The Banning of Anti-Personnel Landmines: The Legal Contribution of the International Committee of the Red Cross

By Louis Maresca; Stuart Maslen | Go to book overview

submarine mines and landmines. Article 10(3) and the relevant parts of the ICRC commentary are reproduced below.

Following the comments of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, an Advisory Working Group was constituted with a view to finalizing the document in time for the forthcoming conference of the Red Cross Movement. In the Advisory Working Group, the dangers mines pose to civilian activity were raised by several Red Cross Societies, which voiced concern about the impact of newly developed submarine mines on civilian navigation. Subsequently, in the 1956 Draft Rules, the ICRC introduced an article to lessen the potential effects of mines in a post-conflict environment. Article 15, covering both landmines and submarine mines, is notable because, like the draft rules as a whole, it was intended to apply not only to armed conflicts between States but also to conflicts 'not of an international character'.21 This would have set an important precedent, had the draft rules been developed into a binding international instrument. While the 1956 Draft Rules were presented to the 19th International Red Cross Conference and submitted to governments for consideration, no action was taken to turn them into an international treaty. The use of landmines nevertheless remained subject to the norms established in the Declaration of St Petersburg and The Hague Conventions and Declarations of1899 and 1907, which the 1956 Draft Rules sought to reaffirm and develop.


Draft Rules for the Protection of the Civilian Population from
the Dangers of Indiscriminate Warfare

Geneva
1955

Article 10, sub-paragraph 3

The use of so-called delay-action projectiles is only authorized when their effects are limited to the objective itself.

Commentary

I — The ICRC consulted the Experts who met in 1954 about the problem of incendiary and “delay-action” bombs, as being among the weapons likely to cause unnecessary damage.

[…]

____________________
21
1956 Draft Rules, Article 2.

-16-

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