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That the employment of such arms would, therefore, be contrary to the laws of humanity;
The contracting parties engage, mutually, to renounce, in case of war among themselves, the employment, by their military or naval forces, of any projectile of less weight than four hundred grammes, which is explosive, or is charged with fulminating or inflammable substances.
They agree to invite all the states which have not taken part in the deliberations of the International Military Commission, assembled at St. Petersburg, by sending delegates thereto, to accede to the present engagement.
This engagement is obligatory only upon the contracting or acceding parties thereto, in case of war between two or more of themselves; it is not applicable with regard to noncontracting powers, or powers that shall not have acceded to it.
It will also cease to be obligatory from the moment when, in a war between contracting or acceding parties, a noncontracting party, or a nonacceding party, shall join one of the belligerents.
The contracting or acceding parties reserve to themselves the right to come to an understanding, hereafter, whenever a precise proposition shall be drawn up, in view of future improvements which may be effected in the armament of troops, in order to maintain the principles which they have established, and to reconcile the necessities of war with the laws of humanity.
Done at St. Petersburg, November 29 (December 1), 1868.
PROJECT OF AN INTERNATIONAL DECLARATION CONCERNING THE LAWS AND CUSTOMS OF WAR, ADOPTED BY THE
CONFERENCE OF BRUSSELS, AUGUST 27, 1874
ARTICLE I. A territory is considered as occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army.
The occupation only extends to those territories where this authority is established, and can be exercised.
II. The authority of the legal power being suspended, and having actually passed into the hands of the occupier, he shall take every step in his power to reëstablish and secure, as far as possible, public safety and social order.
III. With this object he will maintain the laws which were in force in the country in time of peace, and he will only modify, suspend, or replace them by others if necessity obliges him to do so.
IV. The functionaries and officials of every class who, at the instance of the occupier, consent to continue to perform their duties, shall be under his protection. They shall not be dismissed or be liable to summary
punishment (punis disciplinairement) unless they fail in fulfilling the obligations they have undertaken, and shall be handed over to justice, only if they violate those obligations by unfaithfulness.
V. The army of occupation shall only levy such taxes, dues, duties, and tolls as are already established for the benefit of the state, or their equivalent, if it be impossible to collect them, and this shall be done as far as possible in the form of and according to existing practice. It shall devote them to defraying the expenses of the administration of the country to the same extent as was obligatory on the legal government.
VI. The army occupying a territory shall take possession only of the specie, the funds, and bills, etc. (valeurs exigibles), which are the property of the state in its own right, the depots of arms, means of transport, magazines and supplies, and, in general, all the personal property of the state which
may be of service in carrying on the war. Railway plant, land telegraphs, steam and other vessels, not included in cases regulated by maritime law, as well as depots of arms, and generally every kind of munitions of war, although belonging to companies or to private individuals, are to be considered equally as means of aid in carrying on a war, which can not be left at the disposal of the enemy. Railway plant, land telegraphs, as well as the steam and other vessels above mentioned shall be restored, and indemnities be regulated on the conclusion
VII. The occupying state shall only consider itself in the light of an administrator and usufructuary of the public buildings, real property, forests, and agricultural works belonging to the hostile state, and situated in the occupied territory. It is bound to protect these properties (fonds de ces propriétés) and to administer them according to the laws of usufruct.
VIII. The property of parishes (communes), or establishments devoted to religion, charity, education, arts, and sciences, although belonging to the state, shall be treated as private property.
Every seizure, destruction of, or willful damage to, such establishments, historical monuments, or works of art or of science, should be prosecuted by the competent authorities.
IX. The laws, rights, and duties of war are applicable not only to the army, but likewise to militia and corps of volunteers complying with the following conditions:
1. That they have at their head a person responsible for his subordinates; 2. That they wear some settled distinctive badge recognizable at a distance; 3. That they carry arms openly; and 4. That in their operations, they conform to the laws and customs of war.
In those countries where the militia forms the whole or part of the army, they shall be included under the denomination of “army.”
X. The population of a nonoccupied territory, who, on the approach of the enemy, of their own accord take up arms to resist the invading troops, without having had time to organize themselves in conformity with Article IX, shall be considered as belligerents, if they respect the laws and customs of war.
XI. The armed forces of the belligerents may be composed of combatants and noncombatants. In the event of being captured by the enemy, both one and the other shall enjoy the rights of prisoners of war.
XII. The laws of war do not allow to belligerents an unlimited power as to the choice of means of injuring the enemy.
XIII. According to this principle are strictly forbidden: (a) The use of poison or poisoned weapons.
(b) Murder by treachery of individuals belonging to the hostile nation or army.
(c) Murder of an antagonist who, having laid down his arms, or haying no longer the means of defending himself, has surrendered at discretion.
(d) The declaration that no quarter will be given.
(e) The use of arms, projectiles, or substances (matières) which may cause unnecessary suffering, as well as the use of the projectiles prohibited by the Declaration of St. Petersburg in 1868.
