• Send page
  • Print page

Red Cross law

31-10-1995 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 308, by François Bugnion

 François Bugnion,   Arts graduate and Doctor of Political Science, entered the service of the ICRC in 1970. He served the institution in Israel and the occupied territories (1970-1972), in Bangladesh (1973-1974) and more briefly in Turkey and Cyprus (1974), Chad (1978), Viet Nam and Cambodia (1979). Since 1989, he has been Deputy Director on the ICRC Department for Principles, Law and Relations with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. He is the author of: Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge et la protection des victimes de la guerre (ICRC, Geneva, 1994).  

    

 1. Introduction  

The International Committee is a Red Cross institution. It takes part in the deliberations of the International Conferences and other statutory bodies of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement of which it is the founder; but it may also be subject to rules laid down by those statutory bodies.[1 ]

What is the impact of the rules and resolutions adopted by the Movement's statutory bodies vis-à-vis the ICRC, the National Societies and their Federation on the one hand, and the States party to the Geneva Conventions on the other? In any study of the formal sources of the rules applicable to the International Committee in current humanitaian law, these questions must be examined.

As the Red Cross issued from a private initiative, one might see " Red Cross law " - meaning all the rules drawn up by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement - as an autonomous legal system having no relevance to international law. But this would be quite wrong.

Indeed, despite the essentially private origins of the Movement's constituent parts - the National Societies, the ICRC and the Federation - there can be no denying that the deliberations and actions of the International Red Cross are of concern to public international law. Three points should be made:

(a) The States party to the Geneva Conventions take part in the Movement's International Conferences; they are represented by delegates with sufficient powers for them to participate in the debates and to vote in accordance with the instructions of their governments; these delegates therefore legitimately represent the States whose official position they put forward; the participation of government delegates gives the International Conferences an element of public authority which cannot be disregarded by international law;[2 ]

(b) the Red Cross and Red Crescent institutions are subject to rules of public international law and carry out activities that are governed by the law of nations; because of this, it may be argued that they possess some measure of international legal personality;

(c) the Red Cross and Red Crescent institutions themselves contribute to the formation of international humanitarian law, both by their activities and by the drafting of legal instruments which are then submitted to diplomatic conferences.

It can there fore be concluded that, although the Red Cross and Red Crescent institutions are governed essentially by private law, by virtue of their composition and their statutes, their actions, and in particular the proceedings of the International Conferences, have a certain relevance to public international law. Consequently, it must be determined what impact the actions of the Movement have on its members on the one hand and on the States party to the Geneva Conventions on the other.

Before considering these questions, a reminder of the composition and attributions of the statutory bodies of the International Red Cross is in order.

 2. The statutory bodies of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement  

From the outset, the Red Cross differed from other charitable organizations that flourished during the second half of the nineteenth century in two basic respects: the permanent nature and the international aspirations of the institutions set up on the basis of the resolutions adopted at the Geneva Conference of October 1863 which gave birth to the Red Cross.

In order to preserve the bonds of solidarity that united them across national borders, the Red Cross Societies were to meet regularly, as laid down by Article 9 of the 1863 resolutions:

" The Committees and Sections of different countries may meet in international assemblies to communicate the results of their experience and to agree on measures to be taken in the interest of the work " .[3 ]

The International Committee, as promoter of the Red Cross and guardian of its Fundamental Princples, has always played an active part in such assemblies; the League, as the federation of the National Societies, took part from 1921.

Moreover, from the v ery start the Red Cross has placed its work in the context of international relations and the law of nations.

To achieve its aims, therefore, the Red Cross needed to associate the States with its activities. This was done at two levels: nationally, each central committee was expected " to get in touch with the Government of its country, so that its services may be accepted should the occasion arise " ;[4 ] while at the international level the States party to the Geneva Convention were invited to take part in the International Conferences of the Red Cross and did so from the very first, which was held in Paris in 1867.

All these factors led to the present composition of the International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Under the Statutes adopted by the Thirteenth Conference (The Hague, 1928), revised by the Eighteenth (Toronto, 1952) and again by the Twentyfifth (Geneva, 1986),[5 ] the International Conference is made up of the following:

- delegations from duly recognized National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies;

- delegations from the International Committee of the Red Cross and from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies;

- delegations from the States party to the Geneva Conventions.

The International Conference is the Movement's supreme deliberative body; as a rule, it meets every four years.

The delegations from the National Societies, the ICRC, the Federation and the States party to the Geneva Conventions are all entitled to play a full part in the proceedings and the voting; each delegation has one vote.[6 ]

From the time of the Second International Conference of the Red Cross (which met in Berlin in 1869) onwards, National Society delegates were asked to come with precise instructions and sufficient authority to be able to exercise their right to vote.[7 ] Likewise, it has always been acknowledged that the government delegates are not acting in a personal capacity, but on behalf of the States whose official position they express through their statements and ballots.[8 ]

While the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is essentially a nongovernmental international association, the participation of government representatives at the International Conference gives the meeting a mixed status, both private and public. The composition of the Conference also reflects upon the impact of its resolutions:

" The votes of government representatives transform what was originally a private matter into a semiprivate legal act, of a mixed nature: Conference resolutions thus impinge on the sphere of public international law because of the status of those who drafted and approved them, and any obligations they may contain may be binding on States, to an extent to be determined later".  

    

The Movement's other statutory bodies are the Council of Delegates and the Standing Commission.

The Council of Delegates is made up of representatives of the National Societies, the ICRC and the Federation; it must meet at the time of every International Conference and may also meet between Conferences.[10 ] As it comprises only representatives of Red Cross and Red Crescent institutions, the Council is the forum in which questions directly concerning the Movement can be discussed. Moreover, several particularly important matters have been given their first airing at the Council of Delegates before being submitted to the Conference.[11 ]

The Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent consists of nine members, five elec ted in a personal capacity by the International Conference, two representatives of the ICRC and two of the Federation; as a rule it meets twice a year. Its duties are essentially of a procedural nature.[12 ]

In examining the formal sources of the rules applicable to the International Committee in current humanitarian law, consideration must be given first and foremost to resolutions of the International Conferences. However, before seeking to gauge the legal impact of these resolutions, close attention must be paid to two instruments which, because of their constitutive and fundamental nature, occupy a special place: the Movement's Statutes and its Fundamental Principles.

 3. The Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement [13 ]

 Origins  

Up until the end of the First World War, the legal structure of the Red Cross was relatively slender, consisting of the resolutions of the founding Conference of October 1863, which the ICRC and the National Societies considered binding, a few resolutions of a regulatory nature adopted by International Conferences of the Red Cross, and by a number of tacit rules imposed by the nature and aims of its work. Each International Conference adopted its own rules of procedure, using previous ones as a guide. Thus at the statutory level the International Red Cross was governed by rules that were to a large extent customary.

