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The legislative competence of the occupying power under Article 43 of the 1907 Hague Regulations

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Chapter Summary

Both the International Court of Justice and publicists confirm that Article 43 of the Hague Regulations is declaratory of customary international law. A close look at the drafting record of this provision offers an important clue as to the bounds of the occupants legislative power. The examination turns to Articles 2 and 3 of the Brussels Declaration of 1874, which were the precursors to Article 43 of the Hague Regulations. The integration of two provisions of the Brussels Declaration into a single text under the Hague Regulations confirms that both the legislative power of the occupants and their obligation to respect local laws are part of general principles. The need for drastic modifications of existing legislative and institutional structures of an occupied state was keenly felt by the Allies in relation to the ghastly state systems imbued with the ideologies of Nazism, fascism and militarism during the Second World War.

Keywords: Brussels declaration; customary international law; fascist laws; Hague regulations; occupants legislative power; second world war



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