The Applicability of the Law of Occupation to UN Administration of Foreign Territory
21 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2019
Date Written: December 1, 2019
This contribution seeks to critically examine the UN position with respect to the legal status of the administration of territory by UN-authorised actors. The essay first explores whether the law of occupation applies to direct administration of foreign territory by the UN or its authorized organs. It then examines as a case study the practice of the UN administration of Kosovo. The essay argues that unfettered discretion for civil servants, even international civil servants, undermines the functionality of any administration. Embracing the discipline of accountability embedded in the law of occupation to UN-led administration of territories is therefore required. This discussion provides the grounding for the argument that as a matter of both lex lata and lex ferenda any administration of territories without a valid sovereign consent, even when exercised by the UN, qualifies as an occupation, and is hence subject to the requirements of law of occupation.
Keywords: International Humanitarian Law, Laws of Armed Conflict, Belligerent Occupation, United Nations Territorial Administration, Accountability of International Organisations
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