With the founding of the League of Red Cross Societies arose the question of the Movement's organization at the international level. During lengthy negotiations, not always very cordial, vain attempts were made to merge the ICRC and the League. Nothing came of this. The ICRC was adamant in preserving its independence, which it believed was essential for its work, while several Nation al Societies insisted on maintaining a federative body which they had a hand in running. Despite its drawbacks, the " two-headed " structure was maintained.

This coexistence of two bodies at the international level necessitated a rational sharing of tasks and responsibilities, as well as a clear demarcation between the position of the ICRC and that of the League within the Movement. The Red Cross as a whole had to adopt a statutory structure designed to safeguard the unity of the Movement and harmonize the activities of the National Societies, the ICRC and the League.

A set of draft statutes, drawn up by Professor Max Huber, then a member of the Committee, and by Colonel Draudt, VicePresident of the League, was adopted by the Thirteenth International Conference of the Red Cross at The Hague in October 1928.[14 ] These statutes were revised by the Eighteenth International Conference (Toronto, July-August 1952), but their basic tenor remained unchanged.[15 ]

Although for the most part the statutes of the International Red Cross did no more than confirm the status quo , the delegates meeting in The Hague firmly believed that they had laid the foundations of a veritable international organization by giving the Red Cross statutory bodies having defined powers.

Indeed, those statutes stood the test of time, and for more than half a century they provided the framework for the Movement's development.

However, in April 1982 the League's Executive Council set up a working group which was asked to " undertake a detailed study with a view to revising the Statutes of the International Red Cross " .[16 ] Although the ICRC was quite satisfied with the statutes then in force, it agreed to take part in this enterprise.

The draft statutes drawn up by the joint ICRC/League working group drew largely on the Toronto revision.[17 ]

The balance between the Movement's components was not altered, but the powers and tasks of the various bodies were more clearly defined; the price of this was that the statutes became more wordy, as not even the Red Cross was immune from the rampant verbosity endemic among international organizations.

The new Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement were adopted by consensus at the Twentyfifth International Conference of the Red Cross, meeting in Geneva in October 1986.[18 ]

 Content  

The preamble, which we shall come back to later, recalls the mission and Fundamental Principles of the Movement.

Article 1 gives various definitions; Article 2 is addressed to governments and reminds the States party to the Geneva Conventions that they have undertaken to cooperate with the components of the Movement.

Article 3 defines the role of the National Societies, and the conditions for their recognition are given in Article 4.

Article 5 defines the role of the International Committee, Article 6 that of the Federation. Cooperation between them, and within the Movement, is dealt with in Article 7.

Articles 8 to 11 lay down the definition, composition, functions and procedure of the International Conference; Articles 12 to 15 do the same for the Council of Delegates, and Articles 16 to 19 for the Standing Commission.

Article 20 sets conditions for amending the Statutes; their entry into force (8 November 1986) is given in Article 21.[19 ]

Article 5 is of direct concern to this study; its wording is as follows:

" 1. The International Committee, founded in Geneva in 1863 and formally recognized in the Geneva Conventions and by International Conferences of the Red Cross, is an independent humanitarian organization having a status of its own. It coopts its members from among Swiss citizens.  

    

 2. The role of the International Committee, in accordance with its Statutes, is in particular:  

 a) to maintain and disseminate the Fundamental Principles of the Movement, namely humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality;  

    

 b) to recognize any newly established or reconstituted National Society, which fulfils the condition for recognition set out in Article 4, and to notify other National Societies of such recognition;  

    

 c) to undertake the tasks incumbent upon it under the Geneva Conventions, to work for the faithful application of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts and to take cognizance of any complaints based on alleged breaches of that law;  

    

 d) to endeavour at all times as a neutral institution whose humanitarian work is carried out particularly in time of international and other armed conflicts or internal strife $ to ensure the protection of and assistance to military and civilian victims of such events and of their direct results;  

    

 e) to ensure the operation of the Central Tracing Agency as provided in the Geneva Conventions;  

    

 f) to contribute, in anticipation of armed conflicts, to the training of medical personnel and the preparation of medical equipmet, in cooperation with the National Societies, the military and civilian medical services and other competent authorities;  

    

 g) to work for the understanding and dissemination of knowledge of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts and to prepare any development thereof;  

    

 h) to carry out mandates entrusted to it by the International Conference.  

    

 3. The International Committee may take any humanitarian initiative which comes within its role as a specifically neutral and independent institution and intermediary, and may consider any question requiring examination by such an institution.  

    

 4.a) It shall maintain close contact with National Societies. In agreement with them, it shall cooperate in matters of common concern, such as their preparation for action in times of armed conflict, respect for and development and ratification of the Geneva Conventions, and the dissemination of the Fundamental Principles and international humanitarian law.  

    

 b) In situations foreseen in paragraph 2 d) of this Article and requiring coordinated assistance from National Societies of other countries, the International Committee, in cooperation with the National Society of the country or countries concerned, shall coordinate such assistance in accordance with the agreements concluded with the League.  

    

 5. Within the framework of the present Statutes and subject to the provisions of Articles 3, 6 and 7, the International Committee shall maintain close contact with the League and cooperate with it in matters of common concern.  

    

 6. It shall also maintain relations with governmental authorities and any national or international institution whose assistance it considers useful".[20]  

    

It will be seen that the Movement's new Statutes do not give the International Committee any powers that it did not exercise previously. Article 5 can therefore be considered as codifying wellestablished practice.

 Legal effects  

The constitutive instrument of an organization always has two aspects: a contractual aspect, since it is an agreement between the parties concerned, and a constitutional aspect , since it provides the framework that enables the organization to function. The obligatory force of these rules arises directly from the constitutive aspect of the instrument in question: if the rules were not binding on the parties, the organization could not exist:

" The constitutive instrument states in a mandatory fashion the rights and obligations of the members and determines the powers of the statutory bodies; its obligatory nature necessarily stems from its constitutive status since, by the will of the parties, it creates an association".[21]  

In the case of the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, however, the diverse nature of the bodies bound by the rules must be taken into account. The legal implications of the Statutes must be examined separately in relation to the Movement's members on the one hand, and in relation to the States party to the Geneva Conventions on the other.

The ICRC, the National Societies and their Federation all stem from private initiative. There are no particular conditions for an association between organizations of this kind; all that is required is their agreement.[22 ] A relief organization that refused to adhere to the Movement's Statutes could not be recognized as a Red Cross or Red Crescent institution and could in no circumstances become a member of the Movement.[23 ] Nor could the members of the Movement demand of a new National Society that it abide by conditions that they themselves were not bound to observe.[24 ] The Statuts are binding in all respects on every member of the Movement.

