Oh yes, that's huge. Because, y'know, it's not like soldiers wear camouflage to prevent themselves from being seen by the enemy in the first place.
Originally Posted by Dayton3
Also, uniforms are not required in all circumstances to be classified as a lawful combatant. The 4th Geneva conventions classifies the following as lawful combatants:
Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory who, on the approach of the enemy,
spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without
having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided
they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war.
We can start with the Geneva Conventions, Article 5. When someone is captured, they have to go through a tribunal to determine their status:
and what in international law guarantees illegal combatants due process?
Should any doubt arise as to whether persons having committed a belligerent
act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy belong to any of the categories
enumerated in Article 4, such persons shall enjoy the protection of the
present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a
I'd say it also falls under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The US Constitution and most constitutions are also applicable, as indicators of an acceptance of due process as a human right.
Also: Where is it written that unlawful combatants can be summarily executed? The Geneva Conventions grants no such power to the detaining force. US law also certainly doesn't allow that. The SCOTUS determined in 1942 that unlawful combatants (in that case, German spies caught in the US) must face a military tribunal. This was reasserted with the Gitmo prisoners, in a ruling that also cited Article 5 of the Geneva Conventions.