Occupation

In international humanitarian law, a territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the adverse foreign armed forces.
 
The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised. A State's territory may therefore be partially occupied, in which case the laws and obligations of occupation apply only in the territory that is actually occupied. When a State consents to the presence of foreign troops there is no occupation.
 
Detailed rules set out the rights and duties of the occupying forces which are, generally speaking, bound to take the necessary steps to restore law and order and public life and maintain them as well as possible while respecting the laws in force, unless absolutely prevented from doing so.
 

 OUTLINE

 LEGAL SOURCE

 DOCUMENTS

 CASES

 BIBLIOGRAPHIC RESOURCES

Suggested reading:
 
ALONZO-MAIZLISH David, “When Does it End? Problems in the Law of Occupation”, in ARNOLD Roberta & HILDBRAND Pierre-Antoine (eds), International Humanitarian Law and the 21st Century’s Conflicts, Lausanne, Edis, 2005, pp. 97-116.
 
ANDO Nisuke, Surrender, Occupation and Private Property in International Law, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1991, 208 pp.
 
BENVENISTI Eyal, The International Law of Occupation, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1993, 241 pp.
 
BENVENISTI Eyal, “The Law on the Unilateral Termination of Occupation”, in GIEGERICH, Thomas (ed.), A Wiser Century?: Judicial Dispute Settlement, Disarmament and the Laws of War 100 Years After the Second Hague Peace Conference, Berlin, Duncker and Humblot, 2009, pp. 371-382.
 
BOTHE Michael, “Belligerent Occupation”, in Encyclopaedia of Public International Law, Vol. 4, 1982, p. 65.
 
DINSTEIN Yoram, The International Law of Belligerent Occupation, Cambridge, CUP, 2009, 303 pp.
 
GARRAWAY Charles H. B., “The Duties of the Occupying Power: an Overview of the Recent Developments in the Law of Occupation”, in Facets and Practices of State-Building, Leiden, Boston, M. Nijhoff, 2009, pp. 179-192.
 
GASSER Hans-Peter, “From Military Intervention to Occupation of Territory: New Relevance of International Law of Occupation”, in FISCHER Horst, FROISSART Ulrike, HEINTSCHEL VON HEINEGG Wolff & RAAP Christian (eds), Crisis Management and Humanitarian Protection: In Honour of Dieter Fleck, Berlin, Berliner Wissenschafts-
Verlag, 2004, pp. 139-159.
 
GASSER Hans-Peter, “Notes on the Law of Belligerent Occupation”, in Revue de Droit Militaire et de Droit de la Guerre, Vol 1-2, No. 45, 2006, pp. 229-237.
 
HAGGENMACHER Peter, “L’occupation militaire en droit international : genèse et profil d’une institution juridique”, in Relations Internationales, No. 79, automne 1994, pp. 285-301.
 
Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, International Humanitarian Law Research Initiative, Occupation and Peacebuilding, online: http://www.hpcrresearch.org (with references to doctrine, news, and presentations of issues from an IHL perspective, including: SASSÒLI Marco, “Article 43 of the Hague Regulations and Peace Operations in the Twenty-First Century”, 2004, online: http://www.hpcrresearch.org/sites/default/files/publications/sassoli.pdf).
 
HAUPAIS Nicolas, “Les obligations de la puissance occupante au regard de la jurisprudence et de la pratique récentes”, in RGDIP, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2007, pp. 117-146.
 
The Hebrew University Faculty of Law, “Forty Years After 1967: Reappraising the Role and Limits of the Legal Discourse on Occupation in the Israeli-Palestinian Context”, in Israel Law Review, Vol. 41, Nos 1&2, 2008, 393 pp.
 
KÄLIN Walter (ed.), Human Rights in Times of Occupation: The Case of Kuwait, Bern, Laws Books in Europe, 1994, 156 pp.
 
KOLB Robert & VITE Sylvain, Le droit de l’occupation militaire : perspectives historiques et enjeux juridiques actuels, Brussels, Bruylant, 2009, 482 pp.
 
KOUTROULIS Vaios, Le début et la fin du droit de l’occupation, Paris, Pedone, 2010, 334 pp.
 
KRETZMER David, The Occupation of Justice: The Supreme Court of Israel and the Occupied Territories, Albany, State University of New York Press, 2002, 262 pp.
 
LIJNZAAD Liesbeth, “How not to be an Occupying Power: Some Reflections on UN Security Council Resolution 1483 and the Contemporary Law of Occupation”, in LIJNZAAD Liesbeth, VAN SAMBEEK Johanna & TAHZIB-LIE Bahia (eds), Making the Voice of Humanity Heard, Leiden/Boston, M. Nijhoff, 2004, pp. 291-305.
 
