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A History of Military Occupation from 1792 to 1914$
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Peter M. R. Stirk

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748675999

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748675999.001.0001

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Codification of a Law of Occupation

Codification of a Law of Occupation

(p.224) Chapter 5. Codification of a Law of Occupation
A History of Military Occupation from 1792 to 1914

Peter M. R. Stirk

Edinburgh University Press

The chapter sets the emergence of a treaty based international law of occupation in the context of reactions to the Franco-German war and wider processes of legal codification. It shows how the key arguments were developed in the Brussels Conference of 1874 long before agreement on laws of war including those regulating military occupation in the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907. It sets out and explains the apparent paradox that it was the representatives of the smaller powers, who had most to fear from occupation, who were hesitant about accepting the codification of law. It shows how the negotiators were only able to reach such agreement as they did by resort to vague formulations, a fact they were well aware of. It accounts for the failure to reach any agreement on such sensitive issues as the treatment of inhabitants of occupied teritoru who turned to armed resistant. It also emphasis the awareness of lawyers of the day that international law alone needed supplementing by military discipline enforcing the terms of military codes of conduct.

Keywords:   Brussels Conference, Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907, Hague Regulations

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