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The Law of Maritime BlockadePast, Present, and Future$
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Phillip Drew

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198808435

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198808435.001.0001

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International Humanitarian Law and Blockade

International Humanitarian Law and Blockade

(p.91) 7 International Humanitarian Law and Blockade
The Law of Maritime Blockade

Phillip Drew

Oxford University Press

This chapter is a study of how blockade law relates to international humanitarian law, particularly that set out in Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. Noting that under the customary law of blockade all incoming and outgoing maritime traffic is prohibited, an assessment is made on whether or not the customary requirement has been displaced by the humanitarian provisions of AP1. Focusing on the wording of article 49(3), it is shown that for a number of states, the adoption of AP1 did not change the customary law, while for some others it did. As a result of this discrepancy it is posited that in spite of recent attempts to create such an obligation through soft law approaches, there is no customary law that requires humanitarian relief operations during blockade blockades.

Keywords:   Additional Protocol 1, distinction, attack, starvation, proportionality, civilians

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