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In the event of an occupation or occupation (depending on the context, also occupation ; from Latin occupare `` occupy '' ), the existing territorial sovereignty in a populated area is replaced by his own on the initiative of an external ruler . This is mostly done by military means. In addition, in international law , the occupation of an area without a rulership by a state power is referred to as an occupation.

More recently, an occupation has also been characterized by the fact that the occupying power does not become a legal executive under international law . In contrast to annexation , however, the foreign territory is not incorporated into one's own national territory under state or international law. No state sovereignty is established after territorial sovereignty has been acquired by external rulers on their initiative, which means that no area is increased, and no occupied territory becomes state territory. After independence aspiring populations often denote the state that dominates their territory, as an occupying power, even if they are no occupation in the legal sense. Similarly, the occupants are individual representatives of the occupying power or their entirety present in the country.

When it comes to occupation, a distinction is made between peaceful (occupatio pacifica) and warlike occupation (occupatio bellica) .

international law

Peaceful occupation

According to international law, the (peaceful) occupation is the legal occupation of a territory that was not previously part of the national territory of the appropriating power. The prerequisite is the declared will to appropriate and the effective exercise of dominion over the occupied territory. In addition, this area must either have been previously unknown or given up by its sovereign ( dereliction ).

The peaceful occupation played a central role during European expansion . In the 15th and 16th centuries, the acquisition of non-European territories was initially based on the missionary mandate of Jesus Christ and papal authority, for example in the papal bull Inter caetera of 1493 or in the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494). In contrast, since the 17th century, the theory of terra nullius , the abandoned area, came to the fore. As Johann Jacob Moser put it in 1778, this could be subjected to any European sovereign to his rule, provided that he could actually enforce his state authority there. This area could then not be disputed by any other European power. This was in contradiction to the common practice of colonialism , according to which non-European territories were mostly taken over by way of contracts with local rulers. Since the mere existence of non-European rulers belied the legal figure of terra nullius , a theory of graduated sovereignty was developed , according to which the European states exercised sovereignty in the full sense of the word, non-European potentates only to a limited extent and nomads lacking any statehood. As recently as 1884, the legal fiction of terra nullius was used as a basis for the Congo Act , with which the colonization of large parts of Africa by the European powers was regulated. It was also the basis of the European settlement of Australia and the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Military occupation

The Hague Land Warfare Regulations of 1907, an early part of international martial law , limits the use of force when occupying enemy territory, also known as occupatio bellica .

The resulting legal regime aims to balance three potentially contradicting interests: the security interests of the occupying power , the sovereignty interests of the state to which the occupied territory still belongs, and the interests of its people . This may be compelled to obey the occupying power, even if de jure there is no obligation to obey. Propaganda for joining one's own armed forces is not permitted. As a result of the occupation, the occupying power is responsible for the welfare of the local population and must protect them from acts of violence, namely looting . It must also guarantee an adequate supply of food and medical services as well as the maintenance of necessary elements of the infrastructure . It has to leave the legal system of the occupied territory untouched, provided that it does not violate human rights. Deportations and population transfers are prohibited. These protection obligations must not be circumvented by annexing the area. They are binding from the moment when one's own armed forces have de facto some control over the area in question and end when it is lost.

Examples of military occupations

Historical occupations

Current occupations

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: occupation  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations


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