The question becomes more complex in regard to the States party to the Geneva Conventions. The Statutes were not adopted in the usual manner laid down in the law of treaties, but as a resolution - or decision - of an International Conference of the Red Cross. They therefore do not have the status of an international treaty, but this does not detract from their obligatory nature; States, after all, are free to give their assent in any way they see fit. By voting for the Statutes, they contributed to the adoption of a legal instrument enshrining the existence of the International Red Cross and establishing the statutory basis of a Movement with which they are closely linked:

 "The fact that the Statutes were not adopted as a treaty does not mean that States are not bound by them: governments are free to give their consent in any way they choose. Although the Statutes were not adopted in the form of an international treaty, they nevertheless constitute an international instrument which, by its nature, binds the States".[25]  

Moreover, it would be absurd for States to take part in the establishment of statutory rules imposing obligations on members of the Movement - the ICRC, the Federation and the National Societies - without admitting that the rules are binding on them as well.

In any event, whether or not they were party to the adoption of the Statutes, States that take part in the International Conference recognize the obligatory nature of the statutory rules of the Movement, of which the Conference is an organ; otherwise their attendance would be about as logical as the presence at a sporting event of a competitor who refused to accept the rules of the competition. They are therefore precluded from challenging the obligatory nature of the Statutes therefore also arises from debarment.

These conclusions are confirmed by practice. The fact is that government delegations have never claimed, either in 1928 or later, that States were not bound by the Statutes.[26 ] Quite the contrary: in accepting the Movement's new Statutes, the States party to the Geneva Conventions explicitly undertook to cooperate with the Movement's components in accordance with the Conventions, the Statutes and the resolutions of the International Conference.[27 ]

We can therefore conclude, along with Richard Perruchoud, that:

" By their vote, the States recognized the existence of the International Red Cross (...). Consequently, the Statutes apply to them in their entirety, both the provisions defining the authority of the Movement's statutory bodies and those specifying the attributions of the ICRC or the League". [28 ]

The International Committee is thus entitled to insist on the recognition by the States party to the Geneva Conventions of the powers it has been granted by the Movement's Statutes.

 4. The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent [29 ]

 Origins  

From the very start, the Red Cross was aware of following a number of basic principles dictated by the institution's aims and by the nature of the activities it proposed to carry out.

To a large extent these principles were expressed in the Resolutions and Recommendations of the 1863 Conference, and in Article 6 of the Geneva Convention of 22 August 1864, which stated:

" Wounded or sick combatants, to whatever nation they may belong, shall be collected and cared for".  

    

From then on there were countless references to the funamen tal principles of the Red Cross: in 1869, the Berlin Conference asked the International Committee to ensure the principles were upheld and disseminated.[30 ] New National Societies, in order to be accepted as members of the Movement, had to adhere to the fundamental principles of the Red Cross.[31 ] The existence of these principles was accepted and their authority recognized.

On the other hand, for almost a century little effort was made to establish a coherent and universally accepted definition of the principles.

A first attempt was made in 1874, by Gustave Moynier. Noting that the Red Cross Societies were linked by " the pledge they had made to conduct themselves according to certain common rules " , Moynier distinguished four main principles:

centralization , meaning that there could be only one Society in each country; it had to extend its work throughout the national territory;

preparedness , which required each Society to take all necessary measures to be ready to work in the event of war;

mutuality , whereby each Society pledged to help all wounded and sick with equal urgency, whatever their nationality;

solidarity , whereby the Societies undertook to help each other.[32 ]

When revising its own statutes after the First World War, the ICRC made the mention of four " fundamental and uniform principles which are at the basis of the Red Cross institution, namely: impartiality, political, religious and economic independence, the universality of the Red Cross and the equality of its members. " [33 ]

These principles are mentioned, in almost identical wording, in Article 10 of the " Conditions fo r the recognition of National Red Cross Societies " approved by the Seventeenth International Conference of the Red Cross (Stockholm, 1948),[34 ] and in Article VI, para. 2, of the Statutes of the International Red Cross, revised by the Toronto Conference in 1952.[35 ]

This statement of principles could not, however, be considered exhaustive. So even though the existence and compulsory nature of the fundamental principles was universally accepted, they remained largely undefined. The Red Cross unceasingly claimed to adhere to fundamental norms but appeared unwilling - or unable - to specify their content.

The League's Board of Governors took up the question after the Second World War. To the four existing principles they added thirteen others, in which the aims of the Red Cross, its fundamental principles and some rules of procedure were jumbled together.[36 ]

The Toronto Conference endorsed this new statement of principles, while stressing that the four original principles remained the cornerstone of the Red Cross - a remark that only added to the confusion.[37 ]

Since the process of formulating the fundamental principles of the Red Cross had been started, universally acceptable wording had to be found. The Standing Commission decided to set up a joint ICRC-League commission for the purpose. On the basis of the resolutions of past Conferences and the outstanding contribution made by Max Huber and Jean Pictet, the joint commission prepared a draft of seven articles which was sent to all National Societies and approved unanimously by the Council of Delegates, meeting in Prague in 1961.[38 ] The draft was then submitted to the Twentieth International Conferenc (Vienna, 1965), where it was adopted unanimously under the title " Proclamation of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross " .[39 ]

   

Since then, the Fundamental Principles - which are solemnly read out at the opening ceremony of each International Conference - have been recognized as the Movement's basic charter. Their authority has never been questioned.

These principles - whose wording has remained unaltered, save for the replacement of "Red Cross " by "International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement " - are now incorporated in the Movement's new Statutes.[40 ] Their position in the preamble underscores both their authority and their preeminence in what may be called " Red Cross law " .

 Content  

The Fundamental Principles should be quoted in their entirety:

" HUMANITY  

 The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, born of a desire to bring assistance without discrimination to the wounded on the battlefield, endeavours, in its international and national capacity, to prevent and alleviate human suffering wherever it may be found. Its purpose is to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being. It promotes mutual understanding, friendship, co-operation and lasting peace amongst all peoples.  

    

 IMPARTIALITY  

 It makes no discrimination as to nationality, race, religious beliefs, class or political opinions. It endeavours to relieve the suffering of individuals, being guided solely by their needs, and to give priority to the most urgent cases of distress.  

    

 NEUTRALITY  

 In order to continue to enjoy the confidence of all, the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.  

    

 INDEPENDENCE  

 The Movement is independent. The National Societies, while auxiliaries in the humanitarian services of their governments and subject to the laws of their respective countries, must always maintain their autonomy so that they may be able at all times to act in accordance with the principles of the Movement.  

    

 VOLUNTARY SERVICE  

 It is a voluntary relief movement not prompted in any manner by desire for gain.  

