IRRC No. 258

Belgian Red Cross (French-speaking community): The implementation of the Additional Protocols in Belgium

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In November 1977 the Belgian Government appointed an interdepartmental commission to study questions relating to the ratification of the Protocols additional to the Geneva Conventions. This was done even before the Protocols, which had been adopted on 8 June of that year, were open for signature. The commission's work at that point was both to determine whether there was cause for Belgium to make an interpretative declaration or even announce a reservation when ratifying the Protocols, and to draft a bill for a law approving that ratification. This required consultation not only between the various ministerial departments concerned with implementing the Protocols but also between the Belgian Government and the governments of member countries of the military alliance to which Belgium belongs. It will be noted that the two NATO countries which ratified the Protocols before Belgium had decided not to make an interpretative declaration accompanying their ratification and did not therefore have to await the result of that consultation. The only reservation formulated by Denmark related to a question of judicial procedure in its national law.

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