(1) Abuse of the flag of truce, the national flag, or the military insignia or uniform of the enemy, as well as the distinctive badges of the Geneva Convention.
(8) All destruction or seizure of the property of the enemy which is not imperatively required by the necessity of war.
XIV. Stratagems (ruses de guerre), and the employment of means necessary to procure intelligence respecting the enemy or the country (terrain) (subject to the provisions of Article XXXVI), are considered as lawful means.
XV. Fortified places are alone liable to be seized. Towns, agglomerations of houses, or villages, which are open and undefended, can not be attacked or bombarded.
XVI. But if a town or fortress, agglomeration of houses, or villages be defended, the commander of the attacking forces should, before commencing a bombardment, and except in the case of surprise, do all in his power to warn the authorities.
XVII. In the like case all necessary steps should be taken to spare, as far as possible, buildings devoted to religion, arts, sciences, and charity, hospitals and places where sick and wounded are collected, on condition that they are not used at the same time for military purposes.
It is the duty of the besieged to indicate these buildings by special visible signs to be notified beforehand by the besieged.
XVIII. A town taken by storm shall not be given up to the victorious troops to plunder.
XIX. No one shall be considered as a spy but those who, acting secretly or under false pretenses, collect, or try to collect, information in districts occupied by the enemy with the intention of communicating it to the opposing force.
XX. A spy if taken in the act shall be tried and treated according to the laws in force in the army which captures him.
XXI. If a spy who rejoins the army to which he belongs is subsequently captured by the enemy, he is to be treated as a prisoner of war, and incurs no responsibility for his previous acts.
XXII. Military men (les militaires) who have penetrated within the zone of operations of the enemy's army, with the intention of collecting information, are not considered as spies if it has been possible to recognize their military character.
In like manner military men and also nonmilitary persons carrying out their mission openly) charged with the transmission of dispatches either to their own army or to that of the enemy, shall not be considered as spies if captured by the enemy.
To this class belong, also, if captured, individuals sent in balloons to carry dispatches, and generally to keep up communications between the different parts of an army, or of a territory.
XXIII. Prisoners of war are lawful and disarmed enemies. They are in the power of the enemy's government, but not of the individuals or of the corps who made them prisoners.
They should be treated with humanity.
Every act of insubordination authorizes the necessary measures of severity to be taken with regard to them.
All their personal effects except their arms are considered to be their own property.
XXIV. Prisoners of war are liable to internment in a town, fortress, camp, or in any locality whatever, under an obligation not to go beyond certain fixed limits; but they may not be placed in confinement (enfermés) unless absolutely necessary as a measure of security.
XXV. Prisoners of war may be employed on certain public works which have no immediate connection with the operations on the theater of war, provided the employment be not excessive, nor humiliating to their military rank, if they belong to the army, or to their official or social position, if they do not belong to it.
They may also, subject to such regulations as may be drawn up by the military authorities, undertake private work.
The pay they receive will go towards ameliorating their position or will
be placed to their credit at the time of their release. In this case the cost of their maintenance may be deducted from their pay.
XXVI. Prisoners of war can not be compelled in any way to take any part whatever in carrying on the operations of the war.
XXVII. The government, in whose power are the prisoners of war, undertakes to provide for their maintenance.
The conditions of such maintenance may be settled by a mutual understanding between the belligerents.
In default of such an understanding, and as a general principle, prisoners of war shall be treated, as regards food and clothing, on the same footing as the troops of the government who made them prisoners.
XXVIII. Prisoners of war are subject to the laws and regulations in force in the army in whose power they are.
Arms may be used, after summoning, against a prisoner attempting to escape. If retaken, he is subject to summary punishment (peines disci plinaires) or to a stricter surveillance.
If, after having escaped, he is again made prisoner, he is not liable to any punishment for his previous escape.
XXIX. Every prisoner is bound to declare, if interrogated on the point, his true name and rank, and in the case of his infringing this rule he will incur a restriction of the advantages granted to the prisoners of the class to which he belongs.
XXX. The exchange of prisoners of war is regulated by mutual agreement between belligerents.
XXXI. Prisoners of war may be released on parole if the laws of their country allow it, and in such a case they are bound on their personal honor to fulfill scrupulously, as regards their own government, as well as that which made them prisoners, the engagements they have undertaken.
In the same case their own government should neither demand nor accept from them any service contrary to their parole.
XXXII. A prisoner of war can not be forced to accept release on parole, nor is the enemy's government obliged to comply with the request of a prisoner claiming to be released on parole.
XXXIII. Every prisoner of war liberated on parole, and retaken carrying arms against the government to which he had pledged his honor, may be deprived of the rights accorded to prisoners of war, and may be brought before the tribunals.
XXXIV. Persons in the vicinity of armies, but who do not directly form part of them, such as correspondents, newspaper reporters, "vivandiers,” contractors, etc., may also be made prisoners of war.
These persons should, however, be furnished with a permit issued by a competent authority, as well as with a certificate of identity.