ICRC databases on international humanitarian law
Treaties and Documents
1949 Conventions and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), 8 June 1977.
Declarations made at the time of ratification.
1. It is the understanding of the Federal Republic of Germany that the rules relating to the use of weapons introduced by Additional Protocol I were intended to apply exclusively to conventional weapons without
prejudice to any other rules of international law applicable to other types of weapons.
2. The Federal Republic of Germany understands the word "feasible" in Articles 41, 56, 57, 58, 78 and 86 of Additional Protocol I to mean that which is practicable or practically possible, taking into account all
circumstances ruling at the time including humanitarian and military considerations.
3. The criteria contained in the second sentence of Article 44, paragraph 3, of Additional Protocol I for distinction between combatants and the civilian population are understood by the Federal Republic of
Germany to apply only in occupied territories and in the other armed conflicts described in Article 1, paragraph 4. The term "military deployment" is interpreted to mean any movements towards the place from which an attack is to be launched.
4. It is the understanding of the Federal Republic of Germany that in the application of the provisions of Part IV, Section I, of Additional Protocol I, to military commanders and others responsible for
planning, deciding upon or executing attacks, the decision taken by the person responsible has to be judged on the basis of all information available to him at the relevant time, and not on the basis of hindsight.
5. In applying the rule of proportionality in Article 51 and Article 57, "military advantage" is understood to refer to the advantage anticipated from the attack considered as a whole and not only from isolated or
particular parts of the attack.
6. The Federal Republic of Germany will react against serious and systematic violations of the obligations imposed by Additional Protocol I and in particular its Articles 51 and 52 with all means admissible under
international law in order to prevent any further violation.
7. Article 52 of Additional Protocol I is understood by the Federal Republic of Germany to mean that a specific area of land may also be a military objective if it meets all requirements of Article 52, paragraph 2.
8. Article 75, paragraph 4, subparagraph (e) of Additional Protocol I and Article 6, paragraph 2, subparagraph (e) of Additional Protocol II will be applied in such manner that it is for the court to decide whether an
accused person held in custody must appear in person at the hearing before the court of review.
Article 75, paragraph 4, subparagraph (h) of Additional Protocol I will only be applied to the extent that it is in conformity with legal provisions which permit under special circumstances the re-opening of proceedings that had led to final conviction or acquittal.
9. [Declaration of recognition according to Article 90, para.2 of Additional Protocol I.]
10. The Federal Republic of Germany understands paragraph 3 of Article 96 of Additional Protocol I to mean that only those declarations described in subparagraphs (a) and (c) of paragraph 3 of Article 96 that are issued by
an authority which genuinely satisfies all the criteria contained in paragraph 4 of Article 1 can have legally binding effect.
Source: Notification by the depositary addressed to the ICRC on 15 February 1991 (Translation provided by Germany upon ratification).
Ratification / Accession
Reservation / Declaration