    

 UNITY  

 There can only be one Red Cross or one Red Crescent Society in any one country. It must be open to all. It must carry on its humanitarian work throughout its territory.  

    

 UNIVERSALITY  

 The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, in which all Societies have equal status and share equal responsibilities and duties in helping each other, is worldwide.[41]  

    

 Legal effects  

Consideration must now be given to the legal effects of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

The moral authority of the principles is unquestionabl, but this does not exempt them from being examined from the legal viewpoint. In looking into the formal sources of the rules governing the ICRC, it is crucial to determine their legal effects.

Once again, a distinction must be made between the position of the Red Cross and Red Crescent institutions on the one hand, and that of the States party to the Geneva Conventions on the other.

The binding force of the principles for the Movement stems from their fundamental character, from their unanimous acceptance as mandatory rules for the Movement's members and from their place in the set of rules making up " Red Cross law " .

Just like the Statutes, the Fundamental Principles form part of the constitutive rules of the Red Cross. At the regulatory level, they perform the same function as the Statutes do at the institutional level: they provide the cement without which the edifice of the Movement would fall apart. Even more than the statutory rules, the principles stand for belief in certain basic ideals which transcend not only national borders but also political, economic, religious, ideological and racial differences; they preserve the bond of solidarity without which the Movement would lose its meaning.

The principles'obligatory force is als o rooted in tradition. Although their wording is relatively recent, there is no doubt that their proclamation in 1965 was the expression of a conviction going back to the very beginnings of the Movement.

Last but not least, the principles are binding on the Red Cross and Red Crescent because they flow quite naturally from the Movement's essential purpose: take away the principle of humanity, and the Red Cross loses its raison d'être ; take away the other principles, and its work is paralysed.

There is no difficulty in proving that the Fundamental Principles are indeed mandatory. The tenth condition for the recognition of new National Societies states that an aspiring Society must " respect the Fundamental Principles of the Movement... " .[42 ] It would be contrary to those very principles, and in particular to that of the equality of National Societies, to impose rules on new Societies that were not binding on existing ones. As for the Federation, it could hardly exempt itself from rules that were binding on all its members. The International Committee, as guardian of the principles, obviously has to abide by them.

There is no doubt, therefore, that the Fundamental Principles proclaimed by the Twentieth International Conference, and reaffirmed by the Twentyfifth, are mandatory in their entirety for all Red Cross and Red Crescent bodies. They form a set of obligatory rules which the Movement could not renounce without dissolving itself.

The same does not hold true, however, for the States party to the Geneva Conventions. The wording of the 1965 proclamation and that of the preamble to the Statutes makes it quite clear that these are rules directed towards the Red Cross and Red Crescent institutions.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that States are totally unaffected by rules which they themselves approved una nimously.

Indeed, as the Fundamental Principles are referred to in treaty law, they may create obligations for States party to the Geneva Conventions. Article 44, para. 2, of the First Convention allows National Societies to use the red cross emblem in peacetime when carrying out activities that conform to the principles laid down by International Conferences of the Red Cross. Article 63 of the Fourth Convention states that an occupying power must, save for temporary and exceptional security measures, allow recognized National Societies to pursue their activities in accordance with Red Cross Principles, as defined by the International Red Cross Conferences. Similarly, Article 81 of Protocol I refers to the Fundamental Principles to define the facilities which parties to a conflict must grant to National Societies and the League;[43 ] during the drafting of the Protocol, it was made clear that this referred to the principles contained in the 1965 proclamation.[44 ]

But the States'obligations go beyond those set out in treaty law. It has to be accepted that they are bound in a more general sense; it would be inconceivable that States should take part in the adoption of rules binding on the Red Cross and Red Crescent institutions without acknowledging that those institutions have to obey the rules in question.

Is it possible to define the scope of this obligation? Any legal obligation can take one of the following three forms: an obligation to act, an obligation to refrain from acting, or an obligation to permit action. In the case of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the governments'obligation is of the third kind. Given the mandatory force of the principles for members of the Movement and their place in " Red Cross law " on the one hand, and the participation of governments in the adoption of the principles on the other, it is obvious that, quite apart from any treaty obligation, th e States are bound to allow Red Cross and Red Crescent bodies to act in accordance with the principles and to insist on this right being respected. If this were not the case, government support for the adoption of the principles would be meaningless.

So while the States themselves are not bound to adhere to the Fundamental Principles, they are obliged to allow Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations to do so. The principles may therefore be invoked against States party to the Geneva Conventions, and the Movement's organizations are within their rights to insist on respecting them.

This conclusion is supported by Article 2, para. 4, of the Movement's Statutes, which states:

" The States shall at all times respect the adherence by all the components of the Movement to the Fundamental Principles".[45]  

   

A recent example serves to illustrate the point.

Between 1970 and 1979 Cambodia, then called Kampuchea, was ravaged by a ferocious civil war, followed by a reign of terror imposed by fanatical revolutionaries; this regime was toppled in January 1979, leaving the country in an indescribable state of devastation. In the summer of 1979 the ICRC and UNICEF sent two delegates to Kampuchea to meet the new authorities and to lay the groundwork for a relief operation to save the Khmer people from imminent famine. Negotiations with the government of the People's Republic of Kampuchea had almost been completed when hundreds of thousands of Cambodian refugees fled towards Thailand. The ICRC and UNICEF decided to assist them, by distributing relief supplies not only to those who had crossed into Thailand but also to those who had gathered at the border, in areas that the Phnom Penh government did not control. The latter consider ed this to be unacceptable interference in the country's internal affairs and threatened to expel the joint ICRC/UNICEF mission unless it stopped the border operation immediately.[46 ] The two organizations were faced with a dilemma: either they ignored the pressing need to help people at the border, or they accepted the risk of a breakdown in relations with the Phnom Penh authorities, who exercised de facto control over most of the country and most of the population.

The International Committee assessed the problem primarily from the point of view of the Red Cross principles. On the basis of the principles of humanity and impartiality, it came to the following conclusions:

(a) it had not only the right but also the duty to bring protection and assistance to all victims of the conflict;

(b) the principle of impartiality obliged it to offer its services to every authority which exercised de facto control over the victims;

(c) no overnment was entitled to demand that the ICRC violate the Fundamental Red Cross Principles.

The Executive Director of UNICEF, having regard essentially to the principle of nondiscrimination, came to the same conclusions.

