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The rules of engagement in occupied territory: should they be published?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2007
JournalMelbourne Journal International Law
Number of pages13
Original languageEnglish


The traditional view amongst some states is that the rules of engagement are not published beyond those who need to know them in the armed forces of a state. The reason given for this is that publishing them widely would allow an enemy to know how a particular operation will be conducted and, for instance, the limitations imposed by them on soldiers before they are permitted to open fire. After discussing the nature of rules of engagement and the confusion over this term, this think piece will consider whether this traditional view should be maintained where territory is occupied and where Geneva Convention IV applies. It will be explored from both the standpoint of the civilian in occupied territory and that of the soldier. The conclusion is that the rules of engagement (in some form) should be published by a state in occupation of territory.