reprisal


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reprisal,

in international law, the forcible taking, in time of peace, by one country of the property or territory belonging to another country or to the citizens of the other country, to be held as a pledge or as redress in order to satisfy a claim. A reprisal, technically, is not an act of war, because it is solely in response to conduct that violated international law. When, however, reprisals are taken against a power of equal strength, they may provoke war. The Covenant of the League of Nations and the Charter of the United Nations classify reprisals as acts endangering peace. Modern international law no longer recognizes private reprisal. This was the right of a private person to satisfy a legal claim against an alien by seizing property belonging to a person of the alien's nationality. The authority was contained in a letter of reprisal issued by the sovereign. Private reprisals all but disappeared by 1800, as the central authority of states grew stronger.

reprisal

(formerly) the forcible seizure of the property or subjects of one nation by another
References in classic literature ?
No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.
Although the valiant Typees would often by gesticulations declare their undying hatred against their enemies, and the disgust they felt at their cannibal propensities; although they dilated upon the manifold injuries they had received at their hands, yet with a forbearance truly commendable, they appeared to sit down under their grievances, and to refrain from making any reprisals. The Happars, entrenched behind their mountains, and never even showing themselves on their summits, did not appear to me to furnish adequate cause for that excess of animosity evinced towards them by the heroic tenants of our vale, and I was inclined to believe that the deeds of blood attributed to them had been greatly exaggerated.
You have a terrible example before you, gentlemen: no reprisals, I forbid them."
I threatened the Sagoth leader with all sorts of dire reprisals; but when he heard me speak the hybrid language that is the medium of communication between his kind and the human race of the inner world he only grinned, as much as to say, "I thought so!"
Reprisals were bitter, and many plutocrats and army officers were murdered.
A noble could kill a noble without ex- pense, as far as the law was concerned, but reprisals in kind were to be expected.
By way of reprisals upon the chevalier for the trick thus played him, du Bousquier, who had just created the journal called the "Courrier de l'Orne," caused the following notice to be inserted in it:--
Assuming that states agreed to a careful delineated multilateral framework for engaging in limited reprisals undertaken only for proper motivations and under proper supervision, the relative good achieved by the reprisal would certainly be a relevant consideration.
The 1949 Geneva Convention did not reject reprisal actions against civilians in enemy territory and the rule in Protocol I is an innovation.
"The Journey of Odysseus" (presented by Follow Your Fates) is a reprisal of the ancient Homeric Odyssey as a choose-your-own -adventure role playing game in which the reader is faced with the same choices Odysseus faced.
Kirk asks for 'thoughtful' Brazilian reprisal: U.S.
Constitution, which grants Congress the power both to "define and punish piracies and felonies" as well as to "grant letters of marque and reprisal":