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[PASSED] Wartime Looting and Pillage

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[PASSED] Wartime Looting and Pillage

Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:31 am

"At the advice of my colleagues, I've split up some of the topics in Considerations for Occupations, and this is what I've decided to start on first. Much like Rules of Surrender, it seems like one of those common sense topics that somehow was missed. Questions, comments, concerns, and blind adoration are all welcome."

Wartime Looting and Pillage
Human Rights | Significant


Noting the necessity of military conflict and the violence and destruction that often follows;

Seeking to protect civilians who find themselves caught in a situation they aren’t responsible for, and;

Striving for a fair balance between strategic considerations and civilian lives;

The World Assembly establishes thusly:

Article I. Wartime Looting

1. Wartime looting shall be defined as the forceful seizure or theft of non-essential or humanitarian relief supplies by a military entity from civilian non-combatants within a theatre of combat operations during a time of armed conflict.

2. Wartime looting shall be determined by the nature of the goods being seized; seizure of essential supplies, such as food, water, or medical supplies not distributed as humanitarian aid, and material essential for immediate military operations, shall not be considered wartime looting, provided the owners are left sufficient supplies for their own needs.

3. Essential supplies seized from non-government entities by military forces shall be replaced or compensated for as soon as possible by the nation responsible for the seizure.

4. During conflict, member states shall specifically prohibit the seizure or damage of artistic or cultural treasures without explicit permission from the artefact’s rightful governing authority, except for the purpose of temporarily securing them against damage or theft.

5. Member states are obliged to return secured artefacts to their rightful governing authority at the cessation of hostilities, and shall compensate owners for damages sustained in the interim.

6. Member states shall consider actions deliberately contrary to these provisions to be wartime looting, and therefore a war crime, and shall take all necessary steps to prevent it within their jurisdiction.

7. Member states shall consider command responsibility in the prosecution of wartime looting, and shall consider orders to the contrary of these provisions to be manifestly illegal. Member states shall ensure that subordinates can refuse such orders without fear of penalty.

Article II. Wartime Pillaging

1. Wartime pillage shall be defined as the intentional use of violence against civilians and their property by a military force, except where rendered, in the strictest sense, an absolute necessity by military strategy.

2. Member states’ military forces are obliged to prevent unnecessary or disproportionate use of violence against civilians. Military forces may respond in self-defence with equivalent force to open aggression against them by civilians.

3. Member states’ military forces are obliged to limit deliberate targeting of civilian property, except where such action is rendered an absolutely military necessity, and shall take all possible steps to protect civilian property from destruction in the territory they effectively control.

4. The use of violence against civilian persons or property for the purposes of coercion or reprisal shall never be considered a military necessity by member states.

5. Member states shall consider actions deliberately contrary to these provisions to be wartime pillaging, and therefore a war crime, and shall take all necessary steps to prevent it within their jurisdiction.

6. Member states shall consider command responsibility in the prosecution of wartime pillaging, and shall consider orders to the contrary of these provisions to be manifestly illegal. Member states shall ensure that subordinates can refuse such orders without fear of penalty.
Last edited by Ardchoille on Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:29 pm, edited 21 times in total.

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Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:09 am

"So, I've not yet bothered with preambulatory clauses. I hope you won't hold it against me. I've a few ideas kicking around, but I always found them to be unimportant fluff, so, for the time being, they've been skipped.

"I'd like feedback on the strength. RoS could have been Significant and wasn't, so I'm not sure where this stands. I also don't know if I really ought to define "military hardware" or not. We'll see?"

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Postby The Dark Star Republic » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:22 am

"Significant is a pretty good starting point for now. It's pretty rare for proposals to be yanked on Strength unless it's an extreme violation anyway.

"I don't think you should define military hardware unless it's unavoidable: as happens every time an arms trade resolution comes up, defining that inspires spectacular levels of dictionary wanking. Perhaps you could use a different term, though, like 'material essential to military operations'.

