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Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
[p. 474] ARTICLE 115
. -- FACILITIES FOR PREPARATION AND CONDUCT
The International Committee of the Red Cross had proposed settling the point at issue in Article 115 by means of two provisions, one establishing a moratorium on behalf of the internee and members of his family, and the other suspending, at the request of the internee and for the duration of his internment, cases in which he is concerned.
The authors of the Convention were of the opinion that these two measures went too far and that the first, in particular, gave the internees preferential treatment (1).
A moratorium, it was said, might mean the denial of the rights of legitimate creditors (e.g. alimony to members of the family itself) and it did not take sufficiently into account the facilities which could be granted internees to enable them to be represented before the courts. Furthermore, it was wished to safeguard the Occupying Power's rights of requisition.
What it was important to avoid was to injure the interests of the internees by legal measures taken as a result of a judgment in default, if such default were caused by internment. To achieve this end, it was considered that it would be enough to give them every facility for the preparation and conduct of cases in which they were involved. It is certain that this provision is an improvement on the one which called for the suspension of law-suits.
Notes: (1) [(1) p.474] See ' Final Record of the Diplomatic
Conference of Geneva of 1949, ' vol. II-A, p. 684;