Legal Advisers in the Field During Armed Conflict   [open pdf - 475KB]

From the Document: "Legal advisers are supposed to be made available to military commanders, particularly during hostilities, as a product of AP/I (Protocol I of 1977 Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949). Article 82 of AP/I proclaims: 'The High Contracting Parties at all times, and the Parties to the conflict in time of armed conflict, shall ensure that legal advisers are available, when necessary, to advise military commanders at the appropriate level on the application of the Conventions and this Protocol and on the appropriate instruction to be given to the armed forces on this subject.' This treaty stipulation was quite innovative in 1977, but it has definitely caught on thenceforth. Needless to say, all Contracting Parties to AP/I are bound to comply with Article 82 (unless an explicit reservation has been recorded at the time of ratification or accession). But even as far as non-Contracting Parties are concerned, it is noteworthy that the United States-- which thoroughly objects to numerous provisions of AP/I--by no means dissents from Article 82. Indeed, the US Department of Defense 'Law of War Manual' (citing Article 82) attests that qualified legal advisers are made available at all levels of command to provide advice about law of war compliance during planning and execution of operations."

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International Law Studies (2021), v.97 p.917-936
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