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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Neutrality, Concept and General Rules

Michael Bothe

Subject(s):
Act of state — Geneva Conventions 1949 — Prisoners of war — Weapons — Neutrality and non-alignment — Belligerence — Armed conflict — Armed forces

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

1 ‘Neutrality’ means the particular status, defined by international law, of a State not party to an armed conflict ( Armed Conflict, International ). This status entails specific rights and duties in the relationship between the neutral and the belligerent States ( Belligerency ). On one hand, there is the right of the neutral State to remain apart from, and not to be adversely affected by, the conflict. On the other hand, there is the duty of non-participation and impartiality. 2 The right not to be adversely affected means that the relationship between the...
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