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Updated Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention of 1949 – New from the International Committee of the Red Cross

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In 2011, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a team of renowned experts embarked on a major project: updating the Commentaries on the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977, which date back to the 1950s and 1980s respectively.
Since then, the Geneva Conventions and Protocols have been put to the test, and there have been significant developments in how they are applied and interpreted in practice. The new Commentaries seek to document these developments and provide up-to-date interpretations.
This third volume is an article-byarticle commentary on the Third Geneva Convention, which is a foundational text for international humanitarian law (IHL).

It contains rules for the protection of prisoners of war who fall into enemy hands during an international armed conflict.

The Third Convention requires humane treatment of prisoners of war, including respect for their person and honour.

The treaty also contains the articles common to all the Conventions, setting out the obligation to respect and ensure respect for the Conventions and defining minimum rules applicable in non-international armed conflicts. In addition, it requires States to establish universal jurisdiction over grave breaches and to suppress all other violations of the Convention.

This updated Commentary takes into account developments in law and practice over the past six decades gleaned from State practice, case law, legal writings and the ICRC archives. It has undergone an extensive peer review by practitioners and academics from around the world.
It is an essential resource for anyone dealing with IHL.

All six volumes of the updated Commentaries will be published electronically and in print in the coming years and will be translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

The new Commentary on the Third Geneva Convention can be consulted online at:

It is forthcoming in simultaneous hardback, paperback, and eBook formats from Cambridge University Press in autumn 2020: subjects/law