ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
Treaties and Documents
1949 Conventions and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
Procedure. II. Competent authorities and right of defence
Acts which constitute offences against discipline shall be investigated immediately.
Without prejudice to the competence of courts and superior military authorities, disciplinary punishment may be ordered only by an officer having disciplinary powers in his capacity as camp commander, or by a responsible officer who replaces him or to whom he has delegated his disciplinary powers.
In no case may such powers be delegated to a prisoner of war or be exercised by a prisoner of war.
Before any disciplinary award is pronounced, the accused shall be given precise information regarding the offences of which he is accused, and given an opportunity of explaining his conduct and of defending himself. He shall be permitted, in particular, to call witnesses and to have recourse, if necessary, to the services of a qualified interpreter. The decision shall be announced to the accused prisoner of war and to the prisoners, representative.
A record of disciplinary punishments shall be maintained by the camp commander and shall be open to inspection by representatives of the Protecting Power.
Commentary of 1960