Geneva Conventions Act 2015

Link to law: http://www.palemene.ws/new/wp-content/uploads/01.Acts/Acts%202015/Geneva-Conventions-Act-2015-Eng.pdf

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rangement of Provisions

PART 1
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement
2. Interpretation 3. Meaning of protected
emblems and protected items
4. Application of the Conventions and the
Protocols under the laws of
Samoa

PART 2
BREACH OF THE
CONVENTIONS OR
PROTOCOLS

5. Breach of the Conventions or Protocols
6. Meaning of grave breach 7. Legal representation 8. Proof of application of the
Conventions or Protocols
PART 3
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS FOR
PROTECTED PERSONS
9. Protected persons 10. Legal representation of protected
prisoner of war
11. Notice of trial 12. Appeals by protected persons 13. Reduction of sentence and custody
of protected persons

PART 4
PROTECTED EMBLEMS

14. Consent to use protected emblems or items
15. Offence to use protected emblem or items
16. Forfeiture
PART 5
MISCELLANEOUS

17. Regulations 18. Consequential amendments
Schedule




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2 Geneva Conventions 2015, No. 26

2015, No. 26

AN ACT to enable effect to be given to certain Conventions
done at Geneva on 12 August 1949 and to the Protocols
additional to those Conventions done at Geneva on 8 June
1977, and for related purposes. [09th
July 2015]

BE IT ENACTED by the Legislative Assembly of Samoa in
Parliament assembled as follows:

PART 1
PRELIMINARY

1. Short title and commencement-(1) This Act may be cited
as the Geneva Conventions Act 2015 and shall be read together
and form part of the respective Acts that are amended by it.
(2) This Act comes into force on the date of assent.

2. Interpretation - In this Act, unless the contrary intention
appears:
“Court” includes the Supreme Court or the District Court of
Samoa;
“grave breach” has the meaning in section 6;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for Foreign Affairs
and Trade;
“the First Convention” means the Geneva Convention for the
Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded and Sick in
Armed Forces in the Field, adopted at Geneva on 12
August 1949;
“the Second Convention” means the Geneva Convention for
the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and
Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, adopted at
Geneva on 12 August 1949;
“the Third Convention” means the Geneva Convention
relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, adopted at
Geneva on 12 August 1949;


2015, No. 26 Geneva Conventions 3

“the Fourth Convention” means the Geneva Convention
relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of
War, adopted at Geneva on 12 August 1949;
“the Conventions” means the First Convention, the Second
Convention, the Third Convention and Fourth Convention;
“offence” means any act or omission that is an offence under
the Crimes Act 2013 or any other law or that is, by virtue
of section 3 and 4, an offence under any such law;
“prisoners’ representative”, is in relation to a particular
protected prisoner of war at a particular time and means
the person responsible for the functions of prisoners’
representative within the meaning of Article 79 of the
Third Convention and were exercisable in relation to that
prisoner at the camp or place at which that prisoner was, at
or last before that time, detained as a protected prisoner of
war;
“protected person” means a protected internee or protected
prisoner of war;
“protected internee” means a person protected by the Fourth
Convention or Protocol I, and interned in Samoa;
“protected prisoner of war” means a person protected by the
Third Convention or a person who is protected as a
prisoner of war under Protocol I;
“the protecting power”, in relation to a protected prisoner of
war or a protected internee, means the power or
organization which is carrying out, in the interests of the
power of which he or she is a national, or of whose forces
he or she is, or was at any material time, a member, the
duties assigned to protecting powers under the Third
Convention, the Fourth Convention or Protocol I, as the
case may be;
“Protocol I” means the Protocol Additional to the Geneva
Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the
Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts
(Protocol I), done at Geneva on 8 June 1977;
“Protocol II” means the Protocol Additional to the Geneva
Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the
Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed
Conflicts (Protocol II), done at Geneva on 8 June 1977;


4 Geneva Conventions 2015, No. 26

“Red Cross Society” means the Samoa Red Cross Society;
and
“the Protocols” means Protocol I and Protocol II.

3. Meaning of protected emblems and protected items-(1)
A protected emblem means:
(a) the emblem of a red cross with vertical and horizontal
arms of the same length on, and completely
surrounded by, a white ground, or the designation
“Red Cross” or “Geneva Cross”;
(b) the emblem of a red crescent moon on, and completely
surrounded by, a white ground, or the designation
“Red Crescent”;
(c) the following emblem in red on, and completely
surrounded by, a white ground, that is to say, a lion
passing from right to left of, and with its face
turned towards, the observer, holding erect in its
raised right forepaw a scimitar, with appearing
above the lion’s back, the upper half of the sun
shooting forth rays, or the designation “Red Lion
and Sun”;
(d) the emblem of a white or silver cross with vertical and
horizontal arms of the same length on, and
completely surrounded by, a red ground, being the
heraldic emblem of the Swiss Confederation;
(e) the sign of an equilateral blue triangle on, and
completely surrounded by, an orange ground,
being the international distinctive sign of civil
defence;
(f) any of the distinctive signals specified in Chapter III of
Annex I to Protocol I, being the signals of
identification for medical units and transports;
(g) the sign consisting of a group of three bright orange
circles of equal size, placed on the same axis, the
distance between each circle being one radius,
being the international special sign for worked and
installations containing dangerous forces;



2015, No. 26 Geneva Conventions 5

(h) a design, wording or signal so nearly resembling any
of the emblems, designations, signs or signals
specified in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) or
(g) as to be capable of being mistaken for, or, as
the case may be, understood as referring to, one of
those emblems, designations, signs or signals; or
(i) such other flags, emblems, designations, signs, signals,
designs, wordings, identity cards, information
cards, insignia or uniforms as are prescribed by
Regulations for giving effect to the Conventions or
Protocols.
(2) A “protected item” includes flags, designations, signs,
signals, designs, wordings, identity cards, information cards,
insignia or uniforms or other item prescribed by regulation to be a
protected item to give effect to the Conventions or Protocols.

4. Application of the Conventions and the Protocols under
the laws of Samoa-(1) For the purposes of this Act, the
Conventions and the Protocols listed in the schedule are the
conventions and the Protocols to which this Act applies.
(2) Subject to this Act, any other law and any reservation that
Samoa has made under a Convention or Protocol to which this
Act applies, all obligations, duties, legal processes and rights
provided for under the Conventions to which this Act applies (and
including any Annexes, Appendices and Addenda to them) shall
have the force of law in Samoa, and may be applied or enforced
by any legal process available under the laws of Samoa.
(3) Subject to this Act in relation to the exercise of specific
powers and responsibilities, the Minister may take any action that
may be taken by State Parties under the Conventions to which this
Act applies.
(4) The Ministry shall have the principal responsibility for
implementing the Conventions to which this Act applies.
(5) If there is any inconsistency between the provisions of any
of the Conventions and the Protocols to which this Act applies
and the provisions of this Act, the provisions of this Act apply.



6 Geneva Conventions 2015, No. 26

PART 2
BREACH OF THE CONVENTIONS
OR PROTOCOLS

5. Breach of the Conventions or Protocols-(1) A person who
does the following commits an offence:
(a) breaches the Conventions or Protocols;
(b) aids, abets or procures another person to breach the
Conventions or Protocols.
(2) The defendant is liable upon conviction to:
(a) life imprisonment if the breach involves the wilful
killing of a person protected by the relevant
Conventions or Protocols; or
(b) a term not exceeding 14 years imprisonment, for any
other breach.
(3) If the offence involves a grave breach, an offender who
commits the offence outside Samoa, may be prosecuted as if the
offence had been committed in Samoa, and the offence shall, for
all purposes incidental to or consequential on the trial or
punishment thereof, be deemed to have been committed in
Samoa.
(4) Proceedings for this offence cannot be brought before the
Court without the Attorney General’s consent.

6. Meaning of grave breach - In this Act a “grave breach”
means:
(a) for the First Convention a breach referred to in Article
50 of that Convention; or
(b) for the Second Convention a breach referred to in
Article 51 of that Convention; or
(c) for the Third Convention means a breach referred to in
Article 130 of that Convention; or
(d) for the Fourth Convention means a breach referred to
in Article 147 of that Convention; or
(e) for Protocol I means anything referred to as a grave
breach in Article 11, paragraph 4, or Article 85,
paragraph 2, 3 or 4 of the Protocol.



2015, No. 26 Geneva Conventions 7

7. Legal representation-(1) The Court shall not proceed with
the trial of a person charged with an offence under section 5
unless:
(a) the defendant is represented by counsel; and
(b) the court is satisfied that counsel for the defendant
received first instructions from the defendant more
than 14 days before the date of trial.
(2) If a court adjourns a trial to comply with the requirements
of this section the Court may:
(a) remand the defendant for the period of the
adjournment, but not for a period exceeding three
(3) months; and
(b) direct that a counsel represent the interests of the
defendant at any further proceedings in connection
with the offence unless the defendant appoints
counsel.

8. Proof of application of the Conventions or Protocols - In
proceedings for an offence under section 5, a certificate of the
Minister stating that specified circumstances exist and that a
Convention or Protocol applies to those circumstances is, in the
absence of proof to the contrary, proof of the matters stated in it.

