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Final Protocol of the Conference for the Revision of the Geneva Convention. - A. Pearce Higgins, The Hague Peace Conferences and Other International Conferences concerning the Laws and Usages of War 
The Hague Peace Conferences and Other International Conferences concerning the Laws and Usages of War. Texts of Conventions with Commentaries, by A. Pearce Higgins, LL.D. (Cambridge University Press, 1909).
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Final Protocol of the Conference for the Revision of the Geneva Convention.
The Conference convoked by the Swiss Federal Council with a view to the revision of the International Convention of the 22nd August, 1864, for the amelioration of the condition of soldiers wounded in armies in the field has assembled at Geneva on the 11th June, 1906. The Powers enumerated below have taken part in the Conference, for which purpose they had designated the under-mentioned Delegates:
[Names of Delegates.]
In a series of meetings held from the 11th June to the 5th July, 1906, the Conference has discussed and drawn up, with a view to its being signed by the Plenipotentiaries, the text of a Convention which shall bear the date 6th July, 1906.
In addition, and in accordance with Article 16 of the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes of the 29th July, 1899, which recognizes arbitration as the most efficacious and the most equitable means for the settlement of disputes which have not been determined diplomatically, the Conference has framed the following Resolution:—
The Conference expresses the desire that, in order to arrive at an interpretation and application as exact as possible of the Geneva Convention, the Contracting Powers should submit to the Permanent Court at The Hague, if the cases and the circumstances permit, any differences which may, in time of peace, arise between them relative to the interpretation of the said Convention.
This Resolution has been voted by the following States:—
Germany, Argentine Republic, Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Congo, Denmark, Spain (ad ref.), United States of America, United States of Brazil, United States of Mexico, France, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Luxemburg, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Norway, Netherlands, Peru, Persia, Portugal, Roumania, Russia, Servia, Siam, Sweden, Switzerland, and Uruguay.
This Resolution has been declined by the following States: Corea, Great Britain, and Japan.
In witness whereof the Delegates have signed the present Protocol.
Done at Geneva, the 6th July, 1906, in a single copy, which shall be deposited in the archives of the Swiss Confederation, and of which copies, certified as correct, shall be delivered to all the Powers represented at the Conference.
The following states have up to the present ratified this Convention: Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Brazil, the Congo, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain (under reserve of Articles 23, 27, 28), Italy, Japan and Corea, Luxemburg, Mexico, Russia, Siam, Spain, Switzerland, the United States of America. The following have acceded (under the provisions of Art. 32, par. 3): Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Turkey and Venezuela.
The Convention of 1864 remains in force at present between the following Powers who signed it, and who have not ratified or adhered to the Convention of 1906: the Argentine Republic, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chili, China, Dominica, Ecuador, France, Greece, Guatemala, Hayti, Holland, Honduras, Montenegro, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Persia, Portugal, Roumania, Salvador, Servia, Sweden and Uruguay.
With regard to the position of Corea the following note is appended to the signature of the Japanese Plenipotentiary on behalf of Corea in the British Blue Book on this subject:
“His Majesty’s Government have received from the Swiss Minister a notification that by a Declaration dated the 15th October, 1906, the Japanese Chargé d’Affaires at Berne stated that, in virtue of the Agreement between Japan and Corea of the 17th November, 1905, the Imperial Japanese Government has the right of entirely controlling the foreign relations and affairs of Corea. Consequently the inclusion of Corea in the preamble of the Convention and the signature of the latter by the Japanese Plenipotentiary on behalf of Corea as a separate Contracting Party, being erroneous and incompatible with the aforesaid arrangement, are considered by the Japanese Government as null and void1 .”
It is important to notice that Great Britain ratified the Convention under reserves of Arts. 23, 27, 28. These Articles, it will be seen, provide that the emblem of the Red Cross shall not be used in peace or war, except to protect or indicate medical units and establishments and the personnel and material protected by the Convention, and that the signatory Powers whose legislation is insufficient to prevent the abuse of the name or sign of the Red Cross or Geneva Cross, particularly for commercial purposes as trade marks or commercial labels, shall adopt or propose to their legislative bodies such measures as may be necessary to secure the name and emblem from abuse in peace or war. Several Powers had, previous to the Conference, legislated with this object2 , but the British delegates in signing, and the British Government in their ratification were unable to accept these Articles, though approving of their principles, by reason of the uncertainties of Parliamentary proceedings in this country.
