Treaties, States Parties and Commentaries
Treaties and Documents
Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Additional Protocols, and their Commentaries
Historical Treaties and Documents
Convention (II) for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea. Geneva, 12 August 1949.
. -- COMING INTO FORCE
' Paragraph 1 ' states that the Convention will enter into force six months after deposit of the second instrument of ratification; it will, of course, enter into force at that juncture only between the first two States which ratify it.
That date marks an event of some importance, however; it is the date on which the Convention becomes an integral part of international law, and thereafter non-signatory States may accede to it.
When the Convention enters into force in a country, it does not follow that it becomes applicable, since according to Articles 2
provision is only made for implementation in the event of armed conflict. Certain Articles may nevertheless take effect in peace-time (1).
The six months which must elapse in the case of each State before its ratification or accession takes effect should give it time to take such preliminary steps, particularly legislative and administrative measures, as are necessary in view of the obligations it has assumed.
[p.277] The present Convention entered into force on October 21, 1950, Switzerland having ratified it on March 31, 1950, and Yugoslavia on April 21 of the same year.
' Paragraph 2 ' provides that, for each State which subsequently ratifies it, the Convention will enter into force six months after deposit of the instrument of ratification; from that date, the State in question will be bound in regard to all Powers which have ratified the Convention not less than six months before. Thereafter, it will become bound in its relations with other Powers six months after each of them has ratified the Convention.
* (1) [(3) p.276] For example, Article 48 (dissemination of the
Convention), Articles 50 to 52 (penal sanctions), Article
43 (marking of hospital ships), Article 39 (medical
aircraft), Article 19 (information bureau, identity