MURPHY Sean D., “Coalition Laws and Transitional Arrangements During Occupation of Iraq”, in AJIL, Vol. 98, 2004, pp. 601-606.
 
OSWALD Bruce, “The Law on Military Occupation: Answering the Challenges of Detention During Contemporary Peace Operations?”, in MelbourneJournal of International Law, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2007, 16 pp.
 
PLAYFAIR Emma (ed.), International Law and the Administration of Occupied Territories, Two Decades of Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1992, 524 pp.
 
ROBERTS Adam, “Prolonged Military Occupation: The Israeli-Occupied Territories since 1967”, in AJIL, Vol. 84, 1990, pp. 44-103.
 
ROBERTS Adam, “What is Military Occupation?”, in BYIL, Vol. 55, 1984, pp. 249-305.
 
ROBERTS Adam, “The End of Occupation in Iraq (2004)”, in ICLQ, Vol. 54, 2005, pp. 27 (also online: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=1524012).
 
SCHWENK Edmund H., “Legislative Powers of the Military Occupant under Article 43, Hague Regulations”, in Yale Law Journal, Vol. 54, 1945, pp. 393 ff.
 
WATSON Geoffrey R. et al., “Agora: ICJ Advisory Opinion on Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, in AJIL, Vol. 99/1, January 2005, pp. 1-141.
 
ZWANENBURG Marten, “Existentialism in Iraq: Security Council Resolution 1483 and the Law of Occupation”, in IRRC, No. 856, December 2004, pp. 745-768.
 
ZWANENBURG Marten, “Pieces of the Puzzle: Peace Operations, Occupation and the Use of Force”, in The Military Law and the Law of War Review, Vol. 1-2, No. 45, 2006, pp. 239-248
 
ZWANENBURG Marten, “The Law of Occupation Revisited: the Beginning of an Occupation”, in YIHL, Vol. 10 (2007), 2009, pp. 99-130
 
Further reading:
 
ABOUALI Gamal, “Natural Resources under Occupation: The Status of Palestinian Water under International Law”, in Pace International Law Review, Vol. 10/2, 1998, pp. 411-574.
 
ANDO Nisuke, Surrender, Occupation and Private Property in International Law, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1991, 208 pp.
 
ARAI-TAKAHASHI Yutaka, The Law of Occupation: Continuity and Change of International Humanitarian Law, and its Interaction with International Human Rights Law, Leiden, Boston, M. Nijhoff, 2009, 758 pp.
 
BEN-NAFTALI Orna & SHANY Yuval, “Living in Denial: The Application of Human Rights in the Occupied Territories”, in Israel Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2003, pp. 17-118.
 
BOON Kristen E., “The Future of the Law of Occupation”, in Canadian Yearbook of International Law = Annuaire
canadien de droit international, Vol. 46, 2008 pp. 107-142.
 
BOYD Stephen, “The Applicability of International Law to the Occupied Territories”, in IYHR, Vol. 1, 1971, pp. 258-261
 
CAMPANELLI Dario, “The Law of Military Occupation Put to the Test of Human Rights Law”, in IRRC, Vol. 90, No. 87, September 2008, pp. 653-668.
 
DE FALCO Randle C., “The Right to Food in Gaza: Israel’s Obligations under International Law”, in Rutgers Law Record, Vol. 35, 2009, pp. 11-22.
 
DENNIS Michael J. & SURENA Andre M., “Application of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in Times of Armed Conflict and Military Occupation: The Gap Between Legal Theory and State Practice”, in European Human Rights Law Review, Issue 6, 2008, pp. 714-731.
 
DINSTEIN Yoram, “The Israel Supreme Court and the Law of Belligerent Occupation: Demolitions and Sealing off of Houses”, in IYHR, Vol. 29, 1999, pp. 285-304.
 
FEILCHENFELD Ernst H., The International Economic Law of Belligerent Occupation, Washington, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1942, 181 pp.
 
FROWEIN Jochen Abr., “The Relationship Between Human Rights Regimes and Regimes of Belligerent Occupation”, in IYHR, Vol. 28, 1998, pp. 1-16.
 
GERSON Allan, “War, Conquered Territory, and Military Occupation in the Contemporary International Legal System”, in Harvard International Law Journal, Vol. 18/3, 1977, pp. 525-576.
 
