ARTICLE, ESSAY & NOTE: MOVING THE LAW OF OCCUPATION INTO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2009 Naval Law Review

ARTICLE, ESSAY & NOTE: MOVING THE LAW OF OCCUPATION INTO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

2009

Naval Law Review

57 Naval L. Rev. 1

Author

Major Breven C. Parsons*

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

Despite occupation law's originally relevant and useful framework, occupants have deliberately avoided applying it for nearly a century. Additionally, international law and its supporting rationale have evolved significantly in the past century. As a result, the law of occupation has become somewhat of an afterthought for both occupants and military planners, much like disregarded rules of etiquette, which are frequently dismissed as outdated or impractical. 2 But if they are adjusted to account for modern cultural norms, the rules of etiquette, like the law of occupation, may still be useful for regulating human behavior. This article will argue that, while portions of the law of occupation remain useful, the law must be updated to provide a viable framework for modern occupations. This article will also offer a basic framework for a proposed modern law of occupation.

Two developments over the course of the past century have rendered the law of occupation less practical and less effective. First, occupants have consistently ignored the law of occupation over the past century. 3 Examples dating from Germany's occupation of Belgium during World War I to the American and British occupation of Iraq starting in 2003 set forth a thorough history of occupants who have failed to apply the law of occupation. 4 When nations fail to apply international law, its status may be cast into doubt, and in the case of the law of occupation, the practice of avoiding the application of the law has ...
 
 
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