Geneva Conventions Act 1958

  • This version was replaced on 26 July 2017 to make a correction to section 3(2)(d) under section 25(1)(j)(v) of the Legislation Act 2012.

Punishment of offenders against Conventions or First Protocol

Heading: replaced, on 10 July 1987, by section 4 of the Geneva Conventions Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 144).

3 Punishment for grave breaches of Conventions or First Protocol or Third Protocol

(1)

Any person who in New Zealand or elsewhere commits, or aids or abets or procures the commission by another person of, a grave breach of any of the Conventions or of the First Protocol or the Third Protocol is guilty of an offence.

(2)

For the purposes of this section—

(a)

a grave breach of the First Convention is a breach of that Convention involving an act referred to in Article 50 of that Convention committed against persons or property protected by that Convention:

(b)

a grave breach of the Second Convention is a breach of that Convention involving an act referred to in Article 51 of that Convention committed against persons or property protected by that Convention:

(c)

a grave breach of the Third Convention is a breach of that Convention involving an act referred to in Article 130 of that Convention committed against persons or property protected by that Convention:

(d)

a grave breach of the Fourth Convention is a breach of that Convention involving an act referred to in Article 147 of that Convention committed against persons or property protected by that Convention:

(e)

a grave breach of the First Protocol is a breach of that Protocol involving—

(i)

an act or omission referred to in paragraph 4 of Article 11 of that Protocol committed against or omitted in respect of persons protected by paragraph 1 of that Article; or

(ii)

an act referred to in paragraph 2 of Article 85 of that Protocol committed against persons or property protected by that paragraph; or

(iii)

an act referred to in paragraph 3 of Article 85 of that Protocol committed against persons or property protected by that paragraph; or

(iv)

an act or omission referred to in paragraph 4 of Article 85 of that Protocol committed against or omitted in respect of persons or property protected by that paragraph:

(f)

a grave breach of the Third Protocol is a breach of that Protocol involving the perfidious use, in violation of Article 37 of the First Protocol, of the distinctive emblem of the red crystal (as if it were a distinctive emblem specified in paragraph (3)(f) of Article 85 of the First Protocol).

(3)

This section applies to persons regardless of their nationality or citizenship.

(4)

The punishment for an offence against this section shall be,—

(a)

where the offence involves the wilful killing of a person protected by the relevant Convention or by the First Protocol, as the case may require, the same as that for the time being for murder:

(b)

in any other case, imprisonment for life or a lesser term.

(5)

No one shall be prosecuted for an offence against this section without the leave of the Attorney-General.

(6)

The provisions of section 5 (other than subsection (2)) shall apply in relation to the trial of a person who is not a protected prisoner of war for an offence against this section in like manner as they apply in relation to the trial of a protected prisoner of war.

(7)

If—

(a)

in any proceedings under this section in respect of a grave breach of any of the Conventions any question arises under Article 2 of that Convention (which relates to the circumstances in which the Convention applies); or

(b)

in any proceedings under this section in respect of a grave breach of the First Protocol any question arises under paragraph 3 or paragraph 4 of Article 1 of that Protocol or under Article 3 of that Protocol (which relate to the circumstances in which that Protocol applies),—

that question shall be determined by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and a certificate purporting to set out any such determination and to be signed by or on behalf of that Minister shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be so signed without further proof, unless the contrary is shown.

(8)

[Repealed]

Section 3: replaced, on 10 July 1987, by section 4 of the Geneva Conventions Amendment Act 1987 (1987 No 144).

Section 3 heading: amended, on 23 April 2014, by section 5(1) of the Geneva Conventions (Third Protocol—Red Crystal Emblem) Amendment Act 2012 (2012 No 96).

Section 3(1): amended, on 23 April 2014, by section 5(2) of the Geneva Conventions (Third Protocol—Red Crystal Emblem) Amendment Act 2012 (2012 No 96).

Section 3(1): amended, on 1 July 2013, by section 413 of the Criminal Procedure Act 2011 (2011 No 81).

Section 3(2)(f): inserted, on 23 April 2014, by section 5(3) of the Geneva Conventions (Third Protocol—Red Crystal Emblem) Amendment Act 2012 (2012 No 96).

Section 3(4)(b): replaced, on 1 October 2000, by section 185 of the International Crimes and International Criminal Court Act 2000 (2000 No 26).

Section 3(7): amended, on 1 July 1993, by section 6(1) of the Foreign Affairs Amendment Act 1993 (1993 No 48).

Section 3(8): repealed, on 1 July 2009, by section 87 of the Court Martial Act 2007 (2007 No 101).