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The International Law of Belligerent Occupation


  • Page extent: 336 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.65 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521896375)

The customary law of belligerent occupation goes back to the Hague and Geneva Conventions. Recent instances of such occupation include Iraq, the former Yugoslavia, the Congo and Eritrea. But the paradigmatic illustration is the Israeli occupation, lasting for over 40 years. There is now case law of the International Court of Justice and other judicial bodies, both international and domestic. There are Security Council resolutions and a vast literature. Still, numerous controversial points remain. How is belligerent occupation defined? How is it started and when is it terminated? What is the interaction with human rights law? Who is protected under belligerent occupation, and what is the scope of the protection? Conversely, what measures can an occupying power lawfully resort to when encountering forcible resistance from inhabitants of the occupied territory? This book examines the legislative, judicial and executive rights of the occupying power and its obligations to the civilian population.

• Legal sources include the judgments of the Supreme Court of Israel, which are otherwise largely unavailable in English • Introduces a complex subject to both academics and potential practitioners, for example military officers who may be called upon to administer an occupied territory • Serves as a companion volume to two earlier books by the same author on war and the conduct of hostilities


1. The general framework; 2. The legal nature and basic principles of belligerent occupation; 3. Human rights and belligerent occupation; 4. The maintenance of law and order in occupied territories; 5. Legislation by the occupying power; 6. The judicial system in occupied territories; 7. Protection of the civilian population under belligerent occupation; 8. Special protection in occupied territories; 9. Destruction and pillage of property in occupied territories; 10. Seizure and use of property in occupied territories; 11. Other major issues relating to belligerent occupation; 12. The termination of belligerent occupation; Conclusion.


'… an impressive and comprehensive survey of the law of belligerent occupation, and a very useful primer for any scholar or practitioner who wants to acquire a basic knowledge of the field or to have a reference point for further work on any aspect of it. … Dinstein's analyses are consistently interesting and useful, and there can be no doubt about his expertise and his scholarly objectivity. … which makes an important contribution to the field.' American Journal of International Law

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