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Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907)

From Academic Kids

The Hague Conventions were international treaties negotiated at the First and Second Peace Conferences at The Hague, Netherlands in 1899 and 1907, respectively, and were, along with the Geneva Conventions, among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of international law.

Contents

Hague Convention of 1899

Signed on July 29, 1899 and entering into force on September 4, 1900, the Hague Convention of 1899 consist of four main sections and three additional declarations (the final main section is for some reason identical to the first additional declaration):

  • I - Pacific Settlement of International Disputes
  • II - Laws and Customs of War on Land
  • III - Adaptation to Maritime Warfare of Principles of Geneva Convention of 1864
  • IV - Prohibiting Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons
  • Declaration I - On the Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons
  • Declaration II - On the Use of Projectiles the Object of Which is the Diffusion of Asphyxiating or Deleterious Gases
  • Declaration III - On the Use of Bullets Which Expand or Flatten Easily in the Human Body

The main effect of the Convention was to ban the use of certain types of modern technology in war: bombing from the air, chemical warfare, and hollow point bullets. The Convention also set up the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Delegates included Ivan Bloch.

Hague Convention of 1907

The Second Peace Conference was held to expand upon the original Hague Convention, modifying some parts and adding others, with an increased focus on naval warfare. This was signed on October 8, 1907, and entered into force on January 26, 1910. It consisted of thirteen sections, of which twelve were ratified and entered into force:

  • I - The Pacific Settlement of International Disputes
  • II - The Limitation of Employment of Force for Recovery of Contract Debts
  • III - The Opening of Hostilities
  • IV - The Laws and Customs of War on Land
  • V - The Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land
  • VI - The Status of Enemy Merchant Ships at the Outbreak of Hostilities
  • VII - The Conversion of Merchant Ships into War-Ships
  • VIII - The Laying of Automatic Submarine Contact Mines
  • IX - Bombardment by Naval Forces in Time of War
  • X - Adaptation to Maritime War of the Principles of the Geneva Convention
  • XI - Certain Restrictions with Regard to the Exercise of the Right of Capture in Naval War
  • XII - The Creation of an International Prize Court [Not Ratified]*
  • XIII - The Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval War

Two declarations were signed as well:

  • Declaration I - extending Declaration II from the 1899 Conference to other types of aircraft
  • Declaration II - on the obligatory arbitration

*The never-ratified Section XII would have established an international court for the resolution of conflicting claims to captured shipping during wartime.

The British delegation included Lord Reay, Sir Ernest Satow and Eyre Crowe.

Geneva Protocol to Hague Convention

Though not negotiated in The Hague, the Geneva Protocol to the Hague Convention is considered an addition to the Convention. Signed on June 17, 1925 and entering into force on February 8, 1928, it permanently bans the use of all forms of chemical and biological warfare in its single section, entitled Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. The protocol grew out of the increasing public outcry against chemical warfare following the use of mustard gas and similar agents in World War I, and fears that chemical and biological warfare could lead to horrific consequences in any future war. The protocol has since been augumented by the Biological Weapons Convention (1972) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (1993).

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