Delegates of the joint mission were instructed to explain this position to the Kampuchean authorities. While maintaining its opposition to the relief operations carried out from Thai territory, the Phnom Penh government agreed to pursue its cooperation with the ICRC and UNICEF, thereby implicitly acknowledging the ICRC's right to continue an operation consistent with the Red Cross principles.[47 ] Once this political obstacle had been overcome, the two organizations began what was to become one of the largest relief operations since the end of the Second World War.[48 ]

This example is a good illustration of the legal weight of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent: the principles are obligatory for the Movement; they have to be respected by States party to the Geneva Conventions in that these States must agree to the Red Cross and Red Crescent institutions'observance of them.

In its judgment of 27 June 1986 in the case of military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, the International Court of Justice acknowledged without any ambiguity that the Red Cross Fundamental Principles had to be respected by States. Examining the lawfulness of the " humanitarian assistance " supplied by the United States government to the counterrevolutionary forces ( contras ) opposing the government of Nicaragua, with reference to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of a State, the Court unhesitatingly observed that the provision of strictly humanitarian assistance to persons or forces in another country could in no way be considered illicit, provided that such assistance conformed to the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross, in particular those of humanity and impartiality:

" An essential feature of truly humanitarian aid is that it is given without discrimination' of any kind. In the view of the Court, if the provision of humanitarian assistance' is to escape condemnation as an intervention in the internal affairs of Nicarauga, not only must it be limited to the purposes hallowed in the practice of the Red Cross, namely to prevent and alleviate human suffering', and to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being'; it must also, and above all, be given without discrimination to all in need...". [49 ]

The International Court of Justice thus clearly recognized the obligatory force of the Funda mental Red Cross Principles; not only do they oblige States to allow Red Cross and Red Crescent bodies to abide by them, but they are also a source of obligations for States themselves, if the latter claim to be engaged in humanitarian activity.

Finally, government delegations attending International Conferences of the Red Cross must respect the Movement's Fundamental Principles in the same way as all the other delegations. Article 11, para. 4, of the Movement's Statutes states:

" All participants in the International Conference shall respect the Fundamental Principles and all documents presented shall conform with these Principles". [50 ]

    

 5. The resolutions of International Conferences of the Red Cross [51 ]

We can now return to the question which was put at the beginning of ths chapter: what are the legal effects of resolutions of International Conferences of the Red Cross, for the Red Cross and Red Crescent institutions on the one hand, and for States party to the Geneva Conventions on the other?

Few questions have so divided legal opinion since the end of the Second World War as that of the legal impact of resolutions passed by international organizations. Some schools of thought have endeavoured to prove the mandatory nature of such resolutions, and others the absence of any legal effects.

In these terms, the question seems poorly phrased. Instead of asking whether or not the resolutions have any obligatory force, it would appear preferable to look at the matter from another angle and break it down into two aspects:

(a) what are the conditions to be met for a resolution to be binding on the members of an o rganization?

(b) if a resolution is not binding, can it still have any legal effects, and, if so, which?

The theory of international organizations provides an answer to the first question: two conditions must be met for a resolution to be obligatory. First, the body adopting it must be competent to lay down rules that are binding on those whom they address; secondly, that body must intend to lay down such rules.

Generally speaking, the intentions of the body adopting the resolution are sufficiently clear from the wording of the text; in case of doubt, the prepara-tory work will make its authors'wishes clear. This is a matter of interpretation.

With regard to the competence of such bodies, two factors must be taken into account. In the first place, an organization may adopt resolutions that are binding on its members insofar as it is competent to do so; the limits of such competence vary according to the aims of the organization, its structure and the degree of integration desired by the members; as a rule, examination of the organization's founding charter will reveal the scope of its powers, in particular its power to take decisions binding on its members. The fact that the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement were adopted as a resolution rather than as a treaty does not alter the legal situation, once it has been established that the Statutes have obligatory force for both members of the Movement and for States party to the Geneva Conventions.

Apart from the powers which are explicitly assigned to an organization by its founding charter, it is generally accepted that every organization enjoys other powers necessary for the achievement of its aims. These are implicit powers not specifically mentioned in its charter; in each case, it must be proved that such implicit powers are necessary for the pursuit of the organization's objectives.[52 ]

The theory of implicit powers serves as a guide in the interpretation of an organization's founding charter. In case of doubt, treaty obligations are generally given a restrictive reading, while the founding charter can be interpreted more broadly; the principle of efficiency prevails over other rules of interpretation.[53 ]

This theory also applies to the internal rules of an organization. No organization could achieve its aims if it did not have the power to lay down rules necessary for it to function, in areas such as the admission of new members, the election of decision-making bodies, the procedure for ensuring that those bodies express the wishes of the membership as a whole, and the establihment of subsidiary bodies. In every aspect of its internal regulation, any organization is empowered to supplement the rules laid down in its founding charter. The binding force of those rules on the membership stems from their status as internal regulations, from their relationship to the constitutive rules which are thereby supplemented and clarified, and from the need to ensure that the organization can function properly so as to achieve its aims.[54 ]

These considerations apply to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement as well as to any other organization. To determine the binding force of the resolutions of International Conferences, therefore, we must examine both the powers given to the Conference by the Movement's Statutes and those which may be regarded as implicit.

It has to be said, however, that the Statutes are not entirely clear about the powers of the International Conference.

Under the terms of Article 10, para. 5, " ...the International Conference shall adopt its decisions, recommendations or declarations in the form of resolutions " . The Conference alone has the authority to amend the Movement's Statutes an d Rules of Procedure, to give a final ruling on any difference of opinion over the interpretation and application of the Statutes and Rules, and to settle any question referred to it by the International Committee or the Federation in the event of disagreement. The Conference contributes to the unity of the Movement and to the pursuit of its mission in full compliance with the Fundamental Principles; it contributes to respect for and development of international humanitarian law; it may assign mandates to the International Committee or the Federation, within the limits of their respective statutes and those of the Movement; but it has no power to amend their statutes or to take any decision that runs counter to them.[55 ]

The preparatory work offers few clues. Indeed, while it was agreed that the Conference might have to take decisions that were binding on members of the International Red Cross, it was also stressed that the adoption of the Movement's Statutes would in no way jeopardize the independence enjoyed by the Red Cross institutions.[56 ]

Although they are not absolutely clear, the Statutes still allow certain conclusions to be drawn, particularly when they are analysed with reference to the theory of international organizations.