"This is obviously a very thorough draft, but my main concerns would be that because the WA has never really defined lawful combatants, irregulars, etc., as discussed ad nauseam, the line between civilian and military is not very sharp. So, for example, military forces can only respond to 'open aggression': but there's nothing in international law (that I'm aware of; the WA Counterterrorism Act wouldn't apply here) to stop civilians from covert actions such as sabotage. Now, if we were having this discussion in Geneva, one might say that if civilians did that, they lose their protected status: but we're not in Geneva, we're in the WA Headquarters, and there's no such allowance in international law.

"I'm not necessarily sure it's fair for me to ask you to solve this problem, which has proved relatively intractable since the WA first began legislating on war, but it's maybe something to bear in mind.

"Also, can you be consistent between 'member states' and 'members', unless there's a reason for using the two terms interchangeably?"

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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:27 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:"So, I've not yet bothered with preambulatory clauses. I hope you won't hold it against me. I've a few ideas kicking around, but I always found them to be unimportant fluff, so, for the time being, they've been skipped.

"I'd like feedback on the strength. RoS could have been Significant and wasn't, so I'm not sure where this stands. I also don't know if I really ought to define "military hardware" or not. We'll see?"


OOC: Such a definition might actually be prudent: one IRL case that immediately pops to mind is the Soviet confiscation/removal/wholesale relocation of factories from their occupation zone (what became East Germany) back to the USSR proper immediately following WWII. A lot of it was for building trucks and tanks and such, but even though there wasn't an actual military necessity for it by then, it might still be plausibly described as "military hardware" under the terms of this proposal. Whereas under any scheme they could absolutely have justified simply grabbing any motor vehicle they found, since transportation is both a military necessity and a tactical threat. The subsequent reconstruction of Eastern Europe was then of course hindered to some extent by the lack of a well-industrialized Germany to contribute to it (all economic ideological fuckery aside).

All that may be tangential to what you're going for here; but it helps to hash this stuff out as the boundaries of discussion.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:31 pm

The Dark Star Republic wrote:"Significant is a pretty good starting point for now. It's pretty rare for proposals to be yanked on Strength unless it's an extreme violation anyway.

"I don't think you should define military hardware unless it's unavoidable: as happens every time an arms trade resolution comes up, defining that inspires spectacular levels of dictionary wanking. Perhaps you could use a different term, though, like 'material essential to military operations'.

"I think I like that phrase better. It includes items like fuel, tools, or tires that wouldn't otherwise be included..."


"I'm not necessarily sure it's fair for me to ask you to solve this problem, which has proved relatively intractable since the WA first began legislating on war, but it's maybe something to bear in mind.

"The first version of this had such a clause. I think the best way to handle this issue would be to repeal and replace the WA's terrorism laws and address it there. As it stands, Rules of Surrender makes no differentiation between the two, and I don't see any reason why basic human rights proposals shouldn't be as blind. I've a bit of a tirade on the topic, but I'll save it, as this isn't the place."

"Also, can you be consistent between 'member states' and 'members', unless there's a reason for using the two terms interchangeably?"

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"Eh, I guess I could try..." :p

Sierra Lyricalia wrote:
OOC: Such a definition might actually be prudent: one IRL case that immediately pops to mind is the Soviet confiscation/removal/wholesale relocation of factories from their occupation zone (what became East Germany) back to the USSR proper immediately following WWII. A lot of it was for building trucks and tanks and such, but even though there wasn't an actual military necessity for it by then, it might still be plausibly described as "military hardware" under the terms of this proposal. Whereas under any scheme they could absolutely have justified simply grabbing any motor vehicle they found, since transportation is both a military necessity and a tactical threat. The subsequent reconstruction of Eastern Europe was then of course hindered to some extent by the lack of a well-industrialized Germany to contribute to it (all economic ideological fuckery aside).

OOC: I read the same case. I suppose I could include the term "Immediately". That would preclude any long-term hoarding of essential equipment, but on the whole, I can't see any way of preventing nations from abusing this if they want to. There are simply too many variables in war to effectively cover all creative abuses. I'd like to see an ICC replacement, because I deliberately included the term "War Crime" in this, in Rules of Surrender, and in the yet published drafts I've written, so, if an ICC replacement ever comes about, the WA has a little room in determining what is reasonable and what is not. Unfortunately, that is the best I can do. Would that be enough to assuage your concern on the topic?

