Belligerent


Belligerent

A belligerent is an individual, group, country or other entity which acts in a hostile manner, such as engaging in combat.

In times of war, belligerent countries can be contrasted with neutral countries and non-belligerents. However, the application of the laws of war to neutral countries and the responsibilities of belligerents are not affected by any distinction between "neutral countries", "neutral powers" or "non-belligerents". A non-belligerent may nevertheless risk being considered a belligerent if it aids or supports a belligerent in a way proscribed by neutral countries.

An interesting use of the term arose during the American Civil War, when the Confederate States of America, though not recognized as a sovereign state, was recognized as a "belligerent power", and thus Confederate warships were given the same rights as United States warships in foreign ports.

Belligerency

"Belligerency" is a term used in international law to indicate the status of two or more entities, generally sovereign states, being engaged in a war. Wars are often fought with one or both parties to a conflict invoking the right to self defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, [Bruce Ackerman [http://www.law.yale.edu/news/4340.htm But What's the Legal Case for Preemption?] Yale Law School, August 20, 2002] (As did the United Kingdom in 1982 before the start of the Falklands War [ Daniel K. Gibran (1997). The Falklands War: Britain Versus the Past in the South Atlantic, McFarland, ISBN 078640406X. [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=8Y63V3TfO6QC&pg=PA86&lpg=PA86&source=web&ots=oG7a6YJeb7&sig=4aTLo9ewO1HAenTX96sPwAh9AX8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=6&ct=result p. 86] ] ) or under the auspices of a United Nations Security Council resolution (such as the United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 which gave legal authorization for the Gulf War).

A state of belligerency may also exist between one or more sovereign states on one side, and rebel forces, if such rebel forces are recognised as belligerents. If there is a rebellion against an constituted authority (for example an authority recognised as such by the United Nations) and those taking part in the rebellion are not recognised as belligerents then the rebellion is an insurgency. [Oxford English Dictionary second edition 1989 "insurgent B. n. One who rises in revolt against constituted authority; a rebel who is not recognized as a belligerent."]

Since the beginning of the crystallization of various concepts of international law, also called the law of nations, the concept of belligerency and the rights and duties of belligerent nations have continued to evolve and become codified. In the modern context, a number of regulations relating to belligerency were annexed to the Hague Convention of 29th July 1899, pertaining to the laws and customs of war. The Convention contained a specific section named Belligerents which was divided into three chapters, dealing respectively with the following:

*The Qualifications of Belligerents
*Prisoners of War
*The Sick and Wounded

Once the status of belligerency is established between two or more states, their relations are determined and governed by the laws of war.

ee also

* Combatant status

References


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  • belligerent — bel·lig·er·ent 1 /bə li jə rənt/ adj 1: waging war: carrying on war; specif: belonging to or recognized as an organized military power protected by and subject to the laws of war 2: inclined to or exhibiting hostility or a combative temperament… …   Law dictionary

  • belligerent — adj Belligerent, bellicose, pugnacious, combative, quarrelsome, contentious mean having or taking an aggressive or fighting attitude. Belligerent usually implies actual engagement in hostilities {the belligerent powers in the World War} {define a …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • belligerent — [bə lij′ər ənt] adj. [L belligerans, prp. of belligerare, to wage war < bellum, war (see BELLICOSE) + gerere, to carry on] 1. at war; designating or of a state recognized under international law as being engaged in a war 2. of war; of fighting …   English World dictionary

  • Belligerent — Bel*lig er*ent, a. [L. bellum war + gerens, entis, waging, p. pr. of gerere to wage: cf. F. bellig[ e]rant. See {Bellicose}, {Jest}.] 1. Waging war; carrying on war. Belligerent powers. E. Everett. [1913 Webster] 2. Pertaining, or tending, to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Belligerent — Bel*lig er*ent, n. A nation or state recognized as carrying on war; a person engaged in warfare. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • belligerent — (adj.) 1570s, from L. belligerantem (nom. belligerans), pp. of belligerare to wage war, from bellum war + gerere to bear, to carry. The noun meaning party or nation at war is from 1811. Related: Belligerently …   Etymology dictionary

  • belligerent — [adj] nasty, argumentative aggressive, antagonistic, ardent, at loggerheads*, battling, bellicose, cantankerous, combative, contentious, fierce, fighting, flip, have a bone to pick*, have chip on shoulder*, have it in for*, hostile, hot, hot… …   New thesaurus

  • belligerent — ► ADJECTIVE 1) hostile and aggressive. 2) engaged in a war or conflict. ► NOUN ▪ a nation or person engaged in war or conflict. DERIVATIVES belligerently adverb. ORIGIN from Latin belligerare wage war …   English terms dictionary

  • belligerent — adjective Etymology: modification of Latin belligerant , belligerans, present participle of belligerare to wage war, from belliger waging war, from bellum + gerere to wage Date: 1577 1. waging war; specifically belonging to or recognized as a… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • belligerent — belligerently, adv. /beuh lij euhr euhnt/, adj. 1. warlike; given to waging war. 2. of warlike character; aggressively hostile; bellicose: a belligerent tone. 3. waging war; engaged in war: a peace treaty between belligerent powers. 4. pertaining …   Universalium


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