Practice Relating to Rule 77. Expanding Bullets
Quick navigation
Hague Declaration concerning Expanding Bullets
The 1899 Hague Declaration concerning Expanding Bullets states:
The Contracting Parties agree to abstain from the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions. 
Declaration (IV, 3) concerning Expanding Bullets, The Hague, 29 July 1899.

ICC Statute
Pursuant to Article 8(2)(b)(xix) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[e]mploying bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 8(2)(b)(xix).

Pursuant to Article 8(2)(e)(xv) of the 1998 ICC Statute, as amended in 2010, “[e]mploying bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions” constitutes a war crime also in non-international armed conflicts. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998, as amended by Resolution RC/Res.5, adopted at the 12th plenary meeting on 10 June 2010 by consensus, Article 8(2)(e)(xv).

Back to top
Oxford Manual of Naval War
Article 16(2) of the 1913 Oxford Manual of Naval War provides:
[I]t is forbidden … to employ arms, projectiles, or materials calculated to cause unnecessary suffering. Entering especially into this category are … bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not cover the core entirely or is pierced with incisions. 
The Laws of Naval War Governing the Relations between Belligerents, adopted by the Institute of International Law, Oxford, 9 August 1913, Article 16(2).

Report of the Commission on Responsibility
Based on several documents supplying evidence of outrages committed during the First World War, the 1919 Report of the Commission on Responsibility lists violations of the laws and customs of war which should be subject to criminal prosecution, including the “use of … expanding bullets”. 
Report submitted to the Preliminary Conference of Versailles by the Commission on Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties, Versailles, 29 March 1919.

UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 6.2 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin provides: “The United Nations force shall respect the rules prohibiting or restricting the use of certain weapons … These include, in particular, the prohibition on the use of … bullets which … expand or flatten easily in the human body.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 6.2.

UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15
The UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including war crimes. According to Section 6(1)(b)(xix), “[e]mploying bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions”, constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Regulation on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offences, UN Doc. UNTAET/REG/2000/15, Dili, 6 June 2000, Section 6(1)(b)(xix).

Back to top
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states: “Use of the following types of weapons is prohibited: … (c) bullets with a hard envelope which do not entirely cover the core or are pierced with incisions (dum-dum bullets).” 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 932(c).

These blanket prohibitions, which may be traced to treaty or customary international law are justified on the grounds that the subject weapons are either indiscriminate in their effect or cause unnecessary suffering. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 304.

Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
Weapons such as irregularly shaped bullets, projectiles filled with broken glass, bullets which have been scored, have had their ends filed, have been altered or which have been smeared with any substance likely to exacerbate a trauma injury are prohibited. “Dum dum” bullets (those with a hard envelope that does not entirely cover the core or which have been pierced with incisions or which have had their points filed off) come within this category of weapon. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 405.

Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
Weapons such as irregularly shaped bullets, projectiles filled with broken glass, bullets which have been scored, have had their ends filed, have been altered or which have been smeared with any substance likely to exacerbate a trauma injury are prohibited. “Dum dum.” bullets (those with a hard envelope that does not entirely cover the core or which have been pierced with incisions or which have had their points filed off) come within this category of weapon. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, § 4.7.

Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states that “bullets which expand or flatten in the human body” are “prohibited weapons”. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 53; see also Part I bis, p. 93.

Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states, with a reference to the 1899 Hague Declaration concerning Expanding Bullets: “The use of dum-dum bullets, i.e. bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, is banned.” 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 37.

Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states:
These [small calibre] weapons are those which shoot bullets at very high initial speed and which cause excessive trauma comparable to that produced by dum-dum bullets

These bullets, unlike traditional bullets, spread or flatten out after entering the body to create a wound larger than their own diameter, thus causing excessive injury. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 125, § 442.1.

Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states that “bullets that expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope that not entirely covers the core or is pierced with incisions (i.e., hollow point or ‘dum-dum’ bullets),” are prohibited. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 5-2, § 12(b).

Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) provides: “The alteration of ammunition so that it expands or flattens easily when striking the human body is expressly prohibited.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 3, § 4.

Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter entitled “Restrictions on the use of weapons” that “bullets that expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope that does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions (that is, hollow point or ‘dum-dum’ bullets)” are prohibited. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 510.1.b.

Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) states:
4. The alternation [sic] of weapons or ammunition to increase suffering is unlawful and may interfere with the overall military mission. The alteration of ammunition so that it expands or flattens easily when striking the human body is expressly prohibited.

10. Use of the following weapons and ammunition is forbidden:
a. bullets designed to expand or flatten easily on contact with the human body (i.e., dum-dum bullets or hollow point bullets). 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 3, §§ 4 and 10(a).

Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) prohibits the use of “dum-dum bullets”. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 79.

Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders):
II.1.2. Prohibited munitions
The following types of munitions are prohibited:

- bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions (i.e. hollow-point bullets or dum-dum bullets). 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève , Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 52.

Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980) strictly prohibits the use of dum-dum bullets. 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, pp. 5 and 6.

Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states:
Weapons which cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering are prohibited because the degree of pain, the severity of the injuries and the certainty of death they entail are clearly out of all proportion with the military advantage to be gained by their use … [D]um-dum bullets belong in this category since the small military advantage that may be derived from their use guarantees death due to … the expanding effect of soft-nosed or unjacketed lead bullets. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 9.1.1.

France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) states: “It is prohibited to use … projectiles that spread or flatten easily in the human body.” 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 4.6.

France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) includes dum-dum bullets and other weapons with expanding heads in the list of weapons that “are totally prohibited by the law of armed conflict” because of their inhuman and indiscriminate character. 
France, Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, p. 6.

France’s LOAC Manual (2001) incorporates the content of the 1899 Hague Declaration concerning Expanding Bullets. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 28.

Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) provides: “It is prohibited to use means or methods of warfare which are intended or of a nature to cause superfluous injuries or unnecessary suffering (e.g. dum-dum bullets).” 
Germany, Taschenkarte, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Bearbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, Zentrum Innere Führung, June 1991, p. 5.

Germany’s Military Manual (1992) states:
It is prohibited to use bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body (e.g. dum-dum bullets) … This applies also to the use of shotguns, since shot causes similar suffering unjustified from the military point of view. It is also prohibited to use projectiles of a nature:
– to burst or deform while penetrating the human body;
– to tumble early in the human body; or
– to cause shock waves leading to extensive tissue damage or even a lethal shock. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 407.
[emphasis in original]
Germany’s IHL Manual (1996) states: “International humanitarian law prohibits the use of a number of means of warfare which are of a nature to violate the principle of humanity and to cause unnecessary suffering, e.g. bullets which easily expand or flatten in the human body, so-called dum-dum bullets.” 
Germany, ZDv 15/1, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, DSK VV230120023, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, June 1996, § 305.

Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “It is prohibited to use means or methods which are intended or of a nature, … to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering (e.g. dum-dum bullets), …”. 
Germany, Druckschrift Einsatz Nr. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Erarbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 5.

Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) includes dum-dum bullets in the list of prohibited weapons. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, pp. 12–13.

Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) prohibits the use of “[f]ragmentation bullets or those that expand inside the human body (dum-dum bullets)”. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 14.

Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) states: “It is specifically prohibited … to use bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, or bullets which are pierced with incisions.” 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 8(6).

Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) states: “The use of bullets that expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions, is prohibited.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, p. 5.

Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009) states: “It is prohibited to use … bullets that expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions (dum-dum bullets).” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 411.

Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands states that the use of
bullets which expand or transform inside the human body is prohibited; this is the prohibition of the so-called dum-dum bullet. These are bullets with a soft, possibly flattened head. The effect of transformation can also be obtained by using a saw or similar tool to remove the tip of the bullet. 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. IV-7.

The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands prohibits the use of dum-dum bullets. 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7-39.

The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states:
It is prohibited to use bullets which fragment or expand in the human body: this is known as the ban on dum-dum bullets, bullets with a soft and possibly flattened head. The expansion effect can also be achieved by sawing off or otherwise removing the tip of a bullet (the prohibition is specified in a declaration dated 1899, which has the status of an international entente). 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0428.

New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states that the use of “bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions (Dum Dum bullets)” is prohibited. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, §§ 510(c) (land warfare) and 617(c) (air warfare).

Nigeria
Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War states: “It is expressly forbidden to use … irregularly shaped bullets … The scoring of the surface of bullets and filing off of the end of their hard case … are also prohibited.” 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 11.

Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states that “expanding bullets” are prohibited weapons. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 31.b.(2).(b).

Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states that “expanding bullets” are prohibited weapons. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 32(b)(2)(b), p. 248.

Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Military Manual (1990) prohibits the use of various weapons that cause unnecessary suffering, including “bullets that expand or flatten easily in the human body”. 
Russian Federation, Instructions on the Application of the Rules of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the USSR, Appendix to Order of the USSR Defence Minister No. 75, 1990, § 6(a).

The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states: “The following shall be prohibited to use in the course of combat operations: … bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, both specially manufactured or modified to cause such an effect later on.” 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 9.

Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “It is prohibited to … [u]se weapons that can cause unnecessary suffering, e.g. exploding bullets or bullets that expand or flatten easily in human body to increase suffering.”  
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 44.

South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Weapons which are calculated to cause unnecessary suffering are illegal per se. Such weapons include … dum-dum bullets.” 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 34(f)(i).

South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states:
i. Prohibited Weapons. The following weapons have been prohibited:

(2) Expanding Bullets. The Hague Declaration outlawing them in 1899. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 56(f)(i).

Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) imposes an “absolute prohibition on the use of … bullets that expand (Dum-Dum) or flatten easily in the human body”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 3.2.a.(2).

Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that there is an absolute prohibition on the use of certain weapons, including “[b]ullets that expand (dum-dum) or flatten easily in the human body”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 3.2.b.

Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states that the use as a means of warfare of “bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body (bullets with a hard envelope which does not cover the core entirely or is pierced with incisions)” is prohibited. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 1.3.3.

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) states that the United Kingdom engages “to abstain from the use of bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions”. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 109.

The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states: “The following are prohibited in international armed conflict: … b. dum-dum bullets”. 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 5, p. 20, § 1(b).
(emphasis in original)
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states in its chapter on weapons:
6.9. It is prohibited to use in international armed conflicts “bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions”.
6.9.1. This prohibition is aimed at soft-nosed bullets that mushroom on impact or bullets whose casing is designed to fragment on impact causing, in either case, unnecessarily serious injuries. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 6.9–6.9.1.

United States of America
The US Field Manual (1956) states: “Usage, has … established the illegality of … the scoring of the surface or the filing off of the ends of the hard cases of bullets.” 
United States, Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 34(b).

The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states:
International law has condemned dum dum … bullets because of types of injuries and inevitability of death. Usage and practice has also determined that it is per se illegal … to use irregularly shaped bullets or to score the surface or to file off the end of the hard cases of the bullets which cause them to expand upon contact and thus aggravate the wound they cause. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 6-3(b)(2).

The US Instructor’s Guide (1985) stresses the prohibition of “irregular-shaped bullets such as dum-dum bullets”. 
United States, Instructor’s Guide – The Law of War, Headquarters Department of the Army, Washington, April 1985, p. 7.

Back to top
Andorra
Andorra’s Decree on Arms (1989) provides:
The manufacture, importation, circulation, possession, use, buying and selling and propaganda of the following weapons is forbidden:

11th Ammunition with hard centre perforating, explosive, incendiary, expanding, “dum-dum” and lead shot bullets as well as the projectiles of this kind of ammunition. 
Andorra, Decree on Arms, 1989, Chapter 1, Section II, Article 2.

Australia
Australia’s War Crimes Act (1945) considers “any war crime within the meaning of the instrument of appointment of the Board of Inquiry [set up to investigate war crimes committed by enemy subjects]” as a war crime, including the use of expanding bullets. 
Australia, War Crimes Act, 1945, Section 3.

Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with respect to serious war crimes that are committed in the course of an international armed conflict:
War crime – employing prohibited bullets
(1) A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator employs certain bullets; and
(b) the bullets are such that their use violates the Hague Declaration because they expand or flatten easily in the human body; and
(c) the perpetrator knows that, or is reckless as to whether, the nature of the bullets is such that their employment will uselessly aggravate suffering or the wounding effect; and
(d) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 25 years.
(2) Strict liability applies to paragraph (1)(b). 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.57, p. 337.

Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the war crimes defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “employing prohibited bullets … [which] expand or flatten easily in the human body” in international armed conflicts. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.57.

Belgium
Belgium’s Penal Code (1867), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :

38. employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions. 
Belgium, Penal Code, 1867, as amended on 5 August 2003, Chapter III, Title I bis, Article 136 quater, § 1(38).

Belgium’s Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (1993), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :

24. employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 1 ter, § 1(24).

Burundi
Burundi’s Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) states:
[The following are] considered as war crimes:

B. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflicts, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:

r) employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions. 
Burundi, Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Article 4(B)(r).

Burundi’s Penal Code (2009) states:
“War crimes” means crimes which are committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes, in particular:

2. … [S]erious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
Canada
Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) provides that the war crimes defined in Article 8(2) of the 1998 ICC Statute are “crimes according to customary international law” and, as such, indictable offences under the Act. 
Canada, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, 2000, Section 4(1) and (4).

Congo
The Congo’s Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act (1998) defines war crimes with reference to the categories of crimes defined in Article 8 of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
Congo, Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act, 1998, Article 4.

Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).

Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).

