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Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June
1977 to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949

Yves Sandoz, Christophe Swinarski, and Bruno Zimmermann, editors

Geneva, 1987

Following the meeting of two sessions of the Conference of Government Experts on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts (1971-1972), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) drew up the complete text of two draft Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions, one for cases of international armed conflict, the other for conflicts not of an international nature. The drafts were sent to all participating governments in June 1973, and presented to the 22nd International Conference of the Red Cross in November 1973. These drafts served as the basis for discussion at the Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts (1974-1977), convened by the Swiss Government in its capacity as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions. Attendees were drawn from States that were Parties to the Geneva Conventions as well as from Members of the United Nations. In June 1977, at the completion of the Diplomatic Conference, the two Protocols were adopted and, along with other international instruments, entered into force on December 7, 1978.

       The Commentary on the Additional Protocols of 8 June 1977, published in 1987, is considered a scholarly work and aims to explain the provisions of the protocols. Most of the authors whose work appears in the Commentary participated in the Diplomatic Conference (CDDH) as members of the ICRC delegation. The Commentary, the full text of which is linked below, also contains the text of select resolutions adopted at the fourth session of the 1974-1977 Diplomatic Conference; a list of resolutions of the International Conferences of the Red Cross (1921 to 1981) and the 1949 and 1974-1977 Diplomatic Conferences; a list of resolutions adopted by various international bodies; a bibliography of all publications and documents cited in the text of the commentary; and a list of all international instruments, whether in force or not, cited in the text of the commentary. (Library of Congress Call Number KZ6464.3 .Z4 1987; OCLC Number 313457199)


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Commentary on the Additional Protocols
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