PART 3
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS FOR
PROTECTED PERSONS

9. Protected persons - This part applies if:
(a) a protected prisoner of war is brought up for trial for an
offence; or
(b) a protected internee is brought up for trial for an
offence for which the maximum penalty is two (2)
years imprisonment or more.

10. Legal representation of protected prisoner of war-(1)
The Court shall not proceed with the trial of a protected prisoner
of war unless:
(a) the defendant is represented by counsel;



8 Geneva Conventions 2015, No. 26

(b) the court is satisfied that counsel for the defendant
received first instructions from the defendant more
than 14 days before trial; and
(c) notice of trial has been served under section 11.
(2) If a court adjourns a trial to comply with the requirements
of this section the Court may:
(a) remand the defendant for the period of the
adjournment, but not for a period exceeding three
(3) months; and
(b) direct that a counsel represent the interests of the
defendant at any further proceedings in connection
with the offence unless the defendant or protecting
power for the defendant appoints a counsel to
represent the accused.

11. Notice of trial-(1) A notice of trial must be served by the
prosecution at least three (3) weeks before the trial on:
(a) the protected person;
(b) the protecting power (if there is a protecting power) of
the accused; and
(c) the representative for the protected person (if the
person is a protected prisoner of war).
(2) The notice must contain the following details:
(a) a full description of the person including -
(i) the full name, date of birth and
description of the person;
(ii) the person’s profession or trade; and
(iii) if the person is a protected prisoner of
war - the person’s rank and army, regimental,
personal and serial number;
(b) the person’s place of detention, internment or
residence;
(c) the offence with which the person is charged; and
(d) the court for proceedings and the time and place
appointed for trial.
(3) For this section, a document acknowledging receipt of
notice is evidence of receipt of notice if signed:
(a) by the protected person;



2015, No. 26 Geneva Conventions 9

(b) on behalf of the protected person by the protecting
power; or
(c) on behalf of the protected person by the persons’
representative.
(4) If a court adjourns a trial to comply with the requirements
of this section the Court may, remand the defendant for the period
of the adjournment, but not for a period exceeding three (3)
months.

12. Appeals by protected persons-(1) This section applies if
at the time of conviction or sentence of a protected person, there
is a protecting power for that protected person.
(2) If a protected person is convicted of an offence and
sentenced to more than two (2) years imprisonment, the Court
must:
(a) give the protecting power for the protected person
notice of conviction and sentence; and
(b) give the protected person notice that the protecting
power has been notified under paragraph (a).
(3) The notice of conviction or sentence must be given:
(a) for a protected prisoner of war, by a police service
officer; or
(b) for a protected internee, by or on behalf of the person
in charge of the prison or place in which that
internee is confined.
(4) The protected person has until 28 days from the receipt of
notice that the protecting power has been notified to give notice of
appeal or notice of application for leave to appeal to the Court of
Appeal of Samoa.

13. Reduction of sentence and custody of protected
persons - If:
(a) a protected person is convicted of an offence and
sentenced to a term of imprisonment;
(b) the protected person has spent time remanded in
custody before conviction and sentencing in
connection with the offence; and



10 Geneva Conventions 2015, No. 26

(c) the Court has not deducted the time the person has
spent in custody from the sentence of
imprisonment,
the Court may direct that the time the protected person was
remanded in custody in connection with that offence be deducted
from the sentence.

PART 4
PROTECTED EMBLEMS

14. Consent to use protected emblems or items-(1) The
Minister may by notice consent to, refuse or withdraw consent for
the use or display of a protected emblem or protected item to give
effect to the Conventions or Protocols.
(2) As an exception to subsection (1) the Red Cross Society
has the right to use or display the emblem of the red cross and the
designation “Red Cross” provided in section 3(1)(a) and may give
consent to a person or body for the use and display of the same.
(3) A person or body may apply in writing to the Minister for
the use or display of the protected emblems or items provided in
section 3(1).

15. Offence to use protected emblem or items-(1) A person
commits an offence if the person uses or displays a protected
emblem or protected item without the authority to do so under this
Act.
(2) A person convicted of an offence under subsection (1) is
liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units or
a term of imprisonment not exceeding one (1) year, or both.
(3) If the person charged with an offence under subsection (1)
is a company, the director, manager, secretary, other officer of the
company, or a person acting on their behalf and the company is
deemed guilty of the offence if the act was committed with the
consent or connivance of that person.
(4) This section applies to the use or display of a protected
emblem or protected item on any ship or aircraft registered in
Samoa.



