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(bəlĭj`ərənsē), in international law, status of parties legally at war. Belligerency exists in a warwar,
armed conflict between states or nations (international war) or between factions within a state (civil war), prosecuted by force and having the purpose of compelling the defeated side to do the will of the victor.
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 between nations or in a civil war if the established government treats the insurgent force as if it were a sovereign power. The rules of international law as formulated at the Hague ConferencesHague Conferences,
term for the International Peace Conference of 1899 (First Hague Conference) and the Second International Peace Conference of 1907 (Second Hague Conference). Both were called by Russia and met at The Hague, the Netherlands.
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 require that belligerency between states be preceded by an absolute declaration of war or an ultimatum prescribing the terms on which the issuing power will refrain from war. When belligerency has been established, the relations between the warring powers are determined by the laws of war (see war, laws ofwar, laws of,
in international law, rules and principles regulating an armed conflict between nations. These laws are designed to minimize the destruction of life and property, to proscribe cruel treatment of noncombatants and prisoners of war, and to establish conditions under
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). In civil wars if the insurgent force is granted belligerency rights, neutral nations generally abstain from supplying or helping either the established government or its opponent. An example of this practice is found in the neutralityneutrality,
in international law, status of a nation that refrains from participation in a war between other states and maintains an impartial attitude toward the belligerents. Neutrality is not to be confused with neutralism, or nonalignment, under international law.
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 proclamations issued by European powers in the American Civil War. Neutral nations may refuse to recognize the belligerency of an insurgent, however, and in this way preserve the right to claim any damages that accrue against the established government for having failed to suppress the rebellion without delay. Under its charter, the United Nations recognizes as legitimate only wars that are fought in self-defense, or for the collective enforcement of the UN Charter. All other wars are regarded as illegal acts of aggression. The United Nations also considers civil wars as threatening to international peace, and, when possible, takes measures to end such hostilities (e.g., Kashmir, Palestine, Korea, the Congo, Cyprus).


See W. L. Gould, An Introduction to International Law (1957).

References in periodicals archive ?
In fact, belligerency remains a cross between political and legal
Political cleavage lines soon became clear: Germany and Russia, both of which possessed large regular armies, intended to keep the definition of lawful belligerency highly restrictive, hence not allowing for a defensive levee en masse or even militia forces.
The remaining legacy of George Bush's simplistic belligerency is no longer the answer.
When he succeeded [the late] Imam Khomeini [in June 1989] he became a craftier merchant, but this time a seller of expensive [Persian] carpets, always raising his price when the potential foreign buyer appeared to be interested, with a degree of belligerency at the beginning [of negotiations], only to come down just as the deal appeared to be on the verge of collapse".
With the ravages of democratic ideas, however, the modern republic cannot go to war under the old conceptions of autocracy and death-dealing belligerency.
Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, who lodged the motion calling on Walker to resign, added: "His belligerency to vacate his seat is a flagrant insult to the parliament and to the taxpayer.
She pointed out that recently Indian belligerency against Pakistan has increased tremendously with violations of air space, firing across LoC and international border and with increased efforts to steal Pakistan's river water, especially the Chenab, in clear violation of the Indus Waters Treaty.
25) During the American Civil War, for instance, the Union implicitly recognized the existence of a belligerency by the declaring of a blockade against the Confederacy.
However, the political hobbling of the doctrine of belligerency coupled with the absence of an internationally defined and binding standard for determining compulsory applicability of the law of war (a term that is today synonymous with humanitarian law or the LOAC) left this category of hostilities immune from international legal regulation.
In addition, and as a result, all acts of belligerency, incursion or the so-called hot pursuit practiced by Israel against us must stop.
The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.