Chapter

Deportation of Civilians as a War Crime under Customary Law

Theodor Meron

in War Crimes Law Comes of Age

Published in print January 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268567
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268567.003.0006
Deportation of Civilians as a War Crime under Customary Law

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This chapter demonstrates, largely through an analysis of the Nuremberg jurisprudence, that deportations from occupied territories had been prohibited under customary international law already prior to the adoption of the Geneva Conventions. Since the adoption of the Fourth Geneva Convention on August 12, 1949 there have been many expressions of support for its customary law nature (opinio juris). However, the practice of states demonstrating the Convention's customary law character has been limited. It is for this reason that the chapter focuses on the situation preceding the adoption of the Convention. Although the prohibition of deportations by a number of major human rights instruments is of relevance to the issue under consideration, the analysis will be limited to questions of humanitarian law.

Keywords: Nuremberg jurisprudence; deportation; humanitarian law; international law; Geneva Convention

Chapter.  5845 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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