An Act respecting the Geneva Conventions, 1949
Marginal note:Short title
- R.S., c. G-3, s. 1
Marginal note:Conventions approved
2 (1) The Geneva Conventions for the Protection of War Victims, signed at Geneva on August 12, 1949 and set out in Schedules I to IV, are approved.
Marginal note:Protocols approved
(2) The Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts, and the Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the protection of victims of non-international armed conflicts, which Protocols are set out in Schedules V and VI, respectively, are approved.
Marginal note:Protocol approved
(3) The Protocol additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the adoption of an additional distinctive emblem, which Protocol is set out in Schedule VII, is approved.
- R.S., 1985, c. G-3, s. 2
- 1990, c. 14, s. 1
- 2007, c. 26, s. 1
PART IGrave Breaches
Marginal note:Grave breaches
3 (1) Every person who, whether within or outside Canada, commits a grave breach referred to in Article 50 of Schedule I, Article 51 of Schedule II, Article 130 of Schedule III, Article 147 of Schedule IV or Article 11 or 85 of Schedule V is guilty of an indictable offence, and
(a) if the grave breach causes the death of any person, is liable to imprisonment for life; and
(b) in any other case, is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
Marginal note:Third Protocol emblem
(1.1) For the purposes of subsection (1), the distinctive emblems mentioned in Article 85, paragraph 3(f) of Schedule V are deemed to include the third Protocol emblem, referred to in Article 2, paragraph 2 of Schedule VII.
(2) Where a person is alleged to have committed an offence referred to in subsection (1), proceedings in respect of that offence may, whether or not the person is in Canada, be commenced in any territorial division in Canada and that person may be tried and punished in respect of that offence in the same manner as if the offence had been committed in that territorial division.
Marginal note:Appearance of accused at trial
(3) For greater certainty, any legal requirements that the accused appear at and be present during proceedings and any exceptions to those requirements apply to proceedings commenced in any territorial division pursuant to subsection (2).
(4) Proceedings with respect to an offence referred to in subsection (1), other than proceedings before a court martial, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the National Defence Act, may only be commenced with the personal consent in writing of the Attorney General of Canada or the Deputy Attorney General of Canada and be conducted by the Attorney General of Canada or by counsel acting on behalf of the Attorney General of Canada.
- R.S., 1985, c. G-3, s. 3
- 1990, c. 14, s. 2
- 2007, c. 26, s. 2
- 2019, c. 15, s. 57
PART IILegal Proceedings in Respect of Protected Persons
4 In this Part,
court includes a General Court Martial and a Standing Court Martial convened under the National Defence Act; (tribunal)
offence means any act or omission that is an offence under the Criminal Code or any other Act of Parliament or that is a grave breach referred to in section 3; (infraction)
- prisoners’ representative
prisoners’ representative, in relation to a protected prisoner of war, means the person elected or recognized as that prisoner’s representative pursuant to Article 79 of the Geneva Convention set out in Schedule III; (représentant)
- protected internee
protected internee means a person interned in Canada who is protected by the Geneva Convention set out in Schedule IV; (interné protégé)
- protected prisoner of war
protected prisoner of war means a prisoner of war who is protected by the Geneva Convention set out in Schedule III; (prisonnier de guerre protégé)
- protecting power
protecting power means
(a) in relation to a protected prisoner of war, the country or organization that is carrying out, in the interests of the country of which that prisoner is a national or of whose forces that prisoner is or was a member at the time of his being taken prisoner of war, the duties assigned to protecting powers under the Geneva Convention set out in Schedule III, and
(b) in relation to a protected internee, the country or organization that is carrying out, in the interests of the country of which that internee is or was a national at the time of his internment, the duties assigned to protecting powers under the Geneva Convention set out in Schedule IV. (puissance protectrice)
- R.S., 1985, c. G-3, s. 4
- 1990, c. 14, s. 3
- 2008, c. 29, s. 30
Marginal note:Notice of trial of protected persons
5 (1) The court before which
(a) a protected prisoner of war is brought for trial for an offence, or
(b) a protected internee is brought for trial for an offence for which that court has power to sentence that internee to death or to imprisonment for a term of two years or more,
shall not proceed with the trial until it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that written notice of the trial containing, where known to the prosecutor, the information mentioned in subsection (2) has been given to the accused and the accused’s protecting power, not less than three weeks before the commencement of the trial, and, where the accused is a protected prisoner of war, to his prisoners’ representative.
Marginal note:Contents of notice
(2) The notice referred to in subsection (1) shall state
(a) the full name and a description of the accused, including his date of birth, profession or trade and, if the accused is a protected prisoner of war, his rank and army, regimental, personal or serial number;
(b) the place of detention, internment or residence of the accused;
(c) the offence with which the accused is charged; and
(d) the court before which the trial of the accused is to take place and the time and place appointed for the trial.
- R.S., c. G-3, s. 5
Marginal note:Time for appeal from sentence of death or imprisonment for two years or more
6 (1) Where a protected prisoner of war or a protected internee has been sentenced by a court to death or to imprisonment for a term of two years or more, the time allowed for an appeal against the conviction or sentence or against the decision of a court of appeal not to allow, dismiss or quash the conviction or sentence shall run from the day on which the protecting power has been notified of the conviction and sentence by
(a) an officer of the Canadian Forces, in the case of a protected prisoner of war; or
(b) the Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the case of a protected internee.
Marginal note:Sentence of death not to be executed before notice given
(2) Notwithstanding anything in this Act or any other Act, where a protected prisoner of war or a protected internee has been sentenced to death by a court, the sentence shall not be executed before the expiration of six months from the date on which the protecting power is given notice in writing thereof by the appropriate person referred to in paragraph (1)(a) or (b), which notice shall contain
(a) a precise wording of the finding and sentence;
(b) a summary of any preliminary investigation and of the trial and, in particular, of the elements of the prosecution and defence; and
(c) a copy of any order denying pardon or reprieve to that person.
- R.S., 1985, c. G-3, s. 6
- 1995, c. 5, s. 25
Marginal note:Prisoner of war subject to Code of Service Discipline
7 (1) Every prisoner of war is subject to the Code of Service Discipline as defined in section 2 of the National Defence Act and every prisoner of war who is alleged to have committed an offence referred to in subsection 3(1) shall be deemed to have been subject to the Code of Service Discipline at the time the offence was alleged to have been committed.
Marginal note:Under command of unit having custody
(2) A prisoner of war described in subsection (1) shall, for the purposes of the Code of Service Discipline, be deemed to be under the command of the commanding officer of such unit or other element of the Canadian Forces as may be holding that prisoner in custody.
- R.S., 1985, c. G-3, s. 7
- 1990, c. 14, s. 4
Marginal note:Regulations respecting prisoners of war
8 Subject to this Act, the Minister of National Defence may make such regulations as the Minister deems necessary respecting prisoners of war held by the Canadian Forces, including regulations to carry out and give effect to the provisions of the Geneva Convention set out in Schedule III respecting protected prisoners of war.
- R.S., c. G-3, s. 8
Marginal note:Certificate of Minister of Foreign Affairs
9 A certificate issued by or under the authority of the Minister of Foreign Affairs stating that at a certain time a state of war or of international or non-international armed conflict existed between the states named therein or in any state named therein is admissible in evidence in any proceedings for an offence referred to in this Act without proof of the signature or authority of the person appearing to have issued it and is proof of the facts so stated.
- R.S., 1985, c. G-3, s. 9
- 1990, c. 14, s. 5
- 1995, c. 5, s. 25
- Date modified: