Washington Rules on Neutrality

Washington Rules on Neutrality

 

in international law, the rules that determine the obligations of neutral states within their internal and territorial waters. The rules were established in the Treaty of Washington of May 8, 1871, by agreement between Great Britain and the USA; they were to serve as the guiding principles for the judges examining the Alabama controversy between the two countries. The dispute had arisen in connection with the actions of British ships (the Alabama and others) during the Civil War of 1861-65 in the USA and involved Great Britain’s responsibility for damages. Great Britain and the USA, after accepting the Washington rules, invited the other naval powers to adhere to them. Since the rules simply formulated customary law in questions of neutrality, they met no protest and were regarded as universally recognized norms of international law. They were codified in the 13th Hague Convention of 1907 on the rights and duties of neutral powers in the event of naval war.

REFERENCE

Hyde, C. C. Mezhdunarodnoe pravo, ego ponimanie i primenenie Soedinennymi Shtatami Ameriki, vol. 4. Moscow, 1952. Chapter 6, subdivision 1, paragraphs 562-565. (Translated from English.)
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