Among the texts which must be considered as mandatory are resolutions concerning internal regulations, such as the Rules of Procedure of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, resolutions concerning the establishment of subsidiary bodies and the rules governing the various Funds and Medals.[57 ]

It must also be accepted that the Conference is empowered to lay down binding rules that are essential to maintaining " the unity of the Movement and the achievement of its mission in full compliance with the Fundamental Principles " . These would include, for example, the Principles and Rules governing disaster relief operations.[58 ]  

Furthermore, Article 10, para. 6, of the Statutes allows the Conference to assign mandates to the International Committee and to the Federation; Article 5, para. 2(h), states that the ICRC shall carry out mandates entrusted to it by the International Conference. Therefore it must be assumed that the resolutions whereby the Conference assigns mandates to the ICRC are binding on the Committee. However, Article 5, para. 1, of the Statutes defines the ICRC as an independent organization; is there not, then, a risk that in assigning mandates to the ICRC the Conference might be violating the Committee's independence? There is no such risk: a mandate is a contractual arrangement whereby the agent undertakes to act on behalf of the principal. For the mandate to be valid, the Committee has to give its consent, either by proposing the mandate itself, by agreeing to it in the course of discussions or by voting for it. When these conditions are met, the mandate is then binding on the ICRC.[59 ]

It thus appears that the Intrnational Conference's power to lay down binding rules depends on the body directly addressed by those rules: the power is greater with regard to the Red Cross and Red Crescent institutions than to States; and it is greater with regard to the ICRC and the Federation than to the National Societies.

However, it should be pointed out that a resolution that is binding only on certain entities may create indirect obligations for others. For example, it would be inconceivable for the Conference to assign a mandate to the ICRC or the Federation without States and National Societies (who took part in the decision to assign that mandate) being obliged, at the very least, not to obstruct its execution. A resolution binding on certain members of the Conference is thus likely to create concomitant obligations - of a different sort - for other members.

The competence of the International Conference to adopt resolutions binding on its members is, nonetheless, very restricted. The vast majority of resolutions do not lay down mandatory rules, but recommend a certain course of action for members of the Movement or for States. The resolutions may deal with any matter of concern to the Movement, such as health and social welfare, disaster relief, protection and assistance in the event of armed conflict, the development of humanitarian law, and Red Cross action for peace.

These resolutions are essentially recommendations or exhortations. But it would be quite wrong, as a consequence, to see them as having no legal significance.

Any resolution by an international body is the expression of a certain convergence of opinion or common will. It may also reflect a legal conviction, whose authority must be judged in each case on its merits, taking account of the text itself and the degree of unanimity in its adoption.

Moreover, a resolution which is not in itself binding may still have a certain legal impact if it is linked to another source of law. Thus, a resolution referring to a constant and consistent practice may, although not having legal force itself, provide evidence of a legal conviction which in turn suggests the existence of a customary rule. Similarly, a resolution of an International Conference of the Red Cross may help in interpreting a treaty provision, notably a provision of the Geneva Conventions or their Additional Protocols.

It must also be accepted, in a more general sense, that a resolution adopted by an international body always carries an element of compulsion in respect of the members of that body. Judge Lauterpacht has stated that a resolution of the UN General Assembly, recommending a certain course of action to Member States, " creates some legal obligation which, howe ver rudimentary, elastic and imperfect, is nevertheless a legal obligation and constitutes a measure of supervision. The State in question, while not bound to accept the recommendation, is bound to give it due consideration in good faith " .[60 ] Government participation in the adoption of resolutions of International Conferences of the Red Cross has a lesser impact than in the adoption of United Nations resolutions because, for the former, the governments are not alone in voting. However, this does not fundamentally alter the conclusion: there is here a question of good faith, of a threshold below which the participation of States at the International Conference would have no meaning.

Among the resolutions urging belligerents to adopt a certain line of conduct, particular mention should be made of those that apply to noninternational armed conflicts.

Because of the rudimentary nature of the legal rules applicable to internal conflicts, it is hardly surprising that the Red Cross should try to supplement them, either by resolutions dealing specifically with internal strife, or by resolutions that apply equally to international and internal conflicts.[61 ]

There then arises the question of the binding force of these resolutions on the parties to a conflict, and in particular on an insurgent movement. It cannot be claimed a priori that they are fully binding on insurgents who took no part in their adoption. But, if adopted unanimously, such resolutions should be taken as the expression of a legal conviction held by the international community and the Red Cross. As such, they carry an element of compulsion which an insurgent movement seeking some form of international recognition could hardly ignore. At the very least, such a group would be expected to consider the resolutions in good faith.

Whether they are intended to impose mandatory rules on those t o whom they are addressed, or are essentially in the nature of recommendations, the resolutions of International Conferences of the Red Cross have an undeniable impact on international law; the weight of that impact has to be measured in each case. It must be accepted that Red Cross law, while retaining its separate identity, is too closely linked to the law of nations for it to be without any relevance to the latter.

These conclusions are supported by the practice of the International Committee and by that of States in their relations with it. Throughout its history the ICRC has relied on resolutions of International Conferences for support, in particular those which have granted it mandates or acknowledged its authority in particular fields. 62  

 Bibliography  

The Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, adopted by the Twentyfifth International Conference of the Red Cross meeting in Geneva in October 1986, are published in the International Review of the Red Cross , No. 256, JanuaryFebruary 1987, pp. 25-59. For other statutory texts and regulations of the Movement, see International Red Cross Handbook , 12th ed., ICRCLeague, Geneva, 1983, pp. 407-543 or Compendium of Reference Texts on the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement , ICRC-League, Geneva, 1990. Reference may also be made to the official documents and reports of the International Conferences of the Red Cross, and to the following works:

* Gustav Adolf Bohny, Über die rechtliche Stellung der Rotkreuzorganisationen , von Helbing und Lichtenhahn, Basel, 1922;

* Eugè ne Borel, " L'organisation internationale de la CroixRouge " , Recueil des Cours de l'Académie de Droit international , tome I, 1923, vol. I, pp. 573-607;

* Frédérique Noailly, La Croix-Rouge au point de vue national et international , Librairie générale de Droit et de Jurisprudence, Paris, 1935;

* Auguste-Raynald Werner, La Croix-Rouge et les Conventions de Genève , Georg & Cie, Geneva, 1943;

* Paul Ruegger, " L'organisation de la Croix-Rouge internationale sous ses aspects juridiques " , Recueil des Cours de l'Académie de Droit international , tome 82, 1953, vol. I, pp. 377-480;

* Max Huber, La pensée et l'action de la Croix-Rouge , ICRC, Geneva, 1954;

* Henri Coursier, The International Red Cross , ICRC, Geneva, 1961;

* Hans Haug, Rotes Kreuz - Werden, Gestalt, Wirken , Hans Huber, Bern & Stuttgart, 1966;

* Hans Haug, Humanity for all - the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement , Paul Haupt, Bern, Stuttgart, Vienna, Henry unant Institute, Geneva, 1993;

* Richard Perruchoud, Les Résolutions des Conférences internationales de la Croix-Rouge , Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva, 1979;

* Denise Bindschedler-Robert, " Red Cross " , Encyclopedia of Public International Law , vol. 5, pp. 248-254.

