Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
Treaties and Documents
Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
. -- LANGUAGES
' Paragraph 1 ' states that the English and French versions are equally authentic; indeed, during the Diplomatic Conference and earlier during the preparatory work, both these languages were used as working languages.
Where divergencies exist, those responsible for applying the Convention will have to find out the intention of the legislator. In the case in point, it will be the joint will of the parties represented at the Conference. The method adopted will therefore have to be that of legal interpretation with the help of the Final Record of the Conference and the preliminary texts (1).
' Paragraph 2 ' makes the Russian and Spanish versions official in that the body which prepared them -- the Swiss Federal Council -- [p.274] was specified in the Convention itself. Unlike the English and French, however, the Russian and Spanish versions are not authentic.
* (1) [(3) p.273] This procedure is generally followed in
countries which, like Switzerland, promulgate their
national laws in several languages, each version being