The law of occupation, which was first codified around the turn of the twentieth century, has not often been applied in the century that followed, States have always been reluctant to constrain themselves by its rules, and political, social and economic changes that have taken place through the years have gradually made such constraints difficult even with the best of intentions. As a result, the law of occupation developed largely through doctrine and little through practice. The present chapter examines how these factors have affected the law of the definition of occupation and the legitimate scope of intervention by an occupant in the administration of the territory. From without, it addresses the relationship between the law of occupation and other bodies of law, principally the right to self-determination and international human right law; and their impact on the development of criteria for determining the legality of occupation.
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