GENEVA CONVENTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1998

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Number 35 of 1998


GENEVA CONVENTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1998


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definition.

2.

Amendment of section 2 of Principal Act.

3.

Amendment of section 3 of Principal Act.

4.

Amendment of section 4 of Principal Act.

5.

Substitution of section 5 of Principal Act.

6.

Judicial notice of report of International Fact-Finding Commission.

7.

Additional Schedules to Principal Act.

8.

Certification by order of any reservation or declaration to Protocol I or Protocol II.

9.

Restriction of use of civil defence international distinctive sign and other distinctive signals.

10.

Regulations.

11.

Identity cards for journalists.

12.

Information cards for evacuated children.

13.

Amendment of Red Cross Acts, 1938 to 1954.

14.

Amendment of Prisoners of War and Enemy Aliens Act, 1956.

15.

Restriction of application of section 12 of Extradition Act, 1965 (military offences).

16.

Contributions to International Fact-Finding Commission.

17.

Expenses.

18.

Short title, collective citation, construction and commencement.

SCHEDULE

Schedules to be Inserted into the Principal Act


Acts Referred to

Criminal Justice Act, 1964

1964, No. 5

Extradition Act, 1965

1965, No. 17

Geneva Conventions Act, 1962

1962, No. 11

Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851

14 & 15 Vict., c. 93

Prisoners of War and Enemy Aliens Act, 1956

1956, No. 27

Red Cross Act, 1938

1938, No. 32

Red Cross Act, 1954

1954, No. 28

Red Cross Acts, 1938 to 1954


Number 35 of 1998


GENEVA CONVENTIONS (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1998


AN ACT TO ENABLE EFFECT TO BE GIVEN TO THE PROTOCOLS ADDITIONAL TO THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS OF 1949 ADOPTED AT GENEVA ON 8 JUNE 1977 AND FOR THAT PURPOSE TO AMEND THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS ACT, 1962 , THE RED CROSS ACTS, 1938 TO 1954, AND SECTION 1 OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR AND ENEMY ALIENS ACT, 1956 , AND TO PROVIDE FOR CONNECTED MATTERS. [13th July, 1998]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Definition.

1.—In this Act “the Principal Act” means the Geneva Conventions Act, 1962 .

Amendment of section 2 of Principal Act.

2.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution for section 2 of the following section:

“Interpretation.

2.— In this Act—

‘court’ does not include a court-martial;

‘International Fact-Finding Commission’ means the International Fact-Finding Commission established under Article 90 of Protocol I;

‘the Minister’ means the Minister for Foreign Affairs;

‘protected internee’ means a person protected by the Convention set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Act and Protocol I and interned in the State;

‘protected prisoner of war’ means a person protected by the Convention set out in the Third Schedule to this Act (including a person protected as a prisoner of war under Protocol I) or a person entitled under Protocol I to the same protection as a prisoner of war;

‘the protecting power’, in relation to a protected prisoner of war or a protected internee, means the power or organisation which is carrying out, in the interests of the power of which he or she is a national, or of whose forces he or she is, or was at any material time, a member, the duties assigned to protecting powers under the Convention set out in the Third Schedule to this Act, the Convention set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Act or Protocol I;

‘Protocol I’ means the Protocol, additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I) adopted at Geneva on 8 June 1977, the text of which is set out in the Fifth Schedule to this Act;

‘Protocol II’ means the Protocol, additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II) adopted at Geneva on 8 June 1977, the text of which is set out in the Sixth Schedule to this Act;

‘the Scheduled Conventions’ means the Conventions set out in the Schedules to this Act.”.

Amendment of section 3 of Principal Act.

3.Section 3 (which relates to grave breaches of the Scheduled Conventions) of the Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution for subsection (1) (as amended by section 10 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1964 ), of the following subsections:

“(1) Any person, whatever his or her nationality, who, whether in or outside the State, commits or aids, abets or procures the commission by any other person of a grave breach of any of the Scheduled Conventions or Protocol I shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction on indictment—

(a) in the case of a grave breach involving the wilful killing of a person protected by the Convention or Protocol in question, shall be liable to imprisonment for life or any less term,

(b) in the case of any other grave breach, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.