GROSS Aeyal, “Human Proportions: Are Human Rights the Emperor’s New Clothes of the International Law of Occupation?”, in EJIL, Vol. 18, No. 1, February 2007, pp. 1-35.
 
HOROWITZ Jonathan T., “The Right to Education in Occupied Territories: Making More Room for Human Rights in Occupation Law”, in YIHL, Vol. 7 (2004), 2006, pp. 233-281
 
KELLY Michael J., “Non-Belligerent Occupation”, in IYHR, Vol. 28, 1998, pp. 17-35.
 
KOUTROULIS Vaios, “L’affaire des activités armées sur le territoire du Congo (Congo c. Ouganda) : une lecture restrictive du droit de l’occupation?”, in Revue belge de droit international, Vol. 39, No. 2, 2006, pp. 703-741.
 
KOUTROULIS Vaios, “Mythes et réalités de l’application du droit international humanitaire aux occupations dites “transformatives””, in Revue belge de droit international, Vol. 40, No 2, 2007, pp. 365-400
 
LANGENKAMP R. Dobie & ZEDALIS Rex J., “What Happens to the Iraqi Oil?: Thoughts on Some Significant, Unexamined International Legal Questions Regarding Occupation of Oil Fields”, in EJIL, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2003, pp. 417-435.
 
LAVOYER Jean-Philippe, “Jus in Bello: Occupation Law and the War in Iraq”, in American Society of International Law, Proceedings of the 98th Annual Meeting, 2004, pp. 117-124.
 
OSWALD Bruce, “The Law on Military Occupation: Answering the Challenges of Detention During Contemporary Peace Operations?”, in MelbourneJournal of International Law, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2007, 16 pp.
 
POISSONNIER Ghislain & OSSELAND Pierre, “Les colonies israéliennes de Cisjordanie en droit international”, in RGDIP, T. 114, No. 1, 2010, pp. 63-92.
 
ROBERTS Adam, “Transformative Military Occupation: Applying the Laws of War and Human Rights”, in AJIL, Vol. 100, No. 3, July 2006, pp. 580-622.
 
SASSÒLI Marco, “Legislation and Maintenance of Public Order and Civil Life by Occupying Powers”, in EJIL, Vol. 16, No. 4, September 2005, pp. 661-694.
 
SCHEFFER David J., “Beyond Occupation Law”, in AJIL, Vol. 97, 2003, pp. 842-860.
 
SHAMGAR Meir, “The Observance of International Law in the Administered Territories”, in IYHR, Vol. 1, 1971, p. 262-277
 
VITE Sylvain, “The Interrelation of the Law of Occupation and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: the Examples of Food, Health and Property”, in IRRC, Vol. 90, No. 871, September 2008, pp. 629-651.
 
VON GLAHN Gerhard, The Occupation of Enemy Territory – A Commentary on the Law and Practice of Belligerent Occupation, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1957, 350 pp.
 
WATSON Geoffrey R. et al., “Agora: ICJ Advisory Opinion on Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory”, in AJIL, Vol. 99/1, January 2005, pp. 1-141.
 
WILLS Siobhan, “Occupational Law and Multi-National Operations: Problems and Perspectives”, in BYIL, 2007, pp. 256-332.
 
ZEMACH Ariel, “Taking War Seriously: Applying the Law of War to Hostilities within an Occupied Territory”, in George Washington International Law Review, 38, 2006, pp. 645-695.
 
ZWANENBURG Martin, “Pieces of the Puzzle: Peace Operations, Occupation and the Use of Force”, in The Military Law and the Law of War Review, Vol. 1-2, No. 45, 2006, pp. 239-248.
  
Further readings on international administration :
 
FOX Gregory H., “A Return to Trusteeship?: A Comment on International Territorial Administration”, in GIEGERICH Thomas (ed.), A Wiser Century ?: Judicial Dispute Settlement, Disarmament and the Laws of War 100 Years After the Second Hague Peace Conference, Berlin, Duncker and Humblot, 2009, pp. 383-392.
 
FOX Gregory H., Humanitarian Occupation, Cambridge, CUP, 2008, 320 pp.
 
GARCIA Thierry, “La mission d’administration intérimaire des Nations Unies au Kosovo”, in RGDIP, Vol. 104, 2000, pp. 60-71.
 
GUILLAUME Marc, MARHIC Gilles & ETIENNE Guillaume, “Le cadre juridique de l’action de la KFOR au Kosovo”, in AFDI, Vol. 45, 1999, pp. 308-334.
 
