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Geneva Conventions Act, 1957
Geneva Conventions Act, 1957 [31st July, 1957] : an act to enable effect to be given to certain international conventions done at Geneva on the twelfth day of August, nineteen hundred and forty-nine, and for purposes connected therewith

31.07.1957
31.07.1957
Last amended by the Geneva Conventions and United Nations Personnel (Protocols) Act 2009. The Geneva Conventions (Amendment) Act 1995, assented on 19 July 1995, entered into force on 20 July 1998 (by The Geneva Conventions (Amendment) Act 1995 (Commencement) Order 1998).
Public General Acts and Measures 1957 (London, 1958), http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1957/52/pdfs/ukpga_19570052_en.pdf (last accessed on 26.03.2012)

Summary
This Act implements within the United Kingdom specific provisions of the 1949 Geneva Conventions such as those concerning grave breaches and obligations concerning certain legal proceedings (e.g. those relating to protected prisoners of war) and preventing misuse of the red cross and other emblems.

Although the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 includes in its four schedules each of the four Conventions, the whole of these Conventions are not generally incorporated into English law (see Cheney v. Conn (Inspector of Taxes) [1968], 1 All England Law Reports 779, on p.782: “The title of the Preamble [to the Geneva Conventions Act 1957] relied on does not make the Geneva Conventions statute … except to the extent of the specific amendments made to the law by the Act of 1957 itself …’).

The 1957 Geneva Conventions Act was amended by the Geneva Conventions (Amendment) Act 1995 to enable the United Kingdom to ratify the two Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The Geneva Conventions (Amendment) Act 1995 amends the 1957 Act by adding each of the 1977 Additional Protocols as schedules to the latter. It specifically incorporates into the law of the United Kingdom the grave breach provisions of Additional Protocol I, Articles 11(4) and 85 (2, 3, and 4). It also amends section 6 of the 1957 Act dealing with the protection of the Red Cross and other emblems, in addition to amendments to the interpretation section (7) of the 1957 Act. Since the Act was passed before British ratification of the two Additional Protocols, section 7 of the 1995 Act requires that the Protocols "shall for the purposes of this Act be construed subject to and in accordance with any reservation or declaration [made]." Upon ratification, declarations were made relating to Additional Protocol I (28 January 1998) and these are set out in the Geneva Conventions Act (First Protocol) Order 1998, Statutory Instrument No. 1754.

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