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IV.: Convention concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land. - 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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Convention concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land.
His Majesty the German Emperor, King of Prussia; &c.2
Considering that, while seeking means to preserve peace and prevent armed conflicts between nations, it is likewise necessary to have regard to cases where an appeal to arms may be caused by events which their solicitude could not avert;
Animated also by the desire to serve, even in this extreme case, the interests of humanity and the ever-progressive needs of civilization; and
Thinking it important, with this object, to revise the laws and general customs of war, either with the view of defining them more precisely, or of laying down certain limits for the purpose of modifying their severity as far as possible;
Have deemed it necessary to complete and render more precise in certain particulars the work of the First Peace Conference, which, following on the Brussels Conference of 1874, and inspired by the ideas dictated by a wise and generous forethought, adopted provisions, the object of which is to define and govern the usages of war on land.
According to the views of the High Contracting Parties, these provisions, the wording of which has been inspired by the desire to diminish the evils of war, so far as military necessities permit, are intended to serve as general rules of conduct for belligerents in their relations with each other and with populations.
It has not, however, been possible to agree forthwith on provisions embracing all the circumstances which occur in practice;
On the other hand, it could not be intended by the High Contracting Parties that the cases not provided for should, for want of a written provision, be left to the arbitrary judgment of military Commanders.
Until a more complete code of the laws of war can be issued, the High Contracting Parties think it expedient to declare that in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, populations and belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established between civilized nations, from the laws of humanity, and the requirements of the public conscience.
They declare that it is in this sense especially that Articles 1 and 2 of the Regulations adopted must be understood.
The High Contracting Parties, desiring to conclude a fresh Convention to this effect, have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries, that is to say:
[Names of Plenipotentiaries.]
Who, after having deposited their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following:—
The High Contracting Parties will issue to their armed land forces, instructions which shall be in conformity with the “Regulations respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land” annexed to the present Convention.
The provisions contained in the Regulations mentioned in Article 1 are only binding on the Contracting Powers, in case of war between two or more of them.
These provisions shall cease to be binding from the time when, in a war between Contracting Powers, a non-Contracting Power joins one of the belligerents.
The provisions contained in the Regulations referred to in Article 1, as well as in the present Convention, are only binding between Contracting Powers, and only if all the belligerents are parties to the Convention.
A belligerent party which violates the provisions of the said Regulations shall, if the case demands, be liable to make compensation. It shall be responsible for all acts committed by persons forming part of its armed forces.
The present Convention, when duly ratified, shall replace, as between the Contracting Powers, the Convention of the 29th July, 1899, respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land.
The Convention of 1899 remains in force as between the Powers which signed it, but which do not ratify also the present Convention.
The present Convention shall be ratified as speedily as possible.
The ratifications shall be deposited at the Hague.
A procès-verbal shall be drawn up recording the receipt of each ratification, and a copy, duly certified, shall be sent through the diplomatic channel, to all the Contracting Powers.
The present Convention shall be ratified as soon as possible.
The ratifications shall be deposited at The Hague.
The first deposit of ratifications shall be recorded in a Procès-verbal signed by the Representatives of the Powers which take part therein and by the Netherland Minister for Foreign Affairs.
The subsequent deposits of ratifications shall be made by means of a written notification, addressed to the Netherland Government and accompanied by the instrument of ratification.
A duly certified copy of the Procès-verbal relating to the first deposit ofratifications, of the notifications mentioned in the preceding paragraph, as well as of the instruments of ratification, shall be immediately sent by the Netherland Government through the diplomatic channel to the Powers invited to the Second Peace Conference, as well as to the other Powers which have acceded to the Convention. In the cases contemplated in the preceding paragraph, the said Government shall inform them at the same time of the date on which it received the notification.
Non-Signatory Powers are allowed to accede to the present Convention.
For this purpose they must make their accession known to the Contracting Powers by means of a written notification addressed to the Netherland Government, and by it communicated to all the other Contracting Powers.
Non-Signatory Powers may accede to the present Convention.
A Power which desires to accede notifies its intention in writing to the Netherland Government, forwarding to it the act of accession, which shall be deposited in the archives of the said Government.
The said Government shall immediately forward to all the other Powers a duly certified copy of the notification as well as of the act of accession, mentioning the date on which it received the notification.
The present Convention shall take effect, in the case of the Powers which were parties to the first deposit of ratifications, sixty days after the date of the Procès-verbal recording such deposit, and, in the case of the Powers which shall ratify subsequently or which shall accede, sixty days after the notification of their ratification or of their accession has been received by the Netherland Government.
In the event of one of the High Contracting Parties denouncing the present Convention, such denunciation would not take effect until a year after the written notification made to the Netherland Government, and by it at once communicated to all the other Contracting Powers.
This denunciation shall only affect the notifying Power.
In faith of which the Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Convention and affixed their seals thereto.
Done at the Hague, the 29th July, 1899, in a single original, which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Netherland Government, and of which duly certified copies shall be sent, through the diplomatic channel, to the Contracting Powers.
Annex to the Convention.
In the event of one of the Contracting Powers wishing to denounce the present Convention, the denunciation shall be notified in writing to the Netherland Government, which shall immediately communicate a duly certified copy of the notification to all the other Powers, informing them of the date on which it was received.
The denunciation shall only operate in respect of the notifying Power, and only on the expiry of one year after the notification has reached the Netherland Government.
A register kept by the Netherland Ministry for Foreign Affairs shall record the date of the deposit of ratifications effected in virtue of Article 5, paragraphs 3 and 4, as well as the date on which the notifications of accession (Article 6, paragraph 2) or of denunciation (Article 8, paragraph 1) have been received.
Each Contracting Power is entitled to have access to this register and to be supplied with duly certified extracts from it.
In faith whereof the Plenipotentiaries have appended their signatures to the present Convention.
Done at The Hague, the 18th October, 1907, in a single original, which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Netherland Government, and of which duly certified copies shall be sent, through the diplomatic channel, to the Powers invited to the Second Peace Conference.
Annex to the Convention.
[2 ]List of Powers as in Final Act of 1907.
[1 ]For “High Contracting Parties” read “Contracting Powers.”