Friday, April 9, 2021

Updated GPW Commentary

A summary of the International Committee of the Red Cross's updated commentary on the Third Geneva Convention can be found here. The summary was written by Jemma Arman, Jean-Marie Henckaerts, Heleen Hiemstra, and Kvitoslava Krotiuk. 

Since their publication in the 1950s and 1980s respectively, the Commentaries on the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 have become a major reference for the application and interpretation of those treaties. The International Committee of the Red Cross, together with a team of renowned experts, is currently updating these Commentaries in order to document developments and provide up-to-date interpretations of the treaty texts. This article highlights key points of interest covered in the updated Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention. It explains the fundamentals of the Convention: the historical background, the personal scope of application of the Convention and the fundamental protections that apply to all prisoners of war (PoWs). It then looks at the timing under which certain obligations are triggered, those prior to holding PoWs, those triggered by the taking of PoWs and during their captivity, and those at the end of a PoW's captivity. Finally, the article summarizes key substantive protections provided in the Third Convention.

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