Ecuador
Ecuador’s National Civil Police Penal Code (1960) punishes the members of the National Civil Police “who use or order to be used … dum-dum bullets”. 
Ecuador, National Civil Police Penal Code, 1960, Article 117(4).

Estonia
Under Estonia’s Penal Code (2001), “use of … expanding bullets” is a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 103.

France
France’s Penal Code (1994), as amended in 2010, states in its section on war crimes related to international armed conflict: “[The following offences] are punishable by life imprisonment: … [u]sing bullets that easily deform in the human body”. 
France, Penal Code, 1994, as amended in 2010, Article 461-23.

Georgia
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), any war crime provided for by the 1998 ICC Statute that is not explicitly mentioned in the Code, such as “employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions,” in international armed conflicts, is a crime. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 413(d).

Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, in connection with an international or non-international armed conflict, “employs bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, in particular bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions”. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1, § 12(1)(3).

Iraq
Iraq’s Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (2005) identifies the following as a serious violation of the laws and customs of war applicable in international armed conflicts: “Using bullets, which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope, which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced”. 
Iraq, Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, 2005, Article 13(2)(T).

Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, provides: “It is prohibited to … use bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions.” 
Italy, Law of War Decree,1938, as amended in 1992, Article 35(6).

Mali
Under Mali’s Penal Code (2001), “using bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions” is a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Mali, Penal Code, 2001, Article 31(i)(19).

Netherlands
The Definition of War Crimes Decree (1946) of the Netherlands includes the “use of … expanding bullets” in its list of war crimes. 
Netherlands, Definition of War Crimes Decree, 1946, Article 1.

Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, “employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions” is a crime, when committed in an international armed conflict. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Article 5(5)(i).

New Zealand
Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), war crimes include the crime defined in Article 8(2)(b)(xix) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
New Zealand, International Crimes and ICC Act, 2000, Section 11(2).

Norway
Norway’s Penal Code (1902), as amended in 2008, states: “Any person is liable to punishment for a war crime who in connection with an armed conflict … employs bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body.” 
Norway, Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 2008, § 107(c).

Peru
Peru’s Code of Military and Police Justice (2006) states:
A member of the military or police shall be imprisoned for a period of no less than eight and no more than 15 years if he or she in the context of an international or non-international armed conflict:

3. Uses bullets that expand or flatten easily in the human body, in particular bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions. 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 102(3).

Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010), in a chapter titled “Crimes involving the use of prohibited means in the conduct of hostilities”, states:
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than eight years and not more than fifteen years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she:

3. Uses bullets which open or expand easily in the human body, in particular bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 92(3).

Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides for the punishment of anyone who commits the war crime of employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Republic of Korea, ICC Act, 2007, Article 14(1)(3).

Senegal
Senegal’s Penal Code (1965), as amended in 2007, states that the following constitute war crimes:
b) [O]ther serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:

16. employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions. 
Senegal, Penal Code, 1965, as amended in 2007, Article 431-3(b)(16).

South Africa
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the war crimes listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body” in international armed conflicts. 
South Africa, ICC Act, 2002, Schedule 1, Part 3, § (b)(xix).

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Under the UK ICC Act (2001), it is a punishable offence to commit a war crime as defined in Article 8(2)(b)(xix) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
United Kingdom, ICC Act, 2001, Sections 50(1) and 51(1) (England and Wales) and Section 58(1) (Northern Ireland).

Uruguay
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
26.2. Persons and objects affected by the war crimes set out in the present provision are persons and objects which international law protects in international or internal armed conflict.
26.3. The following are war crimes:

27. Employing bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions. 
Uruguay, Law on Cooperation with the ICC, 2006, Article 26.2 and 26.3.27.

Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, the use of, or the order to use, “means or methods of combat prohibited under the rules of international law, during a war or an armed conflict” is a war crime. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, 1976, as amended in 2001, Article 148(1).

Back to top
Colombia
In 1995, in a ruling on the constitutionality of the 1977 Additional Protocol II, the Constitutional Court of Colombia stated in relation to the prohibition on the use of weapons of a nature to cause unnecessary suffering or superfluous injury:
Although none of the treaty rules expressly applicable to internal conflicts prohibits indiscriminate attacks or the use of certain weapons, the Taormina Declaration consequently considers that the bans (established partly by customary law and partly by treaty law) on the use of … “dum-dum” bullets … apply to non-international armed conflicts, not only because they form part of customary international law but also because they evidently derive from the general rule prohibiting attacks against the civilian population. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-225/95, Judgment, 18 May 1995.

Back to top
Algeria
At the CDDH, Algeria supported the Philippine amendment (see infra), because “it was a simple reaffirmation of the principles of positive humanitarian law”.  
Algeria, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 286, § 37.

