Military Manual on international law relevant to Danish armed forces in international operations.
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Foreword by Peter Christensen, prior Danish Minister of Defence:
Over recent decades, the Danish armed forces have participated actively in international land, sea, and air operations. The question of Denmark’s compliance with international law, including international humanitarian law, has become part of the daily business of the Danish Defence and is a subject of growing interest from political quarters as well as from the general public at large.
Therefore, I am extremely pleased with the publication of this Manual – the first of its kind in Denmark. The Manual is a result of the Danish Defence Agreement for the period 2010-2014 in which a broad spectrum of political parties agreed that Denmark should have its own military manual with the aim of further strengthening the Danish Defence’s training in, and application of, international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict.
This Manual provides the Danish Defence with a comprehensive perspective for understanding their obligations under international law when Danish soldiers participate in international operations. For instance, this might include such issues as the identification of military objectives, the use of force, and protective measures for the civilian population, the wounded and sick, and persons deprived of liberty. Moreover, the Manual includes many important lessons learned from the Danish armed forces’ participation in international operations over recent decades.
The Manual will be a living document reflecting dynamic developments, for instance, in case law from the European Court of Human Rights as well as practical experience the Danish Defence garners from deployment in highly diverse international operations.
Over the years, Denmark has deployed several military contingents that have taken on a variety of tasks under very different and often very difficult conditions. The Manual will provide a legal frame work for planning the participation of the Danish Defence in international operations and, in particular, for preparing operational orders tailored to the specific international operation.
I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the many people – both inside and outside the Danish Defence and government departments involved – who have contributed to the extensive and thorough work on the Manual.
Defence Command Denmark
October 12, 2020