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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Enemies and Enemy Subjects

Adrian Loets

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 17 August 2019

Subject(s):
Combatants — Armed conflict — Nationality of individuals — Belligerence

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

1 States use the term ‘enemy’ neither uniformly, nor stringently. In addition, they have used different criteria to determine enemy status. Four general notions of the term ‘enemy’ can be identified. 2 The term ‘enemy’ was originally applied exclusively to a State with which the designating State was at war. With the erosion of the concept of formally declared war, this first notion must nowadays also include the adversary State in an informal armed conflict. In addition, enemy status is traditionally extended to State organs, notably the armed forces . It should...
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