(1A) Any person, whatever his or her nationality, who, whether in or outside the State, fails to act, when under a duty to do so, to prevent the commission by another person of a grave breach of any of the Scheduled Conventions or Protocol I shall be guilty of an offence and on conviction on indictment shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.

(1B) For the purposes of this section—

(a) a grave breach of any of the Scheduled Conventions is anything referred to as a grave breach of the Convention in the relevant Article, that is to say—

(i) in the case of the Convention set out in the First Schedule to this Act, Article 50,

(ii) in the case of the Convention set out in the Second Schedule to this Act, Article 51,

(iii) in the case of the Convention set out in the Third Schedule to this Act, Article 130,

(iv) in the case of the Convention set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Act, Article 147, and

(b) a grave breach of Protocol I is anything referred to as a grave breach of the Protocol in paragraph 4 of Article 11, or paragraph 2, 3 or 4 of Article 85, of the Protocol.”.

Amendment of section 4 of Principal Act.

4.—(1) Section 4 (which relates to minor breaches of the Scheduled Conventions) of the Principal Act is hereby amended by—

(a) in subsection (1), the insertion after “Scheduled Conventions” of “or of Protocol I or Protocol II”,

(b) the insertion after subsection (1) of the following subsection:

“(1A) Any person, whatever his or her nationality, who, in the State, fails to act, when under a duty to do so, to prevent the commission by another person of a minor breach of any of the Scheduled Conventions or Protocol I or Protocol II shall be guilty of an offence.”,

(c) in subsection (2), the insertion after “Scheduled Conventions” of “or of Protocol I or Protocol II”,

(d) the insertion after subsection (2) of the following subsection:

“(2A) Any citizen of Ireland who, outside the State, fails to act, when under a duty to do so, to prevent the commission by another person of a minor breach of any of the Scheduled Conventions or Protocol I or Protocol II shall be guilty of an offence.”,

(e) in paragraph (a) of subsection (3), the substitution for “six” of “12” and for “fifty pounds” of “£1,500”,

(f) in paragraph (b) of subsection (3), the substitution for “three hundred pounds” of “£15,000”, and

(g) the substitution for subsection (4) of the following:

“(4) In this section ‘minor breach’ means—

(a) contravention of a provision of any of the Scheduled Conventions or of Protocol I which is not any such grave breach of that Convention or that Protocol as is mentioned in the relevant Article thereof referred to in section 3 of this Act, or

(b) a contravention of Protocol II.”.

(2) Notwithstanding section 10 (4) of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851 , summary proceedings for an offence under section 4 of the Principal Act may be instituted within two years from the date of the offence.

Substitution of section 5 of Principal Act.

5.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution for section 5 of the following section:

“Proof of application of any Scheduled Convention or Protocol.

5.— If, in any proceedings under this Act in respect of any breach of any of the Scheduled Conventions or of Protocol I or Protocol II, a question arises under Article 2 or 3 of any of the Scheduled Conventions or Article 1 or 3 of Protocol I or Article 1 of Protocol II (which relate to the circumstances in which the Conventions and Protocols apply), that question shall be determined by the Minister and a certificate purporting to set out any such determination and to be signed by or on behalf of the Minister shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be so signed, without further proof, unless the contrary is shown.”.

Judicial notice of report of International Fact-Finding Commission.

6.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion after section 5 of the following section:

“Judicial notice of report of International Fact-Finding Commission.

5A. In any proceedings under this Act, judicial notice shall be taken of a report of the International Fact-Finding Commission, submitted under paragraph 5 of Article 90 of Protocol I.”.

Additional Schedules to Principal Act.

7.—The Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion after the Fourth Schedule thereto of the Schedules set out in the Schedule to this Act as the Fifth and Sixth Schedules to the Principal Act.

Certification by order of any reservation or declaration to Protocol I or Protocol II.

8.—(1) If the ratification by the State of Protocol I or Protocol II is subject to any reservation or accompanied by a declaration—

(a)...

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