The law of occupation represents an effort to fill the legal and administrative void created when a foreign actor oust the national authorities and prevents them from exercising their authority in certain area. The effort, however well intended, is inherently flawed because the void is filled by an authority whose interests often clash with those of the local population and the ousted government. This inherent conflict of interests calls for special attention by third parties that monitor and review the occupant’s measures. The detailed law and the rich jurisprudence that has developed over the years is not a reason for complacency. In fact, the practice demonstrates that the legal regime is far from providing a satisfactory answer to the control gap. Therefore, a healthy suspicion in the occupant’s motives should always inform the reviewers. The likely partiality of the occupant requires, for example, that international tribunals refrains from granting the occupant the same margin of appreciation that sovereigns enjoy.
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