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Neutrality Law

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Chapter Summary

Neutrality with respect to a given armed conflict presents two distinct features: on the one hand, non-participation in the conflict, and, on the other, impartiality with respect to the parties to the conflict. Besides the rules of neutrality law, other relevant rules of international law continue to apply in the relations between belligerent and neutral States. As a non-participant, a neutral State is under a duty to avoid getting involved in the conflict. It is obviously precluded from performing acts of war in relation to the conflict in question; this without prejudice to its rights of self-defence and protection of its legitimate interests under general international law. Thus, environmental damage resulting from an act other than an act of war, even if committed by or under the responsibility of a belligerent State, is governed by the general rules of environmental law.

Keywords: armed conflict; belligerent State; environmental damage; international law; neutral State; neutrality law



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