Canada
At the CDDH, Canada voted against the Philippine amendment (see infra) because “the particular weapons are forbidden by international law and their use, other than by way of reprisal, already constitutes a war crime”. 
Canada, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 298.

Colombia
In 1975, during discussions in the Ad Hoc Committee on Conventional Weapons established by the CDDH on the legality of high-velocity weapons, Colombia stated: “Such weapons were indeed comparable to … dum-dum bullets … It was thus essential to expedite the formulation of rules prohibiting their use.” 
Colombia, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XVI, CDDH/IV/SR.14, 5 March 1975, pp. 132–133, § 9.

Egypt
At the CDDH, Egypt expressed “its disappointment at the failure of the Philippine amendment, establishing as a grave breach the use of prohibited weapons, to be adopted”, but noted that Article 74 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 85) “as it stands now does cover the use of such weapons through their effects”. 
Egypt, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 300.

Ethiopia
The Report on the Practice of Ethiopia states, with reference to a press release by the Ministry of Defence: “Dum-dum bullets, which expand or flatten easily in the human body, were used during the war with Somalia in 1956.” 
Report on the Practice of Ethiopia, 1998, Chapter 3.1, referring to Ministry of Defence, Press Release, no date available, p. 16.

Finland
At the CDDH, Finland stated that it “attached the greatest importance to the prohibition of dum-dum bullets in The Hague Declaration of 1899”. 
Finland, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 285, § 34.

Finnish police are reported to have used hollow-point handgun bullets since 1994. 
Jorma Jussila and Ralph Wilhelm, “Sicher und wirksam: Munition der finnischen Polizei”, Deutsches Waffen Journal, No. 9, 2000, p. 132.
According to an article by the Finnish Senior Advisor of the Weapons Technology Police Technical Centre, the use of hollow-point expanding handgun bullets presents some advantages, such as the avoidance of danger to bystanders through over-penetration of the bullet or ricochet. The article’s author emphasizes the existence of “a very common misunderstanding”, which is that hollow-point handgun bullets cause much more tissue damage than non-deforming full metal jacket bullets. He states: “The truth, is, however, that a well designed expanding bullet causes less damage than some non-deforming full metal jacket bullet. This is because the latter starts tumbling causing an effect similar to that of an expanding bullet.” He adds:
Even when lethal ammunition are used some injury avoidance criteria must, however, be met. A bullet shall have consistent and controlled penetration thus minimising danger to bystanders while yet providing sufficient penetration in all circumstances. This is technically not possible without some braking mechanism like expansion or terminal ballistic instability. A bullet shall not cause more injury than is unavoidable. It shall not break up to fragments upon impact with soft tissue even when shot through various materials. A bullet shall have controlled trajectory. Upon impact with hard surface it shall not turn into excessively dangerous ricochets and the ricochets must not deflect significantly from the impact surface tangent. 
Jorma Jussila, “Future Police Operations and Non-Lethal Weapons”, Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Vol. 17, No. 3, July–September 2001, p. 259.

India
The Report on the Practice of India states: “Since India has subscribed to most of the Conventions which specifically declare certain weapons as prohibited, there is no possibility of use … of expanding bullets in times of international or internal armed conflicts.” In addition, the report states that, according to India’s practice, there is “a ban and restriction on the use of … expanding bullets”. 
Report on the Practice of India, 1997, Chapter 3.4.

Indonesia
On the basis of an interview with the Director of the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons Division of the Indonesian Armed Forces, the Report on the Practice of Indonesia states that Indonesia has prohibited the use of expanding bullets. 
Report on the Practice of Indonesia, 1997, Interview with the Director of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons Division of the Armed Forces, Chapter 3.4.

Iraq
At the CDDH, Iraq supported the Philippine amendment (see infra), since “the use of dum-dum bullets … had been prohibited for a very long time but the user was not liable to criminal proceedings. It was high time that the use of such appalling weapons was made a grave offence.” 
Iraq, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 284, § 24.

Italy
At the CDDH, Italy abstained in the vote on the Philippine amendment (see infra) because “it would not be useful because it dealt with means and methods of warfare which were already prohibited by the existing law”. 
Italy, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 285, § 30.

Jordan
According to the Report on the Practice of Jordan, Jordan has indicated that it does not use, manufacture or stockpile expanding bullets and it has no intention of possessing nor using such weapons in the future. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 3.4.

