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to render it urgently necessary to impress respect for the law upon the enemy Reprisals, the occasional necessity of which is to be deplored, are an exceptional practice, at variance with the general principles that the innocent must not suffer for the guilty, and that every belligerent ought to conform to the laws of war, even without reciprocity on the part of the enemy. The right to use reprisals is tempered by the following restrictions : —
85. Reprisals are forbidden whenever the wrong which has afforded ground of complaint has been repaired.
86. In the grave cases in which reprisals become an imperative necessity, their nature and scope must never exceed the measure of the infraction of the laws of war committed by the enemy.
They can only be made with the authorization of the commander in chief.
They must, in all cases, be consistent with the rules of humanity and morality.
CONFERENCE AT BRUSSELS, 1874, ON THE
RULES OF MILITARY WARFARE 1
OF THE RIGHTS OF BELLIGERENTS ONE TOWARD THE OTHER
CHAPTER I. Of Military Authority over the Hostile State
ARTICLE 1. 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.
ART. 2. 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.
ART. 3. With this object he will maintain the laws which were in force in the country in time of peace, and will only modify, suspend, or replace them by others if necessity obliges him to do so.
ART. 4. 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 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.
1 The modified text alone is given. The entire report of the proceedings by Sir A. Horsford will be found in 2 Lorimer, 337 et seq.
ART. 5. 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.
Art. 6. The army occupying a territory shall take possession only of the specie, the funds, and bills, etc., which are the actual property of the state; 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 cannot 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 of peace.
ART. 7. 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, and to administer them according to the laws of usufruct.
ART. 8. The property of parishes, of 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.
CHAPTER II. Of those who are to be recognized as Bellig
erents; of Combatants and Non-combatants ART. 9. The laws, rights, and duties of war are appli. cable 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 form the whole or part of the army, they shall be included under the denomination of “ army.”
Art. 10. The population of a non-occupied 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 9, shall be considered as belligerents, if they respect the laws and customs of war.
Art. 11. The armed forces of the belligerents may be composed of combatants and non-combatants. In the event of being captured by the enemy, both one and the other shall enjoy the rights of prisoners of war.
CHAPTER III. Of the Means of injuring the Enemy; of those
which are permitted or should be forbidden ART. 12. The laws of war do not allow to belligerents an unlimited power as to the choice of means of injuring the enemy.
ART. 13. According to this principle are strictly forbidden: (a) The use of poison or poisoned weapons. (6) Murder by treachery of individuals belonging to the
hostile nation or army.
(C) Murder of an antagonist who, having laid down his
arms, or having 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 which may
cause unnecessary suffering, as well as the use of the projectiles prohibited by the declaration of St.
Petersburg in 1868. (f) 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. (g) All destruction or seizure of the property of the enemy
which is not imperatively required by the necessity
of war. Art. 14. Stratagems and the employment of means necessary to procure intelligence respecting the enemy or the country (subject to the provisions of Art. 36), are considered as lawful means.
CHAPTER IV. Of Sieges and Bombardments ART. 15. Fortified places are alone liable to be besieged. Towns, agglomerations of houses or villages, which are open and undefended, cannot be attacked or bombarded.
Art. 16. But if a town or fortress, agglomeration of houses, or village 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.
Art. 17. 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.
1 See Glenn, 373; Holls, “ Hague Peace Conference,” 457.