Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
Treaties and Documents
Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994
SECTION I : BASIC RULES
38. In any armed conflict the right of the parties to the conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited.
39. Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between civilians or other protected persons and combatants and between civilian or exempt objects and military objectives.
40. In so far as objects are concerned, military objectives are limited to those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralization, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.
41. Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives. Merchant vessels and civil aircraft are civilian objects unless they are military objectives in accordance with the principles and rules set forth in this document.
42. In addition to any specific prohibitions binding upon the parties to a conflict, it is forbidden to employ methods or means of warfare which:
(a) are of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering;
(b) are indiscriminate, in that:
(i) they are not, or cannot be, directed against a specific military objective;
(ii) their effects cannot be limited as required by international law as reflected in this document.
43. It is prohibited to order that there shall be no survivors, to threaten an adversary therewith or to conduct hostilities on this basis.
44. Methods and means of warfare should be employed with due regard for the natural environment taking into account the relevant rules of international law. Damage to or destruction of the natural environment not justified by military necessity and carried out wantonly is prohibited.
45. Surface ships, submarines and aircraft are bound by the same principles and rules.