 Notes  

1. To conform to current usage, the expressions " constituent parts " , " component " and " constituent members " are used to denote the member institutions of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which are the National Red Cross or Red Crescent Societies, the ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; the term " statutory bodies " is used for the Movement's collective bodies, i.e. the International Conference, the Council of Delegates and the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent. Although the States party to the Geneva Conventions also take part in International Conferences, they are not members of the Movement, as is made clear in Article 2 of the Movement's Statutes (see International Review of the Red Cross - IRRC , No. 256, January-February 1987, p. 29). In accordance with a century-old custom, the term " International Red Cross " - or, more simply, " Red Cros " - is used to mean the entire Movement where such use creates no confusion.

2. Richard Perruchoud, Les Résolutions des Conférences internationales de la CroixRouge , Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva, 1979 (hereafter: Perruchoud, Les Résolutions ), pp. 46-48, 394-395.

3. Resolutions of the Geneva International Conference of 1863, Article 9, International Red Cross Handbook , 12th ed., ICRC-League, Geneva, 1983, p. 548.

4. Ibid ., Article 3, p. 547.

5. Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, adopted by the Twenty-fifth I nternational Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, October 1986, IRRC , No. 256, January-February 1987, pp. 25-44.

6. Articles 8 to 11.

7. Circulars from the Prussian Central Committee, 23 November 1868 and 1 March 1869, Compte rendu des Travaux de la Conférence internationale tenue à Berlin du 22 au 27 avril 1869 par les Délégués des Gouvernements signataires de la Convention de Genève et des Sociétés et Associations de Secours aux Militaires blessés et malades , J.F. Starcke, Berlin, 1869 (hereafter: Compte rendu , 1869) pp. 3-5, 7-9.

8.Perruchoud, Les Résolutions , pp. 46-49, 394-397.

9. Ibid ., p. 48.

10. Articles 12-15 of the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

11. Perruchoud, Les Résolutions , pp. 63-65.

12. Articles 16-19 of the Movement's Statutes.

13. Colonel Draudt and Max Huber, " Rapport à la XIIIe Conférence internationale de la Croix-Rouge sur les statuts de la Croix-Rouge internationale " , Revue internationale de la Croix-Rouge (RICR), No. 119, November 1928, pp. 991-1010; Treizième Conférence internationale de la Croix-Rouge tenue à La Haye du 23 au 27 octobre 1928, Compte rendu, pp. 12-19, 48-75, 85, 101-114, 117-118, 182-186 ; Statuts de la Croix-Rouge internationale et Règlement de la Conférence internationale de la Croix-Rouge, Projet de Révision, submitted by the Standing Commission to the Eighteenth International Co nference of the Red Cross , Geneva, 7 December 1951 (Document A.18/1952, cyclostyled, 16 pages); XVIIIth International Red Cross Conference, Toronto, July-August 1952, Proceedings, pp. 33-39, 96-101, 161-164; Twenty-fifth International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, October 1986, Revision of the Statutes of the International Red Cross and of the Rules of Procedure of the International Conference of the Red Cross , Drafts prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva, April 1986, cyclostyled; Twenty-fifth International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23-31 October 1986, Report , pp. 121-122, 166; Statutes and Rules of Procedure of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (adopted by the Twenty-fifth International Conference of the Red Cross at Geneva in October 1986), IRRC , No. 256, January-February 1987, pp. 25-59; André Durand, History of the International Committee of the Red Cross - from Sarajevo to Hiroshima , Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva, 1984 (hereafter: Durand, ICRC history ), pp. 139-162, 166-171, 174-194; André Durand, " Origin and evolution of the Statutes of the International Red Cross " , IRRC , No. 235, July-August 1983, pp. 175-208; Perruchoud, Les Résolutions , pp. 102-108; Jacques Moreillon, 2Le Comité international de la Croix-Rouge et la révision des Statuts de la Croix-Rouge internationale " , in: Völkerrecht im Dienste des Menschen, Festschrift für Hans Haug , Yvo Hangartner and Stefan Trechsel, eds., Paul Haupt, Bern & Stuttgart, 1986, p p. 179-194.

14. The draft was adopted unanimously, with five abstentions; four National Societies expressed reservations over one of the articles - Treizième Conférence internationale de la Croix-Rouge, Compte rendu , pp. 12-19, 48-75, 85, 101-114, 117-118, 182-186.

15. The Toronto Conference adopted the revised statutes by 70 votes to 17. The governments and National Societies of the socialist countries voted against the revision to mark their opposition to the fact that the new statutes formally acknowledged the ICRC's possession of duties and rights which, these delegations believed, could be enjoyed only by an international organization - XVIIIth International Red Cross Conference, Proceedings , pp. 33-39, 96-101 and 161-164.

16. Decision No. 2 of the League's Executive Council, meeting in Geneva on 23 and 24 April 1982, copy attached to internal note No. 1362 of 21 May 1982, ICRC Archives, file 010.

17. Twenty-fifth International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, October 1986, Revision of the Statutes of the International Red Cross and of the Rules of Procedure of the International Conference of the Red Cross, Drafts prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva, April 1986, cyclostyled.

18. Resolution XXXI, Twenty-fifth International Conference of the Red Cross, Geneva, 23-31 October 1986, Report , pp. 121-122, 166.

19. Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (adopted by the Twenty-fifth International Conference of the Red Cross at Geneva in October 1986), IRRC , No. 256, January-February 1987, pp. 2 5-59.

20. Ibid. , pp. 3234.

21. Perruchoud, Les Résolutions , p. 106.

22. Ibid .

23. Article 4, point 9, of the Movement's Statutes - IRRC , No. 256, January-February 1987, p. 34.

24. This would be contrary to the precept of the equality of the National Societies, an element of the Movement's Fundamental Principle of universality - ibid ., p. 28.

25. Perruchoud, Les Résolutions , pp. 107-108; see also Auguste-Raynald Werner, La Croix-Rouge et les Conventions de Genève , Georg & Cie, Geneva, 1943, p. 79.

26. Perruchoud, Les Résolutions , p. 108.

27. " The States Parties to the Geneva Conventions cooperate with the components of the Movement in accordance with these Conventions, the present Statutes and the resolutions of the International Conference " - Article 2, para. 1, of the Statutes, IRRC , No. 256, JanuaryFebruary 1987, p. 29.

28. Perruchoud, Les Résolutions , p. 108.

29. Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross, Verbatim Report, Prague, 1961 , ICRC, Geneva, 1961 (Document 795b), cyclostyled, pp. 1246 and Annexes 111; XXth International Conference of the Red Cross, Vienna, October 29, 1965, Report , pp. 51-52, 99-100; Gustave Moynier, " Ce que c'est que la Croix-Rouge " , Bulletin international des Sociétés de la CroixRouge , No. 21, January 1875, pp. 18; Max Huber, La pensée et l'action de la CroixRouge , Geneva, ICRC, 1954; Jean S. Pictet, Red Cross Principles , Geneva, ICRC, 1966, and The Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross, Commentary , Henry Dunant Institute,Geneva, 1979; Perruchoud, Les Résolutions , pp. 129-139; Hans Haug, Humanity for all - The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement , Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva, Paul Haupt, Bern, Stuttgart, Vienna, 1993, pp. 443-490.

