HC Deb 21 January 2003 vol 398 c206W
Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what provisions exist for compensating(a) injured civilian victims and (b) the surviving families of civilians killed as a result of military action taken against another sovereign state; and what his policy is on compensating civilian victims of military action taken to enforce the no-fly zones over Iraq. [90235]

Mr. Hoon

Article 91 of the First Protocol to the Geneva Conventions 1949 provides that a party to an international armed conflict which violates the provisions of the Conventions or the Protocol "shall, if the case demands, be liable to pay compensation."

Coalition aircraft monitoring the no fly zones over Iraq respond in self-defence only to the sustained efforts of Iraq's defences to shoot them down. They do so, in accordance with international law, only against targets posing a threat to the safety of our forces. No liability to pay compensation arises.