Mexico
In 2009, Mexico submitted a proposal to the UN Secretary General to amend Article 8(2)(c) of the 1998 ICC Statute in accordance with Article 121(1) of the Statute, stating:
Within the category of serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflicts, the use of certain weapons whose effects are of an indiscriminate nature or cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is included. Such weapons are … bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body. The use of these … kinds of weapons is prohibited by conventional and customary international law. 
Mexico, Proposal of Amendment to Article 8(2)(c) of the 1998 ICC Statute, submitted to the UN Secretary General in accordance with Article 121(1) of the ICC Statute, 29 September 2009, p. 2.
[footnotes in original omitted]
Philippines
At the CDDH, the Philippines proposed an amendment to include “the use of weapons prohibited by International Conventions, namely: bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body” in the list of grave breaches in Article 74 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 85). 
Philippines, Proposal of amendment to Article 74 of the draft Additional Protocol I submitted to the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. III, CDDH/418, 26 May 1977, p. 322.

Sweden
In 1977, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, Sweden stated that it, “together with others”, wanted to restate the ban on expanding bullets from 1899, but that the proposal had not met with general approval. 
Sweden, Statement before the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.1/32/PV.32, 14 November 1977, p. 27.

In 1975, during discussions in the Ad Hoc Committee on Conventional Weapons established by the CDDH, Sweden stated:
Several governments, including the US and the UK governments, had avoided a narrow interpretation of The Hague ban; their current military manuals prohibited not merely soft-nose bullets, but also irregularly-shaped bullets … It was significant that The Hague ban … had even had a decisive influence on the choice of weapons for police use, although it was not formally applicable in the domestic sphere. 
Sweden, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XVI, CDDH/IV/SR.11, 21 February 1975, p. 111, § 29.

Switzerland
At the CDDH, Switzerland voted in favour of the Philippine amendment (see supra) because:
It would be a step forward to state expressly that any violation of The Hague Declaration of 1899 and the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 would constitute a grave breach. The rules laid down in those two instruments were undisputed and indisputable, and the amendment would have a deterrent effect on any State tempted to violate them, by exposing the members of its armed forces to the penalties applicable under the Geneva Conventions. 
Switzerland, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 281, § 9.

United States of America
In 1974, in reply to a letter from a member of the US House of Representatives, the Acting General Counsel of the US Department of Defense stated:
The United States is not a party to the agreement prohibiting the use of expanding bullets or “dum-dums”, signed at The Hague, July 29 1899. In that Agreement, the parties agreed “to abstain from the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core, or is pierced with incisions”. The United States has, however, acknowledged that it will abide by the terms of the agreement prohibiting expanding bullets. 
United States, Department of Defense, Acting General Counsel, Reply of 18 January 1974 to a letter of 14 November 1973 of a member of the House of Representatives, Arthur W. Rovine, Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1974, Department of State Publication 8809, Washington, D.C., 1975, pp. 705–706.

At the CDDH, the United States voted against the Philippine amendment (see supra) because:
Grave breaches were meant to be the most serious type of crime; Parties had an obligation to punish or extradite those guilty of them. Such crimes should therefore be clearly specified, so that a soldier would know if he was about to commit an illegal act for which he could be punished. The amendment, however, was vague and imprecise. What standard would be applied, for example, in deciding whether a bullet expanded or flattened “easily” in the human body? … It would also punish those who used the weapons, namely, the soldiers, rather than those who made the decision as to their use, namely, Governments. 
United States, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, pp. 280–281, § 7.

In 1983, in a memorandum on the use of small-caliber armor-piercing incendiary (API) ammunition against enemy personnel, the US Department of the Army emphasized that no US ammunition violated, inter alia, the 1899 Hague Declaration concerning Expanding Bullets. 
United States, Department of the Army, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Memorandum on the use of small-caliber armor-piercing incendiary (API) ammunition against enemy personnel, 15 March 1983, § 2.

In 1990, in a memorandum of law on sniper use of open-tip ammunition, the US Department of the Army stated:
The United States is not a party to [the 1899 Hague Declaration concerning Expanding Bullets], but U.S. officials over the years have taken the position that the armed forces of the United States will adhere to its terms to the extent that its application is consistent with the object and purpose of article 23e of [the 1907 Hague Regulations]. 
United States, Department of the Army, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Sniper Use of Open-Tip Ammunition – Memorandum of Law, 12 October 1990, p. 4, § 3.

Wound ballistic research over the past fifteen years has determined that the prohibition contained in the 1899 Hague Declaration [concerning Expanding Bullets] is of minimal to no value, inasmuch as virtually all jacketed military bullets employed since 1899 with pointed ogival spitzer tip shape have a tendency to fragment on impact with soft tissue, harder organs, bone or the clothing and/or equipment worn by the individual soldier.