All that may be tangential to what you're going for here; but it helps to hash this stuff out as the boundaries of discussion.

OOC: Don't worry. I've found the tangential conversation related to these proposals invaluable in either re-addressing the scope, or planning new legislature. I welcome the opportunity to discuss those issues which may escape the scope of this bill, that they can be addressed appropriately.

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Postby Sierra Lyricalia » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:47 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:OOC: I read the same case. I suppose I could include the term "Immediately". That would preclude any long-term hoarding of essential equipment.... Would that be enough to assuage your concern on the topic?


Indeed. I can't see much more comprehensive language on the topic being productive. As you say: non-compliers gonna non-comply. :p
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Postby Lumeau » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:05 pm

I like this idea.

One suggestion: remove "hostile" from the clauses that mention a "hostile military entity." I'm assuming you're talking about foreign or rebel forces in a member nation. It is not unheard of for a nation's own military to loot and pillage its own towns, especially in times of civil war, when a unit goes rogue, or when those controlling the military are particularly unscrupulous. I think it's better if this resolution covers ALL military units.

Tentative support.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:43 pm

Lumeau wrote:I like this idea.

One suggestion: remove "hostile" from the clauses that mention a "hostile military entity." I'm assuming you're talking about foreign or rebel forces in a member nation. It is not unheard of for a nation's own military to loot and pillage its own towns, especially in times of civil war, when a unit goes rogue, or when those controlling the military are particularly unscrupulous. I think it's better if this resolution covers ALL military units.

Tentative support.

"Honestly, the WA can't really prevent units from going rogue, and I'm wary to consider nonhostile militaries the same way. I imagine that would block military dictatorships from taxation, after all."

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Postby The Dark Star Republic » Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:16 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:I think the best way to handle this issue would be to repeal and replace the WA's terrorism laws and address it there.

"If only some some bright spark had thought up a repeal attempt on WA Counterterrorism Act... 8)

Daisy continues wearing her sunglasses for the remainder of her address to the Assembly.

"Ok, that's fair. We were just mentioning it really for reference. It's not something we expected to be resolved here. Or at all.
Separatist Peoples wrote:"Honestly, the WA can't really prevent units from going rogue, and I'm wary to consider nonhostile militaries the same way. I imagine that would block military dictatorships from taxation, after all."

"Given this resolution only applies in times of armed conflict, not really. That said, I'm concerned about other nonhostile scenarios: for example, a peacekeeping mission? Peacekeepers aren't 'hostile': but the record of peacekeepers in foreign territory is not entirely unblemished either."

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Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:04 pm

The Dark Star Republic wrote:"If only some some bright spark had thought up a repeal attempt on WA Counterterrorism Act... 8)

Daisy continues wearing her sunglasses for the remainder of her address to the Assembly.

"Always a shame to see perfectly good ideas bludgeoned by shortsightedness," Bell nods sanctimoniously, suppressing a grin.

"Given this resolution only applies in times of armed conflict, not really. That said, I'm concerned about other nonhostile scenarios: for example, a peacekeeping mission? Peacekeepers aren't 'hostile': but the record of peacekeepers in foreign territory is not entirely unblemished either."

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"I suppose, strictly speaking, they really aren't hostile," Bell concedes, "and I don't want any force excluded. It still boggles the mind to imagine a friendly force engaging in overt and condoned looting and pillaging of their own supporters, but the international landscape does often look a bit more like a bunch of teenagers playing god than a rational international community. Saves on the character count, too."

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Postby Page » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:07 pm

Taking trophies from battle such as enemy helmets and knives is a thousand year old part of Pagian military tradition, and therefore we must oppose this measure unless an amendment permitting the possession of combat trophies is included.
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Wed Nov 05, 2014 9:12 pm

Page wrote:Taking trophies from battle such as enemy helmets and knives is a thousand year old part of Pagian military tradition, and therefore we must oppose this measure unless an amendment permitting the possession of combat trophies is included.


