The Laws of Armed Conflicts: A Collection of Conventions, Resolutions, and Other Documents

By Dietrich Schindler; Jiri Toman | Go to book overview

No. 1
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF ARMIES
OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE FIELD

Prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Orders No. 100 by President Lincoln, 24 April 1863

INTRODUCTORY NOTE: The Lieber Instructions represent the first attempt to codify the laws of war. They were prepared during the American Civil War by Francis Lieber, then a professor at Columbia College in New York, revised by a board of officers and promulgated by President Lincoln. Although they were binding only on the forces of the United States, they correspond to a great extent to the laws and customs of war existing at that time. The Lieber Instructions strongly influenced the further codification of the laws of war and the adoption of similar regulations by other states. They formed the origin of the project of an international convention on the laws of war presented to the Brussels Conference in 1874 (No. 2) and stimulated the adoption of the Hague Conventions on land warfare of 1899 and 1907 (Nos. 7 and 8).

The text below is reprinted from the second edition of the United States Government Printing Office of 1898.

TEXT PUBLISHED IN: Instructions for the Government of Armies of the United States in the Field, prepared by Francis Lieber, LL.D., General Orders, No. 100, War Department, Adjutant General's Office, Washington, 24 April 1863, 26 pp. (Engl.); Francis Lieber, Contributions to Political Science, Including Lectures on the Constitution of the United States and Other Papers, Philadelphia, Lippincott, Miscellaneous Writings, Vol. II, 1881, p. 245 (Engl.); WilsonTucker, pp. vI-xxxvI (Engl.); Friedman, pp. 158–186 (Engl.); J. C. Bluntschli, Le Droit international codifié, 5th edn., Paris, 1895, appendix (French); Les deux Conférences de la Paix, pp. 195-214 (French); Droit des conflits armés, pp. 3–22 (French); RICR, 1953, pp. 401–09, 476–82, 635–645, 974–980 (French); Bluntschli-Komarovskii, pp. 513–544 (Russ.); Heffter-Taube, pp. 39–62 (Russ.); ICRC website: www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Articles
Section I.Martial Law - Military jurisdiction - Military necessity Retaliation1-30
Section 11.Public and private property of the enemy - Protection of persons, and especially of women, of religion, the arts and sciences - Punishment of crimes against the inhabitants of hostile countries31-47
Section III.Deserters - Prisoners of war - Hostages - Booty on the battlefield48-80
Section IV.Partisans - Armed enemies not belonging to the hostile army - Scouts - Armed prowlers - War-rebels81-85
Section V.Safe-conduct - Spies - War-traitors - Captured messengers86-104

-3-

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