Weighing the increased performance of the pointed ogival spitzer tip bullet against the increased injury its break-up may bring, the nations of the world – through almost a century of practice – have concluded that the need for the former outweighs concern for the latter and does not result in unnecessary suffering as prohibited by the 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Expanding Bullets and the 1907 Hague Convention IV. The 1899 Hague Declaration Concerning Expanding Bullets remains valid for expression of the principle that a nation may not employ a bullet that expands easily on impact for the purpose of unnecessarily aggravating the wound inflicted upon an enemy soldier. 
United States, Department of the Army, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Sniper Use of Open-Tip Ammunition – Memorandum of Law, 12 October 1990, pp. 6–7, § 6.

In 1990, in a memorandum of law on sniper use of open-tip ammunition, the US Department of the Army stated that the use of the 7.62 Norma Match ammunition with open-tip bullet is not contrary to the Hague or Geneva rules, since the
purpose of the 7.62mm “open-tip” MatchKing bullet is to provide maximum accuracy at very long range … It may fragment upon striking its target, although the probability of its fragmentation is not as great as some military ball bullets currently in use by some nations. Bullet fragmentation is not a design characteristic, however, nor a purpose for use of the MatchKing by U.S. Army snipers. Wounds caused by MatchKing ammunition are similar to those caused by a fully jacketed military ball bullet, which is legal under the law of war … The military necessity for its use … is complemented by the high degree of discriminate fire it offers. 
United States, Department of the Army, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Sniper use of open-tip ammunition – Memorandum of law, 12 October 1990, p. 7.

In 1993, in a legal review of the USSOCOM Special Operations Offensive Handgun, the US Department of the Army stated:
The Hague Declaration Concerning Expanding Bullets of 29 July 1899 prohibits the use in international armed conflict … of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions.
The United States is not a party to this declaration, but has taken the position that it will adhere to the terms of this convention and its conventional military operations to the extent that its application is consistent with the object and purpose of article 23e of the [1907 Hague Regulations].

The conflict spectrum clearly has changed from 1899, and the immediate incapacitation essential to the prevention of the release of dangerous materials or the murder of hostages or prisoners of war necessitates reconsideration of the 1899 prohibition in light of these changed circumstances. The Hague Declaration retains its general validity in limiting use of expanding ammunition by conventional military forces in conventional armed conflict when such use may result in superfluous injury, absent a clear showing of military necessity for its use. 
United States, Department of the Army, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Legal Review of USSOCOM Special Operations Offensive Handgun, 16 February 1993, pp. 12 and 17.

In 1996, in a legal review of the Fabrique Nationale 5.7x28mm Weapon System, the US Department of the Army stated:
The United States is not a party to [the 1899 Hague Declaration concerning Expanding Bullets], but has taken the position that it will adhere to the terms of the convention in armed conflict to the extent that its application is consistent with the object and purpose of article 23e of the [1907 Hague Regulations]. 
United States, Department of the Army, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Fabrique Nationale 5.7x28mm Weapon System: Legal Review, 13 May 1996, p. 3.

Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
At the CDDH, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia voted in favour of the Philippine amendment (see supra), but because that amendment had been rejected it stated that it
deeply regrets that the use of unlawful methods or means of combat was not included in the grave breaches, particularly since to have done so would merely have been to have codified an already existing rule of customary law, because there can be no doubt that to use prohibited weapons or unlawful methods of making war is already to act unlawfully, that is, it is a war crime punishable by existing international law. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.44, 30 May 1977, p. 306.

In 1991, in a document entitled “Examples of violations of the rules of international law committed by the so-called armed forces of Slovenia”, the Ministry of Defence of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia stated:
The nature of the injuries of some of the members of the Yugoslav People’s Army show that forbidden means have been used in the armed conflict, before all ammunition suitable to inflict disproportionate and needless injuries, that reduce the chances of the injured to survive.
In that respect, the injuries of [a] soldier … are characteristic. He was hit in the tip of his right forearm and the round had crumbled and split the forearm bone, the tissue and thus blew the fist of the injured to bits. In the riddled channel and the surrounding tissue, pieces of a fragmented round were found. All that implies for the use of the so-called soft-nosed bullet. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Ministry of Defence, Examples of violations of the rules of international law committed by the so-called armed forces of Slovenia, 10 July 1991, § 4.

Back to top
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1970 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Underlining the continuing value of existing humanitarian rules relating to armed conflict, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907,

1. Calls upon all parties to any armed conflict to observe the rules laid down in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2677 (XXV), 9 December 1970, preamble and § 1, voting record: 111-0-4-12.

