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Commentary on the First Geneva Convention


  • 8 tables
  • Page extent: 1294 pages
  • Size: 247 x 174 mm
  • Weight: 2.27 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9781107170100)

The application and interpretation of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their two Additional Protocols of 1977 have developed significantly in the sixty years since the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) first published its Commentaries on these important humanitarian treaties. To promote a better understanding of, and respect for, this body of law, the ICRC commissioned a comprehensive update of its original Commentaries. Its preparation was coordinated by Jean-Marie Henckaerts, ICRC legal adviser and head of the project to update the Commentaries. The First Convention is a foundational text of international humanitarian law. It contains the essential rules on the protection of the wounded and sick, those assigned to their care, and the red cross and red crescent emblems. This article-by-article Commentary takes into account developments in the law and practice to provide up-to-date interpretations of the Convention. The new Commentary has been reviewed by humanitarian-law practitioners and academics from around the world. It is an essential tool for anyone working or studying within this field.

• An article-by-article Commentary on the First Geneva Convention and Additional Protocols issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross, capturing contemporary developments in their application and interpretation • Contains thorough and up-to-date interpretations from an extensive process involving both International Committee of the Red Cross and external contributors, as well as peer review by academics and international humanitarian law practitioners, ensuring coherent content while accurately reflecting diverging views • Provides practitioners and scholars with easy access to comprehensive, high-quality legal information


Introduction; Preamble; Part I. General Provisions: Article 1. Respect for the Convention; Article 2. Application of the Convention; Article 3. Conflicts not of an international character; Article 4. Application by neutral powers; Article 5. Duration of application; Article 6. Special agreements; Article 7. Non-renunciation of rights; Article 8. Protecting Powers; Article 9. Activities of the ICRC and other impartial humanitarian organizations; Article 10. Substitutes for protecting powers; Article 11. Conciliation procedure; Part II. Wounded and Sick: Article 12. Protection and care of the wounded and sick; Article 13. Protected persons; Article 14. Status of the wounded and sick who have fallen into enemy hands; Article 15. Search for casualties. Evacuation; Article 16. Recording and forwarding of information; Article 17. Prescriptions regarding the dead. Graves Registration Service; Article 18. Role of the population; Part III. Medical Units and Establishments: Article 19. Protection of medical units and establishments; Article 20. Protection of hospital ships; Article 21. Discontinuance of protection of medical units and establishments; Article 22. Conditions not depriving medical units and establishments of protection; Article 23. Hospital zones and localities; Part IV. Personnel: Article 24. Protection of permanent personnel; Article 25. Protection of auxiliary personnel; Article 26. Personnel of aid societies; Article 27. Societies of neutral societies; Article 28. Retained personnel; Article 29. Status of auxiliary personnel who have fallen into enemy hands; Article 30. Return of medical and religious personnel; Article 31. Selection of personnel for return; Article 32. Return of personnel belonging to neutral countries; Part V. Buildings and Material: Article 33. Buildings and material of medical units and establishments; Article 34. Property of aid societies; Part VI. Medical Transports: Article 35. Protection of medical transports; Article 36. Medical aircraft; Article 37. Flight over neutral countries. Landing of the wounded and sick; Part VII. The Distinctive Emblem: Article 38. Emblem of the Convention; Article 39. Use of the emblem; Article 40. Identification of medical and religious personnel; Article 41. Identification of auxiliary personnel; Article 42. Marking of medical units and establishments; Article 43. Marking of units of neutral countries; Article 44. Restrictions in the use of the emblem. Exceptions; Part VIII. Execution of the Convention: Article 45. Detailed execution. Unforeseen cases; Article 46. Prohibition of reprisals; Article 47. Dissemination of the Convention; Article 48. Translations. Implementing laws and regulations; Part IX. Repression of Abuses and Infractions: Article 49. Penal sanctions; Article 50. Grave breaches; Article 51. Responsibilities of the contracting parties; Article 52. Enquiry procedure; Article 53. Misuse of the emblem; Article 54. Prevention of misuse of the emblem; Final provisions; Article 55. Languages; Article 56. Signature; Article 57. Ratification; Article 58. Coming into force; Article 59. Relation to previous conventions; Article 60. Accession; Article 61. Notification of accessions; Article 62. Immediate effect; Article 63. Denunciation; Article 64. Registration with the United Nations; Testimonium and signature clause.


Jean-Marie Henckaerts, Heike Niebergall-Lackner, Iris Müller, Tristan Ferraro, Lindsey Cameron, Bruno Demeyere, Eve La Haye, Cordula Droege, Robin Geiss, Laurent Gisel, François Bugnion, Sylvain Vité, Helen Durham, Sandesh Sivakumaran, Alexander Breitegger, Jann K. Kleffner, Geoffrey S. Corn, Michael Meyer, Dana Constantin, Knut Dörmann, Stephan Michel, Claude Schenker

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