The Hague Conference of 1899 left the initiative in the matter of a Conference for the revision of the Geneva Convention of 1864 to the Swiss Government. This Government, as early as 1901, took steps with a view of calling together a Conference, but owing partly to the dilatoriness of some of the states, and partly to the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war, it was not until the 11th June, 1906, that the Conference met. The number of Powers represented was larger than that at the Hague in 1899, some of the Powers appearing at an International Conference for the first time. The Conference terminated its labours on the 6th July.
The new Convention contains 33 Articles as against 10 in the Convention of 1864, and is divided into eight chapters dealing with the whole subject. The terminology of the new Convention now harmonises with current usage; the words “neutral” and “neutrality” are no longer used to signify inviolability or immunity from capture, but are restricted to cases of internment, and the personnel of Voluntary Aid Societies of a neutral country whose service is accepted by a belligerent. The terms “ambulances” and “hospitals” are replaced by “mobile sanitary units” or “sanitary formations” and “fixed establishments of the medical service.” The position of Voluntary Aid or Red Cross Societies is made clear. In the case of Societies belonging to one of the belligerents, only when the personnel is recognised by their Government and subject to military laws and regulations do they become entitled to the privileges of the Convention. The position of neutral Societies when rendering assistance to a belligerent is also clearly defined and full protection afforded to their material (Arts. 16, 21 and 22). Such Societies are not entitled to fly the flag of the state to which they belong, but must fly that of the belligerent to which they are attached together with the flag adopted by the Convention, except when they have fallen into the hands of the enemy. The details of the organisation of such Societies and the regulations for their work are not dealt with by the Convention.
The Convention of 1864 left untouched the question of the position of sick and wounded who fell into the hands of the enemy; the Convention of 1906 is explicit on this point, and declares them to be prisoners of war (Art. 2). They thus fall under the régime provided by Chapter ii. of the Regulations of the Hague Conventions on the laws of war on land. Provision is made for the identification of the dead, and the return of property found on them, and for the notification of the names of dead, sick and wounded by one belligerent to the other. This had been partially provided for by 2 H. C. 1899 (Regulations), Art. 14.
The Convention makes it clear that not only officers and soldiers, but other persons officially attached to armies, are also to be respected and taken care of, when sick or wounded, by the belligerent in whose power they may be, without distinction of nationality. The subject of convoys of evacuation, which in 1864 was but slightly dealt with, is made the subject of detailed regulations (Art. 17).
Article 5 of the Convention of 1864, and Article 4 of the unratified Convention of 1868, had in practice been found to be unsatisfactory, and in lieu thereof Article 5 now leaves to the discretion of the military authorities appeals to the charitable zeal of the inhabitants to collect and take care of the sick and wounded, as well as the special immunities which may be granted to those who comply with the request.
The Convention also makes it clear that the “Red Cross” has no religious significance (Art. 10), and contains provisions stringently limiting its use (Arts. 18-23).
Article 26 is similar to 2 H. C. 1899, Art. 1, and binds the signatory Powers to take measures to instruct their troops in the provisions of the present Convention, but it goes farther than this, for the Powers also agree to “bring them to the notice of the civil population.”
The Convention of 1864 left the Protocol open unconditionally for the accession of Powers (Art. 9). Article 32 of the new Convention limits the freedom of accession and under it any of the Powers mentioned in paragraphs 1 and 2 of that Article may object to the application of a new Power for leave to accede in cases where its military organisation does not afford sufficient guarantees of its ability to carry out the obligations imposed by the Convention1 .
Great Britain declined to be a party to the Vœu that “if the cases and the circumstances permit” any differences “which may in time of peace” arise between the contracting Powers relative to the interpretation of the Convention should be submitted to the Permanent Court at the Hague2 .
THE HAGUE PEACE CONFERENCES 1899 AND 1907
[1 ]Treaty Series, 1907, No. 15 [Cd. 3502], p. 39.
[2 ]See two Articles by Prof. Gustave de Roszkowski, Rev. de dr. int. (2nd series), Vol. vi. pp. 76, 188. The Powers in question are: The Argentine Republic, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Roumania, Russia, Servia, Spain and the United States. See Papers relating to the Geneva Convention, 1906 [1908, Cd. 3933], pp. 64-73.
[1 ]See J. Delpech, La nouvelle convention de Genève, pp. 35-7.
[2 ]Prof. Holland, K.C., who was one of the British Plenipotentiaries at the Conference, states the reasons for the refusal of Great Britain on p. 239 of the Article in the Fortnightly Review previously cited.