In a resolution adopted in 1971 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls again upon all parties to any armed conflict to observe the rules laid down in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and other humanitarian rules applicable in armed conflicts, and invites those States which have not yet done so to adhere to those instruments. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2852 (XXVI), 20 December 1971, § 1, voting record: 110-1-5-16.

In a resolution adopted in 1971 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Reiterates its call upon all parties to any armed conflicts to observe the rules laid down in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 … and invites those States which have not yet done so to adhere to those instruments. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2853 (XXVI), 20 December 1971, § 1, voting record: 83-15-14-20.

In a resolution adopted in 1972 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly called upon “all parties to armed conflicts to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3032 (XXVII), 18 December 1972, § 2, voting record: 103-0-25-4. The resolution was adopted by 103 votes in favour, none against and 25 abstentions (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, France, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Luxembourg, Malawi, Nepal, Portugal, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay), UN Doc. A/PV.2114, 18 December 1972, p. 20.

In a resolution adopted in 1973 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to acknowledge and to comply with their obligations under the humanitarian instruments and to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3102 (XXVIII), 12 December 1973, § 4, voting record: 107-0-6-22.

In a resolution adopted in 1974 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to acknowledge and to comply with their obligations under the humanitarian instruments and to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3319 (XXIX), 14 December 1974, § 3, adopted without a vote.

In a resolution adopted in 1975 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to acknowledge and to comply with their obligations under the humanitarian instruments and to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 3500 (XXX), 15 December 1975, § 1, adopted without a vote.

In a resolution adopted in 1976 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to acknowledge and to comply with their obligations under the humanitarian instruments and to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 31/19, 24 November 1976, § 1, adopted without a vote.

In a resolution adopted in 1977 on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, the UN General Assembly:
Calls upon all parties to armed conflicts to acknowledge and to comply with their obligations under the humanitarian instruments and to observe the international humanitarian rules which are applicable, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, the Geneva [Gas] Protocol of 1925 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949.  
UN General Assembly, Res. 32/44, 8 December 1977, § 6, adopted without a vote.

UN Secretary-General
In 1969, in a report on respect for human rights in armed conflict, the UN Secretary-General stated that some weapons which caused unnecessary suffering “have been prohibited for a long time by the international community (see for instance, the Hague Declaration of 1899 which prohibits the use of bullets ‘which expand or flatten in the human body’)”. 
UN General Assembly, Report of the Secretary-General on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, UN Doc. A/7720, 20 November 1969, p. 59.

UN Secretariat
In 1973, a survey conducted by the UN Secretariat noted that there was a consensus that expanding bullets were prohibited under the 1899 Hague Declaration concerning Expanding Bullets. 
UN Secretariat, Survey on respect for human rights in armed conflicts, Existing rules of international law concerning the prohibition or restriction of the use of specific weapons, UN Doc. A/9215, 7 November 1973, p. 134.

Back to top
OAU/ICRC Seminar on IHL
The first OAU/ICRC seminar on IHL for diplomats accredited to the OAU in 1994 recommended that the “Hague Law and relevant provisions regulating the means and methods of warfare such as the use of specific weapons must be applied to both international and non international conflictual situations”. 
OAU/ICRC, First seminar on IHL, Addis Ababa, 7 April 1994, Conclusions and Recommendations, § 9.

Back to top
No data.
Back to top
No data.
Back to top
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “The use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions, is prohibited.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 917.

The ICRC Commentary on the Additional Protocols states:
1419. The specific applications of the prohibition formulated in Article 23, paragraph 1(e), of the Hague Regulations, or resulting from the Declarations of St. Petersburg and The Hague, are not very numerous. They include:

2. “dum-dum” bullets, i.e., bullets which easily expand or flatten in the human body, such as bullets with a hard envelope which does not entirely cover the core or is pierced with incisions or bullets of irregular shape or with a hollowed out nose;

1420. The weapons which are prohibited under the provisions of the Hague Law are, a fortiori, prohibited under [Article 35(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I]. 
Yves Sandoz et al. (eds.), Commentary on the Additional Protocols, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 1419–1420.

Back to top
International Institute of Humanitarian Law
The Rules of International Humanitarian Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities in Non-international Armed Conflicts, adopted in 1990 by the Council of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, states: “The customary rule prohibiting the use of bullets which expand or flatten easily in the human body, such as dum-dum bullets, is applicable in non-international armed conflicts.” 
International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Rules of International Humanitarian Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities in Non-international Armed Conflicts, Rule B2, IRRC, No. 278, 1990, p. 397.