A unilateral act whereby, by putting their hands up, throwing away their weapons, raising a white flag or in any other suitable fashion, isolated members of armed forces or members of a formation clearly express to the enemy during battle their intention to cease fighting. Surrender should not be confused with capitulation. Surrender is always unconditional, since it is not subject to a convention between the opposing parties. In international law, an isolated member of the armed forces or members of a formation who surrender are considered hors de combat and must not be made the object of attack. Feigning surrender is an act of perfidy and is therefore forbidden.




    HR, 35

clear expression of intention to surrender renders persons hors de combat

    HR, 23/c

    PI, 41/2b

    CIHL, 47/c

misuse of flag

    HR, 23/f

    PI, 37/1a

    CIHL, 58


    PI, 42/2


HPCR, Manual on International Law Applicable to Air and Missile Warfare (Rules 125-131)



ANDO Nisuke, Surrender, Occupation and Private Property in International Law, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1991, 208 pp.   ROBERTSON Horace B., “The Obligation to Accept Surrender”, in International Law Studies, US Naval War College, Vol. 68, 1995, pp. 541-552.