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ENEMY VESSELS AND AIRCRAFT EXEMPT FROM ATTACK
    SECTION III : ENEMY VESSELS AND AIRCRAFT EXEMPT FROM ATTACK

    Classes of vessels exempt from attack

    47. The following classes of enemy vessels are exempt from attack:

    (a) hospital ships;
    (b) small craft used for coastal rescue operations and other medical transports;
    (c) vessels granted safe conduct by agreement between the belligerent parties including:
    (i) cartel vessels, e.g., vessels designated for and engaged in the transport of prisoners of war;
    (ii) vessels engaged in humanitarian missions, including vessels carrying supplies indispensable to the
    survival of the civilian population, and vessels engaged in relief actions and rescue operations;
    (d) vessels engaged in transporting cultural property under special protection;
    (e) passenger vessels when engaged only in carrying civilian passengers;
    (f) vessels charged with religious, non-military scientifc or philanthropic missions, vessels collecting scientific data of likely military applications are not protected;
    (g) small coastal fishing vessels and small boats engaged in local coastal trade, but they are subject to the regulations of a belligerent naval commander operating in the area and to inspection;
    (h) vessels designated or adapted exclusively for responding to pollution incidents in the marine environment;
    (i) vessels which have surrendered;
    (ij) life rafts and life boats.

    Conditions of exemption

    48. Vessels listed in paragraph 47 are exempt from attack only if they:

    (a) are innocently employed in their normal role;
    (b) submit to identification and inspection when required; and
    (c) do not intentionally hamper the movement of combatants and obey orders to stop or move out of the way when required.

    Loss of exemption

    Hospital ships
    49 The exemption from attack of a hospital ship may cease only by reason of a breach of a condition of exemption in paragraph 48 and, in such a case, only after due warning has been given naming in all appropriate cases a reasonable time limit to discharge itself of the cause endangering its exemption, and after such warning has remained unheeded.

    50. If after due warning a hospital ship persists in breaking a condition of its exemption, it renders itself liable to capture or other necessary measures to enforce compliance.

    51. A hospital ship may only be attacked as a last resort if:

    (a) diversion or capture is not feasible;
    (b) no other method is available for exercising military control;
    (c) the circumstances of non-compliance are sufficiently grave that the hospital ship has become, or may be reasonably assumed to be, a military objective; and
    (d) the collateral casualties or damage will not be disproportionate to the military advantage gained or expected.

    All other categories of vessels exempt from attack
    52. If any other class of vessel exempt from attack breaches any of the conditions of its exemption in paragraph 48, it may be attacked only if:

    (a) diversion or capture is not feasible;
    (b) no other method is available for exercising military control;
    (c) the circumstances of non-compliance are sufficiently grave that the vessel has become, or may be reasonably assumed to be, a military objective; and
    (d) the collateral casualties or damage will not be disproportionate to the military advantage gained or expected.

    Classes of aircraft exempt from attack

    53. The following classes of enemy aircraft are exempt from attack:

    (a) medical aircraft;
    (b) aircraft granted safe conduct by agreement between the parties to the conflicts; and
    (c) civil airliners.

    Conditions of exemption for medical aircraft

    54. Medical aircraft are exempt from attack only if they:

    (a) have been recognized as such;
    (b) are acting in compliance with an agreement as specified in paragraph 177;
    (c) fly in areas under the control of own or friendly forces; or
    (d) fly outside the area of armed conflict.

    In other instances, medical aircraft operate at their own risk.

    Conditions of exemption for aircraft granted safe conduct

    55. Aircraft granted safe conduct are exempt from attack only if they:

    (a) are innocently employed in their agreed role;
    (b) do not intentionally hamper the movements of combatants; and
    (c) comply with the details of the agreement, including availability for inspection.

    Conditions of exemption for civil airliners

    56. Civil airliners are exempt from attack only if they:

    (a) are innocently employed in their normal role; and
    (b) do not intentionally hamper the movements of combatants.

    Loss of exemption

    57. If aircraft exempt from attack breach any of the applicable conditions of their exemption as set forth in paragraphs 54-56, they may be attacked only if:

    (a) diversion for landing, visit and search, and possible capture, is not feasible;
    (b) no other method is available for exercising military control;
    (c) the circumstances of non-compliance are sufficiently grave that the aircraft has become, or may be reasonably assumed to be, a military objective; and
    (d) the collateral casualties or damage will not be disproportionate to the military advantage gained or anticipated.

    58. In case of doubt whether a vessel or aircraft exempt from attack is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be so used.


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