A military agreement suspending active hostilities between the belligerents. An armistice can be local (i.e., suspend operations in just one area) or general (i.e., suspend all operations). If the duration of the armistice is not defined, the belligerent Parties may resume operations at any time, subject to previous warning in accordance with the terms of the armistice. An armistice does not put an end to the state of war, which subsists with all its legal consequences.

In case of a serious violation of the armistice by one belligerent Party, an opposing Party may denounce it and, in cases of urgency, restart hostilities immediately.

Only a government may take the initiative in proposing an armistice. Besides making provision for the general armistice just mentioned, international law provides for local armistices for the collection, exchange and transfer of wounded.

See also Truce; Cease fire





ARY Vaughn A., “Concluding Hostilities: Humanitarian Provisions in Cease-Fire Agreements”, in Military Law Review, Vol. 148, 1995, pp. 186-273.

CAMPBELL Colm, “Peace and the Laws of War: the Role of International Humanitarian Law in the Post-conflict Environment”, in IRRC, No. 839, September 2000, pp. 627-652.

DINSTEIN Yoram, “The Initiation, Suspension and Termination of War”, in SCHMITT Michael N. (ed.), International Law Across the Spectrum of Conflict, Newport, R.I., 2000, pp. 131-159.

KOUTROULIS Vaios, Le début et la fin du droit de l’occupation, Paris, Pedone, 2010, 334 pp.