ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
  • Print page

    Upon ratification:

    (a) Generally

    (i) The term "armed conflict" of itself and in its context denotes a situation of a kind which is not constituted by the Commission of ordinary crimes, including acts of terrorism, whether concerted or in isolation.

    (ii) The United Kingdom will not, in relation to any situation in which it is involved, consider itself bound in consequence of any declaration purporting to be made for the purposes of article 7 (4), unless the United Kingdom shall have expressly recognised that it has been made by a body which is genuinely and authority representing a people engaged in an armed conflict of the type to which that paragraph applies.

    (iii) The terms "civilian" and "civilian population" have the same meaning as in article 50 of the 1st Additional Protocol of 1977 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Civilians shall enjoy the protection afforded by this Convention unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.

    (iv) Military commanders and others responsible for planning, deciding upon, or executing attacks necessarily have to reach decisions on the basis of their assessment of the information from all sources which is reasonably available to them at the relevant time.

    (b) Re: Protocol II, article 2; and Protocol III, article 1

    A specific area of land may be a military objective if, because of its location or other reasons specified in this article, its total or partial destruction, capture or neutralisation in the circumstances ruling at the time offers a definite military advantage.

    (c) Re: Protocol II, article 3

    In the view of the United Kingdom, the military advantage anticipated from an attack is intended to refer to the advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not only from isolated or particular parts of the attack.

    (d) Re: Protocol III, article 2

    The United Kingdom accepts the provisions of article 2 (2) and (3) on the understanding that the terms of those paragraphs of that article do not imply that the air-delivery of incendiary weapons, or of any other weapons, projectiles or munitions, is less accurate or less capable of being carried out discriminately than all or any other means of delivery.

    SOURCE: United Nations, C.N.48.1995.TREATIES-1 (Depositary Notification)
10.04.1981

13.02.1995

13.02.1995