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The Politics of Military Occupation$
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Peter M. R. Stirk

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748636716

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636716.001.0001

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Justice under Occupation

Justice under Occupation

(p.175) Chapter 7 Justice under Occupation
The Politics of Military Occupation

Peter M. R. Stirk

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter discusses justice, which theme has seen no diminution of interest and discussion. Justice, the rule of law, is often seen as the potential constraint upon the tyrannical and arbitrary behaviour of the occupier. Yet, it was clear from the outset that law in the shape of the law of military occupation could buttress as well as constrain the status of the occupier. Justice under conditions of military occupation is inevitably the victor's justice and will to some degree inevitably carry the pejorative taint suggested by that term. The chapter seeks to elaborate the Janus face of justice under military occupation and warns against expecting too much from appeals to the rule of law or to human rights as a barrier to the potential caprice of occupiers. Here too, expecting too much from the language of human rights may serve to mask the distinctive status of the occupier and that of those subject to occupation, to the benefit of the former rather than the latter.

Keywords:   justice, rule of law, military occupation, human rights, military occupier

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