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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Reprisals

Matthias Ruffert

Subject(s):
Armed conflict — Geneva Conventions 1949 — Countermeasures — Reprisals — Use of force, prohibition — Use of force, threat

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 Although bearing a great tradition in the history of public international law, the notion of reprisals has considerably changed in recent time and has, to a large extent, been replaced by the concept of countermeasures . Nowadays, the latter notion is almost exclusively used for any measure that would formerly have been designated as a reprisal in peace-time (Crawford 168). Consequently, the term ‘reprisals’ is now limited to war-time measures. Therefore, the current concept of reprisals is twofold. Reprisals represent (i) the historical basis of any...
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