1. Wartime looting shall be defined as the forceful seizure or theft of non-essential or humanitarian goods by a hostile military entity from civilian noncombatants during a time of armed conflict.


"You must have missed the bit about this being geared towards protecting civilians, ambassador. There is no intention to prevent nations from taking whatever they want off enemy soldiers, be it flags or ears...Though I believe taking body parts as trophies was addressed be previous resolutions, now that I consider it. So, there's nothing in this proposal that limits that."

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Postby Lumeau » Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:01 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:
Lumeau wrote:I like this idea.

One suggestion: remove "hostile" from the clauses that mention a "hostile military entity." I'm assuming you're talking about foreign or rebel forces in a member nation. It is not unheard of for a nation's own military to loot and pillage its own towns, especially in times of civil war, when a unit goes rogue, or when those controlling the military are particularly unscrupulous. I think it's better if this resolution covers ALL military units.

Tentative support.

"Honestly, the WA can't really prevent units from going rogue, and I'm wary to consider nonhostile militaries the same way. I imagine that would block military dictatorships from taxation, after all."


If the WA can't prevent units from going rogue, how exactly do you prevent them from looting, either? Yet that's the whole point of this resolution.

Also, I think military dictatorships taxing their people falls well outside the commonly-accepted definition of "looting." In any event, you could very easily carve that out of your resolution as follows: "Nothing in this resolution shall be interpreted to limit the ability of military juntas to levy monetary taxes for public purposes on its own population."
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:04 am

Lumeau wrote:
If the WA can't prevent units from going rogue, how exactly do you prevent them from looting, either? Yet that's the whole point of this resolution.

Also, I think military dictatorships taxing their people falls well outside the commonly-accepted definition of "looting." In any event, you could very easily carve that out of your resolution as follows: "Nothing in this resolution shall be interpreted to limit the ability of military juntas to levy monetary taxes for public purposes on its own population."

"I'm having a hard time seeing how it wouldn't. Compliance isn't magic: laws are written into national law, but they don't become suddenly impossible to break. That's why the ICC existed. At any rate, I removed the term hostile, as per your and Ms. Chinmusic's suggestion."

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Postby The Dark Star Republic » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:12 am

"One thought so far is to use the term "deliberate targeting", which might resolve some of the issues in 6 & 7.

"In 4, you use 'actions outside of', but in 9, you use 'actions contrary to'. You should be consistent; personally, I feel the latter is the better construction

"Minor note, I think you should change 'Pillaging' to 'Pillage', as you don't actually use the term 'pillaging' anywhere in the proposal other than the title and subtitle. And we've already seen that some people will literally claim non-compliance on grounds of different conjugations of words!"

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Postby Defwa » Fri Nov 07, 2014 8:44 am

I'm a little concerned about clause 2, though mainly as a creative compliance issue. I know people will like to play around with the meaning of "immediate" and that can pose a risk of armies intentionally starving civilians in occupation.
If something along the lines of "so long as acquisition/seizure does not disable civilians from fulfilling their basic needs" I would feel much better
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:03 am

Defwa wrote:I'm a little concerned about clause 2, though mainly as a creative compliance issue. I know people will like to play around with the meaning of "immediate" and that can pose a risk of armies intentionally starving civilians in occupation.
If something along the lines of "so long as acquisition/seizure does not disable civilians from fulfilling their basic needs" I would feel much better

"If I alter clause 3 to state supplies must be replaced ASAP, and not just in a reasonable timeframe, would that address your concerns? Scavenging civilian essentials is only beneficial when the troops are so hard up for supplies they have to make do with nonstandard equipment. The only reason to do so with a well-supplied force would be to harm civilians, but if they have to replace what the take...I don't see the benefit.

I suppose nations could always deliberately cause a supply issue so they can abuse a population, but that's escaping the realm of Reasonable Nation Theory."

