(image source: JMH)
This article seeks to examine the law of occupation looking forward from its position within the late nineteenth-century European norm of contained war, not backward from contemporary international law. When it was codified, the law of military occupation was closely connected to the norm of war containment within the realm of “civilization,” but that connection was severed by 1949. Reaching this point requires the examination of four moments in occupation’s history from the late nineteenth century through 1949. The first arose with the codification of military occupation at the Hague Conference of 1899; the next came with the National Socialist assault on the codified law of occupation; the third came in the Hostages Trial of 1947–48, when high-ranking Wehrmacht defendants sought to reframe National Socialist occupation practices within the law of occupation codified at The Hague in 1899; and the fourth arrived with the Geneva Conference of 1949 and its preparatory conferences. In this last instance the American and British defense of the norm of contained war and the law of occupation faced a broad European reaction against occupation. That reaction transformed key elements of the law of occupation such as the status of resistance fighters, severing occupation’s links with the norm of contained war.More information here.