Geneva Conventions Common Article 3 US compliance memo [US DOD]

Application of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions to the Treatment of Detainees in the Department of Defense, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England, July 7, 2006 [directing that all DOD personnel adhere to Article 3 standards on detainee treatment].


The Supreme Court has determined that Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 applies as a matter of law to the conflict with Al Qaeda. The Court found that the military commissions as constituted by the Department of Defense are not consistent with Common Article 3.

It is my understanding that, aside from the military commission procedures, existing DoD orders, policies, directives, execute orders, and doctrine comply with the standards of Common Article 3 and, therefore, actions by DoD personnel that comply with such issuances would comply with the standards of Common Article 3. ... In addition, you will recall the President's prior directive that "the United States Armed Forces shall continue to treat detainees humanely," humane treatment being the overarching requirement of Common Article 3.

You will ensure that all DoD personnel adhere to these standards. In this regard, I request that you promptly review all relevant directives, regulations, policies, practices, and procedures under your purview to ensure that they comply with the standards of Common Article 3.
Read the full text of the memo [PDF]. Reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here.

Opinions expressed in JURIST Commentary are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST's editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.

Support JURIST

We rely on our readers to keep JURIST running

 Donate now!

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.