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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Belligerency

Valentina Azarova, Ido Blum

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 October 2021

Subject(s):
Insurgents and insurrection — Prisoners of war — Conduct of hostilities — Armed conflict — Belligerence

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 Belligerency is the condition of being in fact engaged in war. A nation is deemed a belligerent even when resorting to war in order to withstand or punish an aggressor. A declaration of war is not required to create a state of belligerency. Through the application of the laws of war to civil wars, the doctrine challenges the State-centric model of international law, which goes back to the US civil war during which it was affirmed by the US Supreme Court in the 1862 Prize Cases and then codified in the 1863 Lieber Code. 2 Traditionally, the doctrine of...
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