Thursday, October 18, 2007

On October 18, ...

... 1907 (100 years ago today), delegates to the Second International Peace Conference (left) who, as we've posted, had convened in June at The Hague, adopted the Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land. Also known as Hague IV, the Convention entered into force Jan. 26, 1910, and today has 35 states parties. Yet its scope is broader. As explained by the International Committee for the Red Cross, this treaty, and indeed "most of the substantive provisions of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, are considered as embodying rules of customary international law. As such they are also binding on states which are not formally parties to them." Underscoring the point with specific regard to this treaty, the ICRC continues, were the post-World War II international tribunals:

In 1946 the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal stated...: 'The rules of land warfare expressed in the Convention undoubtedly represented an advance over existing International Law at the time of their adoption ... but by 1939 these rules ...
were recognized by all civilized nations and were regarded as being declaratory of the laws and customs of war' .... The International Military Tribunal for the Far East expressed, in 1948, an identical view. ...
... 1912 (95 years ago today), in an event that foreshadowed World War I, Italy and the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Lausanne, bringing an end to a 3-year war between the powers. Italy took control of the former Ottoman colony of Libya; moreover, the defeat made the Ottoman Empire weaker and less able to deal with challenges from the Balkan states.

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