HUGHES Caroline, UNTAC in Cambodia: The Impact on Human Rights, Singapore, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 1996, 90 pp.
 
KAIKOBAD Kaiyan Homi, “Problems of Belligerent Occupation: The Scope of Powers Exercised by the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, April/May 2003 June 2004”, in ICLQ, Vol. 54/1, January 2005, pp. 253-264.
 
KELLY Michael J., McCORMACK Timothy L.H., MUGGLETON Paul & OSWALD Bruce M., “Legal Aspects of Australia’s Involvement in the Force for East Timor”, in IRRC, No. 841, March 2001, pp. 101-139.
 
LEVRAT Bertrand, “Le droit international humanitaire au Timor oriental : entre théorie et pratique”, in IRRC, No. 841, 2001, pp. 77-99.
 
MATHESON Michael J., “United Nations Governance of Postconflict Societies”, in AJIL, Vol. 95, 2001, pp. 76-85.
 
ROTH Robert & HENZELIN Marc (eds), Le droit international pénal à l’épreuve de l’internationalisation, Paris/Brussels/Geneva, L.G.D.J./Bruylant/Georg, 2002, pp. 119-149.
 
RUFFERT Matthias, “The Administration of Kosovo and East-Timor by the International Community”, in ICLQ, Vol. 50/3, 2001, p. 613-631.
 
SASSÒLI Marco, “Droit international pénal et droit pénal interne : le cas des territoires se trouvant sous administration internationale”, in HENZELIN Marc & ROTH Robert (eds), Le droit pénal à l’épreuve de l’internationalisation, Paris/Brussels/Geneva, L.G.D.J./Bruylant/Georg, 2002, pp. 119-149.
 
RATNER Steven R., “Foreign Occupation and International Territorial Administration: The Challenges of Convergence”, in EJIL, Vol. 16, No. 4, September 2005, pp. 695-719.
 
RUEGER Christina, “The Law of Military Occupation: Recent Developments of the Law of Military Occupation with Regard to UN Security Council Mandated International Territorial Administrations”, in Revue de droit militaire et de droit de la guerre, Vol 1-2, No. 45, 2006, pp. 215-228.
 
SHRAGA Daphna, “Military Occupation and UN Transnational Administrations – The Analogy and its Limitations”, in Promoting Justice, Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Through International Law = La promotion de la justice, des droits de l’homme et du règlement des conflits par le droit international: Liber Amicorum Lucius Caflisch, 2007, pp. 479-498.
 
DE SOLA Mercedes, “Competencia de administración de territorios por las organizaciones internacionales”, in Revista española de derecho internacional, Vol. 34/1, 1982, pp. 125-137.
 
STAHN Carsten, “The United Nations Transitional Administrations in Kosovo and East Timor: A First Analysis”, in Max Planck Yearbook of United Nations Law, Vol. 5, 2001, p. 105-183.
 
STROHMEYER Hansjoerg, “Building a New Judiciary for East Timor: Challenges of a Fledgling Nation”, in Criminal Law Forum, Vol. 11, 2000, pp. 259-285.
 
STROHMEYER Hansjoerg, “Collapse and Reconstruction of a Judicial System: The United Nations Missions in Kosovo and East Timor”, in AJIL, Vol. 95, 2001, pp. 35-52.
 
VITÉ Sylvain, “L’applicabilité du droit international de l’occupation militaire aux activités des organisations internationales”, in IRRC, No. 853, March 2004, pp. 9-36.
 
WEDGEWOOD Ruth & JACOBSON Harold K., “Symposium: State Reconstruction after Civil Conflict, Foreword”, in AJIL, Vol. 95, 2001, pp. 1-6.
 
WILDE Ralph, “From Danzig to East Timor and Beyond: The Role of International Territorial Administration”, in AJIL, Vol. 95, 2001, pp. 583-606.
 
WILDE Ralph, “From Trusteeship to Self-Determination and Back Again: the Role of the Hague Regulations in the Evolution of International Trusteeship, and the Framework of Rights and Duties of Occupying Powers”, in GIEGERICH Thomas (ed.), A Wiser Century ?: Judicial Dispute Settlement, Disarmament and the Laws of War 100 Years After the Second Hague Peace Conference, Berlin, Duncker and Humblot, 2009, pp. 333-370.
 
ZIMMERMANN Andreas & STAHN Carsten, “Yugoslav Territory, United Nations Trusteeship or Sovereign State? Reflections on the Current and Future Legal Status of Kosovo”, in Nordic Journal of International Law, Vol. 70, 2001, pp. 438-441.