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Postby Defwa » Fri Nov 07, 2014 9:32 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:
Defwa wrote:I'm a little concerned about clause 2, though mainly as a creative compliance issue. I know people will like to play around with the meaning of "immediate" and that can pose a risk of armies intentionally starving civilians in occupation.
If something along the lines of "so long as acquisition/seizure does not disable civilians from fulfilling their basic needs" I would feel much better

"If I alter clause 3 to state supplies must be replaced ASAP, and not just in a reasonable timeframe, would that address your concerns? Scavenging civilian essentials is only beneficial when the troops are so hard up for supplies they have to make do with nonstandard equipment. The only reason to do so with a well-supplied force would be to harm civilians, but if they have to replace what the take...I don't see the benefit.

I suppose nations could always deliberately cause a supply issue so they can abuse a population, but that's escaping the realm of Reasonable Nation Theory."

My concern is completely out of fear for creative compliance. ASAP isnt really better, by which i mean the current language would have the same effect.
It should be okay for most situations. I'll see if i can think of something better
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Postby Louisistan » Sat Nov 08, 2014 5:33 am

Separatist Peoples wrote:
6. Member states’ military forces are obliged to limit unnecessary use of violence against civilians.

"How about obliging them to stop it altogether? I mean, we're talking about unnecessary us of violence. I can already see those damn Bigtopians: "We have limited the unnecessary use of violence against vcivilians to a few thousand cases a year. We are in compliance." Damn those Bigtopians! Simply outlaw it.

Other than that, this seems reasonably straightforward and after consulting with the Ministry of Defence, I will gladly voice our support for this great proposal."
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:20 am

Louisistan wrote:
Separatist Peoples wrote:
6. Member states’ military forces are obliged to limit unnecessary use of violence against civilians.

"How about obliging them to stop it altogether? I mean, we're talking about unnecessary us of violence. I can already see those damn Bigtopians: "We have limited the unnecessary use of violence against vcivilians to a few thousand cases a year. We are in compliance." Damn those Bigtopians! Simply outlaw it.

Other than that, this seems reasonably straightforward and after consulting with the Ministry of Defence, I will gladly voice our support for this great proposal."

"Accidental casualties are unavoidable though, ambassador, especially in urban areas. Banning them altogether will fill member's military prisons with artillery officers and pilots, as there is always the null option of not protracting war at all in play. I could tuck the term targeting in there, too, though."

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Postby Grays Harbor » Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:38 am

It has long been tradition in all Imperial forces to consider looting to be on a level with murder and rape, and is in most cases a capitol offense. We also extend this penalty to enemy forces who commit similar acts. Looting is dishonourable.
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Postby Bears Armed » Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:54 am

Grays Harbor wrote:and is in most cases a capitol offense.

"You send the perpetrators to your national legislature?!?"

^_^
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Postby Separatist Peoples » Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:12 am

Bears Armed wrote:
Grays Harbor wrote:and is in most cases a capitol offense.

"You send the perpetrators to your national legislature?!?"

^_^

"Can you think of a more insidious punishment?" :P

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Postby Grays Harbor » Sat Nov 08, 2014 6:31 pm

Bears Armed wrote:
Grays Harbor wrote:and is in most cases a capitol offense.

"You send the perpetrators to your national legislature?!?"

^_^

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Postby Normlpeople » Mon Nov 10, 2014 6:52 pm

Separatist Peoples wrote:"Can you think of a more insidious punishment?" :P


"Yes, Ambassador Bell, I can. You could send them to work as WA interns. Or would that violate the regulations on torture, either way... to the point at hand. I would like to see a clarification that disarming the citizens of an occupied territory shall not fall into this category. I don't feel that leaving a population armed is a sound tactical decision, yet removing their arms may fall afoul of this.

I would also like a provision that allows for seizure of items that are of significant cultural or monetary value, for the sole purpose of relocating them to a safe zone, on the condition that they be returned when the location(s) of the owners are no longer in danger of having the item destroyed. Then again, this is hard to word, especially since some less-honorable soldiers would neglect to return it.

All in all, I like the way it is shaping up. I support this wholeheartedly."
Words and Opinion of Clover the Clever
Ambassador to the WA for the Armed Kingdom of Normlpeople

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