20. November 1997
Embassy of X
I am writing to you as an Icelandic citizen concerned about the lack of respect by states towards their commitment to ensure the full implementation of international humanitarian law.
As you might know, all High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and their First Protocol of 1977, are required to give legal effect in their domestic jurisdiction to the penal provisions of these instruments. If I am correct, your country has already fulfilled this obligation.
It is therefore with some shame that I feel obliged to draw your attention to the fact that the Republic of Iceland has not yet fulfilled its obligations towards these instruments of international humanitarian law. In a letter I received from the Icelandic Ministry of Justice, dated 19. November 1997, which is in effect a reply to questons I sent to the Ministry previously, I was informed that the current government has no plans to fulfill these obligations. I was not informed of the reasons for this dereliction.
As it is the duty of all High Contracting Parties to "respect and ensure respect" of the Conventions in all circumstances, including to ensure that other HCPs also fulfil their obligations with regards to the Conventions, I permit myself to request that your authorities give effect to this obligation by kindly reminding the Icelandic authorities of their obligations with respect to the Geneva Conventions, particularly the requirement of each HCP to enact legislation against the commission of grave breaches of the Conventions and their Additional Protocols.
I would be thankful to be informed of any steps taken in pursuance of this request.