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Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
[p.661] ARTICLE 9
. -- COMMENCEMENT OF WORK
of the Convention provides that Mixed Medical Commissions shall be appointed "upon the outbreak of hostilities". The Commissions must begin their work within three months following the approval of the neutral members appointed (Article 3 above
). The three-months period is a maximum.
The Detaining Power must take the initiative, since it is at its request that the International Committee appoints neutral members of the Commissions (Article 2
). If the Detaining Power delays in making this request and then in giving its approval, a considerable time may elapse; this Would correspond neither to the spirit nor to the letter of the present clause, Which provides that the Commissions must begin their work within three months of the outbreak of the conflict. The Detaining Power is therefore under a moral obligation to take action rapidly so that the time limit can be respected. One good solution would be for the medical associations of the various countries to come to an agreement in peace-time.