World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Right of conquest

Article Id: WHEBN0000391190
Reproduction Date:

Title: Right of conquest  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Property law, List of English monarchs, Two Treatises of Government, War of aggression, Taksin
Collection: International Law, Legal Terms, Political Terminology, Political Theories, Property Law, Sovereignty
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Right of conquest

The right of conquest is the right of a conqueror to territory taken by force of arms. It was traditionally a principle of international law that has gradually given way in modern times until its proscription after the Second World War when the crime of war of aggression was first codified in the Nuremberg Principles and then finally, in 1974, as a United Nations resolution 3314.[1]

Proponents state that this right acknowledges the status quo, and that denial of the right is meaningless unless one is able and willing to use military force to deny it. Further, the right was traditionally accepted because the conquering force, being by definition stronger than any lawfully entitled governance which it may have replaced, was therefore more likely to secure peace and stability for the people, and so the Right of Conquest legitimises the conqueror towards that end.

The completion of colonial conquest of much of the world (see the Scramble for Africa), the devastation of World War I and World War II, and the alignment of both the United States and the Soviet Union with the principle of self-determination led to the abandonment of the right of conquest in formal international law. The 1928 Kellogg–Briand Pact, the post-1945 Nuremberg Trials, the UN Charter, and the UN role in decolonization saw the progressive dismantling of this principle. Simultaneously, the UN Charter's guarantee of the "territorial integrity" of member states effectively froze out claims against prior conquests from this process.

Contents

  • Conquest and military occupation 1
  • See also 2
  • Notes 3
  • Further reading 4

Conquest and military occupation

After the attempted conquests of Napoleon and up to the attempted conquests of Hitler, the disposition of territory acquired under the principle of conquest had to, according to international law, be conducted according to the existing laws of war. This meant that there had to be military occupation followed by a peace settlement, and there was no reasonable chance of the defeated sovereign regaining the land. While a formal peace treaty "makes good any defects in title" (The Right of Conquest, Korman, pg 127), it was not required. Recognition by the losing party was not a requirement, "the right of acquisition vested by conquest did not depend on the consent of the dispossessed state" (Id @ 128). However, the alternative was annexation (part or in whole) which if protested as unlawful, a peace treaty was the only means to legitimize conquest in a time of war. Essentially, conquest itself was a legal act of extinguishing the legal rights of other states without their consent. Under this new framework, it is notable that conquest and subsequent occupation outside of war was illegal (Id @ 128).

In post-World War II times, when the international community frowned on wars of aggression, not all wars involving territorial acquisitions ended in a peace treaty. For example, the fighting in the Korean War ended in an armistice, without any peace treaty covering it.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Definition of War of Aggression

Further reading

  • Sharon Korman, The Right of Conquest: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice, Oxford University Press, 1996.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.