2015, No. 26 Geneva Conventions 11

(5) This section does not apply to the use or display of a trade
mark registered before commencement of this Act only because it
consists of or contains a design reproducing or resembling a
protected emblem described in section 3(1)(b) and (c).
(6) Proceedings under this section shall not be instituted
without the consent in writing of the Attorney General.

16. Forfeiture-(1) If a person is convicted of an offence under
section 15(1), the court may order the forfeiture to the State of:
(a) any goods or articles upon or in connection with which
a protected emblem was used or displayed by that
person; and
(b) any protected items used in the commission of the
offence.
(2) The Court may give any directions that are necessary or
convenient to give effect to the order.

PART 5
MISCELLANEOUS

17. Regulations - The Head of State, acting on the advice of
Cabinet may make the following regulations:
(a) prescribing the form of protected items for use for the
purposes of giving effect to the Conventions or the
Protocols or both, and regulating their use;
(b) prescribing the penalty that may be imposed in respect
of contravention of, or non-compliance with, any
regulations made under this section; or
(c) providing for such other matters as are required or
permitted to be prescribed, or that are necessary or
convenient to be prescribed, for carrying out or
giving effect to this Act.

18. Consequential amendments - The Samoa Red Cross Act
1993 is amended as follows:
(a) for the Long Title substitute with:



12 Geneva Conventions 2015, No. 26

“AN ACT to provide for the establishment of the
Samoa Red Cross Society and for other related
matters.”;

(b) in section 2 insert:

““Conventions” means the:
(a) Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the
Condition of Wounded and Sick in Armed
Forces in the Field;
(b) Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the
Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked
Members of Armed Forces at Sea;
(c) Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of
Prisoners of War; and
(d) Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of
Civilian Persons in Time of War,
all adopted at Geneva on 12 August 1949.”;

(c) after section 2, insert:

“2A. Recognising the establishment of the Society-(1)
This section recognises the establishment of the Samoa Red
Cross Society as the body corporate which is now the Red
Cross Society in Samoa.
(2) The Red Cross Society is a body corporate:
(a) having perpetual succession and a common seal;
(b) with power to sue and be sued;
(c) to purchase, acquire, hold, manage and dispose of
property; and
(d) to enter into any agreements.

2B. Board - The governing body of the Society shall be a
Board constituted in accordance with its Constitution.

2C. General objects-(1) The objects of the Red Cross
Society shall be:



2015, No. 26 Geneva Conventions 13

(a) to deliver volunteer aid to the sick and wounded in
time of war and to non-belligerents and to
prisoners of war and civilian sufferers from the
effects of war;
(b) in the case of catastrophes or public disasters, to
provide the victims thereof with relief;
(c) in time of peace or war to carry on and assist in the
work for the improvement of health, the
prevention of diseases and the mitigation of
suffering in Samoa and throughout the world;
and
(d) to promote the Junior Red Cross movement among
the youth of all races;
(e) to propagate the ideals and the humanitarian
principles of the Red Cross with a view to
developing a feeling of solidarity and mutual
understanding among all men and nations; and
(f) to adhere to the Statutes of the International Red
Cross sharing in the Fellowship which includes
its members, the National Societies and the
International Body and to keep in close touch
with them.
(2) In pursuing the objects referred to in subsection (1) of
this section the Red Cross Society shall not make any adverse
distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion or faith,
political opinions or any other similar criteria and shall act in
accordance with the spirit and principles of the Conventions.

2D. Recognition as a voluntary aid society - The
Government of Samoa shall recognise the Society as a
voluntary aid society auxiliary to the public authorities both
for the purpose of the Conventions and otherwise, and its right
in accordance with the Geneva Conventions Act 2015 and the
Conventions to use the distinctive emblem and the term “Red
Cross”.”;

(d) by substituting section 3(1) and (2) with:



14 Geneva Conventions 2015, No. 26

“(1) No person or body, other than a person or body so
authorised under the Geneva Conventions Act 2015 and the
Conventions, shall use the term “Red Cross” or its distinctive
emblem for any purpose or activity.
(2) The Red Cross Society may authorise in writing any
other person or body to use the term Red Cross or its
distinctive emblem.
(3) A person or body so authorised by the Society shall
use the term “Red Cross” or its distinctive emblem in
accordance with any condition or conditions specified by the
Society.”.


2015, No. 26 Geneva Conventions 15

SCHEDULE
(sections 2 and 6)
THE CONVENTIONS AND THE PROTOCOLS
1. Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field of 12
August 1949;
2. Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces
at Sea of 12 August 1949;
3. Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949;
4. Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, adopted at Geneva on 12 August
1949;
5. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of
International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), of 8 June 1977;
6. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-
International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), of 8 June 1977.

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The Geneva Conventions Act 2015 is administered
by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.