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Part 2 The Scope of the Occupant’s Powers and Obligations, 4 Maintaining Public Order in Occupied Territories: Prolonged and Transformative Occupation

From: Occupation in International Law

Eliav Lieblich, Eyal Benvenisti

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 07 December 2023

Conduct of hostilities — Occupation — Boundaries

This chapter continues to discuss the scope of the occupant’s powers in light of the general requirement to respect the status quo ante (the “conservationist principle”). The chapter deals with two general issues: the effect of time over these powers (“prolonged occupation”); and the question whether in certain cases, the occupant can significantly transform the institutional and physical situation in the territories in a permanent manner (“transformative occupation”). Both prolonged and transformative occupations, as legal doctrines, run the risk of facilitating the entrenchment of occupation, and its utilization to further the occupant’s interests. The chapter first discusses the possible effects of time on the occupant’s powers, demonstrating the risk that as time passes, the occupant will invoke the powers of “prolonged occupation” to give precedent to its own interests. It then moves to address the concept of transformative occupation, the various justifications given for it, and their limitations.

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