As of 27 June 2006, when Nauru adopted the convention, it has been ratified by 194 countries.
Protected person is the most important definition in this section because many of the articles in the rest of GCIV only apply to Protected persons.
Article 5 is currently one of the most controversial articles of GCIV, because it forms, (along with Article 5 of the GCIII and parts of GCIV Article 4,) the current government of the United States' interpretation of unlawful combatants.
Article 33. No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.
Pillage is prohibited.
Reprisals against protected persons and their property are prohibited.
Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions collective punishments are a war crime. By collective punishment, the drafters of the Geneva Conventions had in mind the reprisal killings of World Wars I and II. In the First World War, Germans executed Belgian villagers in mass retribution for resistance activity. In World War II, Nazis carried out a form of collective punishment to suppress resistance. Entire villages or towns or districts were held responsible for any resistance activity that took place there. The conventions, to counter this, reiterated the principle of individual responsibility. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Commentary to the conventions states that parties to a conflict often would resort to "intimidatory measures to terrorize the population" in hopes of preventing hostile acts, but such practices "strike at guilty and innocent alike. They are opposed to all principles based on humanity and justice."
Additional Protocol II of 1977 explicitly forbids collective punishment. But as fewer states have ratified this protocol than GCIV, GCIV Article 33. is the one more commonly quoted.
Article 49. The second paragraph of Article 49 provides that persons displaced during armed conflict must be transferred back to their homes as soon as hostilities in the area in question have ceased. This right of displaced persons is often referred to as the "right of return" and has been reaffirmed in later international treaties and conventions. State Practice also establishes this rule as a norm of customary international law, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
D.C. Circuit rules that Geneva Convention of 1949 does not confer upon enemy combatant alleged to have fought for al-Qaeda any right to enforce its provisions in federal court.
Aug 01, 2005; In November 2001, Afghani military forces captured Salim Ahmed Hamdan and turned him over to the American military, which sent...
German High Court holds that German courts have jurisdiction not only over crimes of genocide committed in Bosnia but also over other serious crimes committed during ethnic persecutions based on fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.
Apr 01, 2001; In a case of first impression, the German High Court (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH), Third Criminal Chamber, has decided that German...