The functional beginning of belligerent occupation
written by Michael Siegrist
[S.l.] : [s.n.], 2010
XII, 81 p. ; 30 cm
Mémoire, Académie de droit international humanitaire et de droits humains à Genève, submitted on 8 February 2010. - Photocopies. - Bibliographie : p. VIII-X
The ICRC commentary on the fourth Geneva Convention advocates the so-called functional beginning of belligerent occupation. Accordingly, the rules on occupied territories of the Fourth Geneva Convention apply as soon as a "protected person" falls into the hands of a party to the conflict present in enemy territory. It is argued in this paper that the application of the functional beginning of occupation is the preferred solution. This would fill probable gaps of protection during the invasion phase and would be in line with the object and purpose of the Geneva Conventions. Moreover, an analysis of the rules relating to belligerent occupation suggests that invading troops would not be disproportionally burdened with additional and impractical obligations. Quite the contrary, the wording of most articles leaves enough leeway to adapt and take into account the difficult circumstances prevailing during an invasion. Furthermore, the functional beginning of belligerent occupation would also bestow certain rights upon the invading power, like a legal basis for security measures and internment.