Limits and Limitations of Power: The Continued Relevance of Occupation Law
German Law Journal, Vol. 7, No. 6 (2006) pp. 563-90
28 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2014
Date Written: June 11, 2006
This paper argues that irrespective of the unquestionable desirability, even necessity to introduce democratic and liberal reforms into a society such as the Iraqi one, an occupation regime cannot be considered the adequate tool. The law of occupation is primarily a negative boundary marker to protect the occupied population from abuse. Calls for a revision of the law of occupation assume a commonality of interest between occupier and the occupied population that is unlikely to find widespread acceptance in the target population. Whatever the shortcomings of the current law of occupation, claiming its obsolescence conveniently disregards the fact that a clear and evidently usable mechanism exists in the instrument of a robust Security Council mandate which could easily provide the legal basis for the kind of societal and state transformation deemed necessary.
Keywords: international law, humanitarian law, laws of war, occupation law, Iraq, Coalition Provisional Authority, CPA
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