Copyright (c) 2010 New York University Law Review
New York University Law Review
NOTE: THE LAW OF NEUTRALITY AND THE CONFLICT WITH AL QAEDA
Tulane Law Review
85 N.Y.U.L. Rev. 1186
While many aspects of the United States's conflict with al Qaeda and associated forces 1 have been intensely debated by legal scholars and policymakers, one important question has thus far been almost completely ignored: Where, if at all, does the law of neutrality 2 fit into the legal framework governing the conduct of this armed conflict? I argue that neutrality, the body of laws regulating the coexistence of states at war and those at peace, is one of several principles 3 that ensure the completeness of the modern law of armed conflict (LOAC) framework. 4 In particular, neutrality is important in achieving geographic (or territorial) completeness of the legal regime: The 1949 Geneva Conventions (GCs) that form the bedrock of our LOAC framework 5 were written against the background understanding that neutrality would operate wherever GC protections did not apply (i.e., beyond the physical location of the fighting in states involved in the conflict). 6 Outside of belligerent territory, the laws of neutrality operate. Neutral territory has been of little importance in recent armed conflicts, 7 but is more relevant in today's conflict with al Qaeda.
This Note argues that neutrality has become increasingly important because the conflict with al Qaeda presents a highly atypical geographical scenario in which fighting more often occurs outside of the territory of the initial belligerents. 8 Only two belligerent territories can readily be identified 9: (1) U.S. territory, the locus of armed conflict since the ...
If you are interested in obtaining a lexis.com® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at http://www.lexisnexis.com/.