10 U.S. Code § 950p. Definitions; construction of certain offenses; common circumstances
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(a) Definitions.—In this subchapter:
The term “military objective” means combatants and those objects during hostilities which, by their nature, location, purpose, or use, effectively contribute to the war-fighting or war-sustaining capability of an opposing force and whose total or partial destruction, capture, or neutralization would constitute a definite military advantage to the attacker under the circumstances at the time of an attack.
The term “protected property” means any property specifically protected by the law of war, including buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science, or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals, and places where the sick and wounded are collected, but only if and to the extent such property is not being used for military purposes or is not otherwise a military objective. The term includes objects properly identified by one of the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions, but does not include civilian property that is a military objective.
(b) Construction of Certain Offenses.—
The intent required for offenses under paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (4), and (12) of section 950t of this title precludes the applicability of such offenses with regard to collateral damage or to death, damage, or injury incident to a lawful attack.
(c) Common Circumstances.—
An offense specified in this subchapter is triable by military commission under this chapter only if the offense is committed in the context of and associated with hostilities.
The provisions of this subchapter codify offenses that have traditionally been triable by military commission. This chapter does not establish new crimes that did not exist before the date of the enactment of this subchapter, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, but rather codifies those crimes for trial by military commission. Because the provisions of this subchapter codify offenses that have traditionally been triable under the law of war or otherwise triable by military commission, this subchapter does not preclude trial for offenses that occurred before the date of the enactment of this subchapter, as so amended.
References in Text
The date of the enactment of this subchapter, as amended by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, referred to in subsec. (d), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 111–84, which was approved Oct. 28, 2009.