Is the Geneva Convention fit for purpose?

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I'm posting this off the back of the Al Blackman thread, as the point has come up that the GC seems to increasingly being applied to non-uniformed combatants - what we used to be allowed to call 'terrorists'.

I'm not for repealing the Convention. I feel that while there is a case for meeting fire with fire, and doing things that are understood by often barbaric opponents, there is also a case that we need to preserve our own morals and humanity.

But have we reached a point where political considerations are clouding the language and intent? Are the sharks in the legal profession skewing the honourable intentions of the GC, other conventions and, indeed the statute books? Is this an ideological thing, or is it profiteering?

Thoughts?
 
I think it needs looking at, especially as it becomes more conflicts seem to be engaged under these conditions. I am not an expert and there are far more learned individuals than me on here. From what I saw of the Blackman video he deliberately killed an individual, however if he shouted GRENADE or left the bloke to bleed out he would have been fine.

The other issue is that you have to treat an individual as a civilian even if you know that the individual was trying to put a round through you 10 minutes earlier.

Now is this a subject for theatre ROE or a substantial change to the GC I don't know.
 
**** Blackman, hes yesterdays news, the Convention needs to scrap the rules that officers dont have to do manual work in captivity, the lazy cnuts.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
**** Blackman, hes yesterdays news, the Convention needs to scrap the rules that officers dont have to do manual work in captivity, the lazy cnuts.
But then the whole "Don't call me Sir, I work for a living" comes into dispute. Imagine the outrage of generations of NCO's...
 
Is there actually such a thing as THE Geneva Convention?

I thought we now talked about the ‘LAWS of Armed Conflict’?
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Is there actually such a thing as THE Geneva Convention?

I thought we now talked about the ‘LAWS of Armed Conflict’?
Well, follow the spirit of the thread - you can see what I'm trying to get at, I hope.

Certainly in training we were always taught about the Geneva Convention.
 
I'm posting this off the back of the Al Blackman thread, as the point has come up that the GC seems to increasingly being applied to non-uniformed combatants - what we used to be allowed to call 'terrorists'.
What happens when the non-uniformed combatant doesn't have a uniform because they're part of a legitimate resistance to an act of foreign invasion; or a legitimate separatist group which can't afford uniformity?

We were quite happy backing the UCK even though they didn't get their procurement shit together until late in the game. We'd also have the issue of the various Ukrainian/Donbass groups who started out clad similarly.
 

Chalkster69

Old-Salt
What happens when the non-uniformed combatant doesn't have a uniform because they're part of a legitimate resistance to an act of foreign invasion; or a legitimate separatist group which can't afford uniformity?
Pretty sure there are relatives in France, Holland & Belgium who will tell you what status civilians fighting against their invaders were accorded.
 
Pretty sure there are relatives in France, Holland & Belgium who will tell you what status civilians fighting against their invaders were accorded.
Accorded by the people we hanged for acting on that status, wasn't it?
 
The Geneva Convention as is today was established in 1949 so a bit late for the Resistance fighters of WW2. It did however dictate how we treated the combatants in NI, also the GC is only of use if both sides are willing to abide by it, and the problem with ISIS, Al Qaeda, PIRA, IRA, INLA etc. etc. is that they couldn't give a monkey's about the GC or how it operates.
 
I think there has to be a recognisable uniform or insignia to be worn at all times by civilians engaging in combat. They must also show correct treatment of enemy wounded and pows.
Failure to demonstrate the above and you've lucked out if your caught . If on the other hand you abide by the above then it's full GC for you.
 
What happens when the non-uniformed combatant doesn't have a uniform because they're part of a legitimate resistance to an act of foreign invasion; or a legitimate separatist group which can't afford uniformity?

We were quite happy backing the UCK even though they didn't get their procurement shit together until late in the game. We'd also have the issue of the various Ukrainian/Donbass groups who started out clad similarly.
Long time since I last did LOAC but my memory of it is to be a 'lawful combatant' that you had to carry your arms openly before, during and after contacts and wear some form of identifying uniform or symbol. So something as simple as all of you wearing a piece of the same coloured cloth tied round your arm does the job.

It's the pretending to be a civilian until you decide that you want to attack again that is naughty.
 
Well, follow the spirit of the thread - you can see what I'm trying to get at, I hope.

Certainly in training we were always taught about the Geneva Convention.
Common Article 3 of the GC addresses the conduct of armed conflict that is contained within the borders of a single country and which is thus applicable to terrorist incidents on home soil.

Here it outlines that basic protection is provided to people taking no part in hostilities including (my emphasis) military personnel who have been rendered inactive due to wounding.

It also provides that the wounded should be collected and cared for.

However, Common Article 3 tends to be brief on specifics and since international law did not apply to internal conflicts, Protocol II was develped (with substantial input from UK law) and signed off by the UK in 1977 in order to ensure humanitarian rights and the principles of international laws of armed conflict to apply in cases of internal conflicts within sovereign states.

Moreover there continues to be a prohibition (Article 4) that applies to both international and do estic conflict in that it is illegal to issue an order that there are to be no survivors.

ETA Protocol ii also makes reference to the application of Article 6 to prisoners including those convicted of a criminal offence arising out of the conflict to the extent that arrangements for their release or amnesty should be expedited at the cessation of the conflict.
 
Just lifted this verbatim from the GC

An unlawful combatant, illegal combatant or unprivileged combatant/belligerent is a person who directly engages in armed conflict in violation of the laws of war or is fighting outside of internationally recognized military forces. An unlawful combatant may be detained or prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action
 
But then the whole "Don't call me Sir, I work for a living" comes into dispute. Imagine the outrage of generations of NCO's...
As I'm not a liar I never said that in my entire career.
 
also the GC is only of use if both sides are willing to abide by it, and the problem with ISIS, Al Qaeda, PIRA, IRA, INLA etc. etc. is that they couldn't give a monkey's about the GC or how it operates.
The GCs also outlaw the use of incendiary weapons against personnel.

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It's the pretending to be a civilian until you decide that you want to attack again that is naughty.
So long as you conducted the actual attack in 'uniform', getting within range dressed as a civvy is a legitimate ruse of war.

Of course, that's fine for state actors but what about when your 'state' is defined by the invaders you're trying to evict?
 

Chalkster69

Old-Salt
Accorded by the people we hanged for acting on that status, wasn't it?
Did we hang anyone for executing members of the Resistance caught whilst bearing arms?
 
There’s a Swiss agency looking at getting non-state actors signed up to international law.

They tend to have more ‘success’* with entities that are looking for international support, such as the various non state armed groups in Myanmar


* your definition of success may vary
 

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