Status

Rule 107. Spies

Rule 108. Mercenaries

Chapter 34. The Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked

Rule 109. Search for, Collection and Evacuation of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked

Rule 110. Treatment and Care of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked

Rule 111. Protection of the Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked against Pillage and Ill-Treatment

Chapter 35. The Dead

Rule 112. Search for and Collection of the Dead

Rule 113. Treatment of the Dead

Rule 114. Return of the Remains and Personal Effects of the Dead

Rule 115. Disposal of the Dead

Rule 116. Accounting for the Dead

Chapter 36. Missing Persons

Rule 117. Accounting for Missing Persons

Chapter 37. Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Rule 118. Provision of Basic Necessities to Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Rule 119. Accommodation for Women Deprived of Their Liberty

Rule 120. Accommodation for Children Deprived of Their Liberty

Rule 121. Location of Internment and Detention Centres

Rule 122. Pillage of Personal Belongings of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Rule 123. Recording and Notification of Personal Details of Persons Deprived of their Liberty

Rule 124. ICRC Access to Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Rule 125. Correspondence of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Rule 126. Visits to Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Rule 127. Respect for Convictions and Religious Practices of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Rule 128. Release and Return of Persons Deprived of Their Liberty

Chapter 38. Displacement and Displaced Persons

Rule 129. The Act of Displacement

Rule 130. Transfer of Own Civilian Population into Occupied Territory

Rule 131. Treatment of Displaced Persons

Rule 132. Return of Displaced Persons

Rule 133. Property Rights of Displaced Persons

Chapter 39. Other Persons Afforded Specific Protection

Rule 134. Women

Rule 135. Children

Rule 136. Recruitment of Child Soldiers

Rule 137. Participation of Child Soldiers in Hostilities

Rule 138. The Elderly, Disabled and Infirm

VI. Implementation

Chapter 40. Compliance with International Humanitarian Law

Rule 139. Respect for International Humanitarian Law

Rule 140. Principle of Reciprocity

Rule 141. Legal Advisers for Armed Forces

Rule 142. Instruction in International Humanitarian Law within Armed Forces

Rule 143. Dissemination of International Humanitarian Law among the Civilian Population

Chapter 41. Enforcement of International Humanitarian Law

Rule 144. Ensuring Respect for International Humanitarian Law Erga Omnes

Rule 145. Reprisals

Rule 146. Reprisals against Protected Persons

Rule 147. Reprisals against Protected Objects

Rule 148. Reprisals in Non-International Armed Conflicts

Chapter 42. Responsibility and Reparation

Rule 149. Responsibility for violations of International Humanitarian Law

Rule 150. Reparation

Chapter 43. Individual Responsibility

Rule 151. Individual Responsibility

Rule 152. Command Responsibility for Orders to Commit War Crimes

Rule 153. Command Responsibility for Failure to Prevent, Repress or Report War Crimes

Rule 154. Obedience to Superior Orders

Rule 155. Defence of Superior Orders

Chapter 44. War Crimes

Rule 156. Definition of War Crimes

Rule 157. Jurisdiction over War Crimes

Rule 158. Prosecution of War Crimes

Rule 159. Amnesty

Rule 160. Statutes of Limitation

Rule 161. International Cooperation in Criminal Proceedings

Citation


This page can be referenced as ICRC Database, International Humanitarian Law Databases, International Humanitarian Law Databases - ICRC, https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/en (Last accessed on 03.08.2023)

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