 30. Compte rendu , 1869, pp. 80-84, 264.

31. Organisation générale et programme de la Croix-Rouge (d'après les décisions prises dans les Conférences internationales par les fondateurs et les représentants de cette institution) , 2nd ed., ICRC, Geneva, 1898, pp. 25-26.

32. Gustave Moynier, " Ce que c'est que la Croix-Rouge " , Bulletin international , No. 21, January 1875, pp. 18; André Durand, " Quelques remarques sur l'élaboration des principes de la Croix-Rouge chez Gustave Moynier " , Studies and essays on international humanitarian law and Red Cross principles in honour of Jean Pictet, Christophe Swinarski, ed., ICRC, Geneva, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1984, pp. 861-873.

33. Statuts du Comité international de la CroixRouge, 10 mars 1921, Article 3, RICR , No. 28, April 1921, pp. 379-380.

34. International Red Cross Handook , p. 498.

35. Ibid. , p. 409.

36. Board of Governors, XIXth meeting, Oxford, 1946, Resolution 12, revised by Resolution 7 of the XXth meeting, Stockholm, 1948, International Red Cross Handbook , pp. 549-552.

37. XVIIIth International Red Cross Conference, Proceedings , pp. 112-113, 148 (Resolution 10).

38. Council of Delegates of the International Red Cross, Verbatim Report, Prague, 1961 , p. 46.

39. Resolution VIII, XXth International Conference of the Red Cross, Report , pp. 51-52, 99-100.

40. IRRC , No. 256, January-February 1987, pp. 27-28.

41. Ibid.

42. Article 4, point 10, of the Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, ibid. , p. 32.

43. Article 81, paras. 2 and 3, of Protocol I.

44. Official Records of the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law applicable in Armed Conflicts (Geneva, 1974-1977), Federal Political Department, Bern, 1978, vol. VIII, pp. 389-390.

45. IRRC , No. 256, January-February 1987, p. 30.

46. Aide-memoire from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of Kampuchea to the joint ICRC/UNICEF mission, 28 Sept ember 1979, ICRC Archives, file 280 (180).

47. Record of a meeting with Hun Sen, Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of Kampuchea, 14 October 1979, ICRC Archives, file 280 (180).

48. Back from the Brink , report by the International Committee of the Red Cross on the joint ICRC/UNICEF operation in Thailand and Kampuchea, ICRC, Geneva, 1981; Maggie Black, The children and the nations . The story of UNICEF , UNICEF, New York, 1986, pp. 378-407; William Shawcross, The quality of mercy . Cambodia, holocaust and modern conscience , André Deutsch, London, 1984.

49. International Court of Justice, Case concerning military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua, Merits, Judgment of 27 June 1986, ICJ Reports 1986 , pp. 14-150, at p. 115.

50. IRRC , No. 256, January-February 1987, p. 38.

51. The principal reference work is Richard Perruchoud, Les résolutions des Conférences internationales de la Croix-Rouge , Henry Dunant Institute, Geneva, 1979. On the legal effects of the resolutions of international organizations, see: Philippe Cahier " Le droit interne des organisations internationales " , Revue générale de Droit international public , 1963, 67e année, vol. 3, pp. 563-602 (hereafter: Cahier, Le droit interne); Jorge Castañeda, " Valeur juridique des résolutions des Nations Unies " , Collected courses of the Hague Academy of International Law , 1970, tome 129, vol. I, pp. 205-331; Paul Reuter, Institutions internationales , 7th ed., Presses universitaires de France, Paris, 1972, p. 213 ff.; Charles Rousseau, Droit international public , tome I, Sirey, Paris, 1970, pp. 433-443; Krzysztof Skubiszewski, " A new source of the law of nations : Resolutions of international organisations " , in: En hommage à Paul Guggenheim , Faculté de Droit de l'Université de Genève et Institut uiversitaire de Hautes Etudes internationales, Geneva, 1968, pp. 508-520 (hereafter: Skubiszewski, " A new source " ); Michel Virally, " La valeur juridique des recommandations des organisations internationales " , Annuaire français de droit international , vol. II, 1956, pp. 6696, and " The sources of international law " , Manual of public international law , Max Sørensen, ed., Macmillan, London, 1968, pp. 116-174, esp. pp. 157-165.

52. International Court of Justice, Reparation for injuries suffered in the service of the United Nations, Advisory Opinion of April 11th, 1949, ICJ Reports 1949 , pp. 175-188, esp. pp. 180-182.

53. Cahier, " Le droit interne " , p. 578; Reuter, Institutions internationales , p. 215.

54. Cahier, Le droit interne, pp. 583 and 587; Reuter, Institutions internationales , p. 225; Skubiszewski, " A new sourc " , p. 510.

55. Statutes of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, IRRC , No. 256, January-February 1987, p. 37.

56. Treizième Conférence internationale de la CroixRouge, Compte rendu , p. 104.

57. Perruchoud, Les Résolutions , pp. 110-129.

58. Ibid. , pp. 231-233. The Principles and Rules for Red Cross Disaster Relief were adopted by the XXIst International Conference (Istanbul, 1969), amended by the XXIInd (Tehran, 1973), by the XXIIIrd (Bucharest, 1977) and by the XXIVth (Manila, 1981). They appear in the International Red Cross Handbook , pp. 488-494. The Principles and Rules were further amended by the Twentyfifth International Conference - Twenty-fifth International Conference of the Red Cross, Report , p. 167.

59. Perruchoud, Les Résolutions , pp. 144-163.

60. International Court of Justice, SouthWest Africa - Voting Procedure, Advisory Opinion of June 7th, 1955, separate opinion of Judge Lauterpacht, ICJ Reports 1955 , pp. 118-119.

61. A list of resolutions passed by International Conferences of the Red Cross and applicable to non-international armed conflicts appears on pp. 439-441 of the author's work Le Comité international de la CroixRouge et la protection des victimes de la guerre , ICRC, Geneva, 1994.

62. In this respect, particular reference should be made to Resolution IV/3 of the Berlin Conference (1869) concerning the creation of an information agency; Resolution VI of the Washington Conference (1912) concerning assistance to prisoners of war, and Resolution XIV of the Geneva Conference (1921) concerning the work of the Red Cross in the event of civil war.




Related pages