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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Ultimatum

Stefan Kadelbach

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 23 May 2019

Subject(s):
Conduct of hostilities — Countermeasures — Reprisals — Unilateral acts — State practice

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

1 The term ‘ultimatum’ was originally used in diplomacy as a method to enforce a certain demand by the threat of force. The common legal understanding, which has come about with State practice in the 19th century, conceives an ultimatum as a unilateral declaration by a State or a group of States which directs a peremptory warning against another State that certain consequences will follow unless defined conditions are met ( Unilateral Acts of States in International Law ). Usually, but not necessarily, a certain period of time, short as it may be, is fixed for...
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