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Ch.2 The Application and Termination of Neutrality

From: Neutrality in Contemporary International Law

James Upcher

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 January 2021

Armed conflict — Belligerence — Conduct of hostilities — Neutrality and non-alignment

This chapter examines the thresholds for the application and termination of neutrality. After a consideration of legal doctrine and practice, it has been suggested that the most coherent approach to adopt, and one that is most practical for the conduct of military operations, is that the status of neutrality becomes applicable in an international armed conflict. While States may in many cases of hostilities not be required to indicate their attitude towards the hostilities and will therefore find themselves released from scrutiny with regard to compliance, the status of neutrality will nevertheless be applicable. As an armed conflict escalates in tempo and scale, the role of non-participants in containing hostilities will increase and the duties of neutrality will, in reality, become more onerous, especially if the belligerents are able to insist on compliance. The chapter then considers the frequently overlooked question of when the status of neutrality ceases from three separate angles: first, when a neutral departs from neutral duties in such a way as to call into question its position of non-participation in the hostilities; secondly, when a neutral State is forced into hostilities by a belligerent; and thirdly, when an armed conflict between two belligerents comes to an end.

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