The article intends to explore the actual content and relevance of the law of neutrality from a perspective of contemporary armed conflict, focusing on the particularities of air and missile operations. Although most of the neutrality rules were in use or were drafted when no aircraft or missile existed, it explores which rules are of importance for situations where neutral States interact with belligerents in a context of air and missile operations during an international armed conflict. There are three particularities when comparing the law of neutrality with the rest of international humanitarian law: First, the law of neutrality accommodates under its roof rules of jus ad/contra bellum with rules pertaining to the jus in bello. A second particularity may be seen in the scope of applicability which is limited to international armed conflicts. And a third particularity, especially in view of the rules belonging to the jus ad bellum, must be seen in the subordination of the law of neutrality to the 1945 Charter of the United Nations regulating the present system of collective security. Some scholars have therefore spread doubt on the continuous relevance of the law of neutrality. The fact that neutrality has played a role in recent situations is sufficient to prove its continuous relevance. In fact, during these international armed conflict occurring without a UN Security Council mandate certain nations would have preferred to be seen as not participating in the conflict for internal political reasons, but they were unwilling or even unable to face all of the consequences, while other applied the rules strictly e.g. by prohibiting overflights except for medical transports.
By entering this website, you consent to the use of technologies, such as cookies and analytics, to customise content, advertising and provide social media features. This will be used to analyse traffic to the website, allowing us to understand visitor preferences and improving our services. Learn more