Illegal Territorial Regimes: On the Operation of International Law in Crimea
Sergey Sayapin and Evhen Tsybulenko (eds.), The Use of Force against Ukraine and International Law: Jus Ad Bellum, Jus In Bello, Jus Post Bellum (TMC Asser Press 2018, Forthcoming)
Posted: 13 Mar 2018
Date Written: June 1, 2017
What happens to the international law of occupation when the de facto administrator not only subjectively rejects its applicability, but also maintains the occupation with the intention to acquire or transform territory? What effects does it have on the de facto administrator’s status? What implications does it entail for the civilian population? To what extent can international law regulate such situations as belligerent occupations? Russia’s occupation of Crimea exemplifies the regulatory challenges created by contemporary situations of occupation qua annexation, which this chapter argues are a form of illegal territorial regime. To address them, the chapter explores the place of occupation law and its mutually-reliant relationship between the international norms of conflict management (jus in bello), which includes occupation law, and those of conflict prevention and resolution (jus ad bellum). It argues that such situations do not fit the traditional mould for belligerent occupation in international law: they necessitate the diligent application of the jus ad bellum to appropriately regulate occupying states seeking territorial aggrandisement and foreign domination. The consequence of invalidity of the acts of such de facto administrations entrust third states and international organisations with the enforcement and protection respectively of the rights of the civilian population living under the illegal territorial regime.
Keywords: Belligerent Occupation, Objective Illegality, Law of Invalidity, De Facto Regimes, Annexation, Use of Force, Crimea
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