Manual of Military Law 1929, Amendments (No. 12)

THE LAW SAND USAGES O F WAR LAND.ON 5 of justice and humanity as recommend themselves in the particular Ch. XIV circumstances of the case.1 ~II.— The Opening o f Hos til i tie s.(i) Declaration of War. 8. The “Convention Relative to the Opening ”of Hostilities ^f^ ration 1907 binds the contracting Powers in the case of war between obligatory, two or more of them not to begin hostilities without previous and explicit warning in the form of a reasoned declaration of war or of an ultimatum with a conditional declaration of war. There is, however nothing to impose any period of delay between the issue of notification and the beginning of hostilities. Sudden and unexpected declarations of war for the purpose of surprising an unprepared enemy are in nowise rendered impossible. 9. The signatories are bound when belligerents2 to notify the existence of a state of war without delay to neutral signatory to neutral states whose responsibilities as neutrals areas a rule not engaged states, until they receive the notification. The omission of a notification on the part of belligerents does not however absolve a neutral Powef from its 3 responsibilities if it is actually aware of the existence of hostilities. 10. The Convention is valuable from the legal and commercial ^t^n rtance points of view especially in a maritime war since it compels convention belligerents themselves to fix and announce a definite date which “co ern“ «'is to be regarded as the beginning of hostilities and after which 0 hostilities, they are entitled to exercise the rights of belligerency and to exact from neutrals the obligations of neutrality. (ii) Treatment of Resident Enemy Subjects. 11. According to the British view the- first consequence of the General existence of a condition of war between two states is that every f then subject of the one state becomes an enemy to every subject of the other for it is impossible to sever the subjects from their stateS war. and the outbreak of war between two states cannot but make their subjects enemies. Before the Great War 1914-1918 the tendency had been however to regard hostilities as being restricted to the armed forces of the 4 belligerents and to differentiate between them and the ordinary citizens of the contending states who did not uptake arms. 1 The trend of public opinion on this subject is indicated by the discussion In the Press and by the questions and Interpellations in Parliament with regard to the operations in the Sudan, 1898 in the Reichstag respecting those in China in 1900 and in the Chainbre des Deputes respecting those in Morocco in 1908 and further by the speech of M. Bcernaert at the close of the labours of the Second Committee of the Hague Conference 1907 of which he was President, and which drr.w up the revised rules in the Convention concerning the Laws and Customs of War Land.on He said “May these rules be observed observed in all particulars better observed than in the past and even with regard to races whom we have been accustomed to regard as inferior to our own.” (Hague Conference 1907 Acies Vol. p.Ill 89.) Ooening of Hostilities Convention art. 2. Opening of Hostilities Convention art. 2. See para. 465 M seq as regards the duties of neutral Powers. For definition of ”"armed forces see para. 20.
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