The Right of Conquest : The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice

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Oxford University Press, Oct 31, 1996 - 352 pages
2 Reviews
This is an enquiry into the place of the right of conquest in international relations since the early sixteenth century, and the causes and consequences of its demise in the twentieth century. It was a recognized principle of international law until the early years of this century that a state that emerges victorious in a war is entitled to claim sovereignty over territory which it has taken possession. Sharon Korman shows how the First World War - which led to the rise of self-determination and to calls for the prohibition of way - prompted the reconstruction of international law and the consequent abolition of the title by conquest. Her conclusion, which highlights the merits and defects of the modern law as a vehicle for discouraging war by denying the title to the conqueror, challenges many of the assumptions that have come to constitute part of the conventional wisdom of our times. This is a study, not of international law narrowly conceived, but of the place of a changing legal principle in international history and the contemporary world.
  

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Richard Guelff, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, 1998 74; 193 -
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This volume, prepared when the author was a Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College, Oxford, is based upon her doctoral
dissertation which won the 1992 British International Studies Association Prize for the best thesis on international relations in the United Kingdom. Throughout this well-researched book, the inherent ambiguities in the legal principles under consideration, the complexity in the interpretation of those principles, and the historical difficulties in application are highlighted.
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Pierre-Michel Eisemann, ANNUAIRE FRANCAIS DE DROIT INTERNATIONAL, 1996 42; 1141 -
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This brilliant study ... wholly merits the prize for best doctoral thesis in the United Kingdom accorded to it by the British International Studies Association
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David Turns, JOURNAL OF ARMED CONFLICT LAW, 1997 2; 107 -
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Korman's achievement is twofold: on the one hand we are presented with a very scholarly and exhaustively-researched survey of legal developments regarding the right of conquest (particularly from 1919 onwards), while on the other hand, a clear line of historical evolution is pursued.. The book falls into two main parts which together make a cohesive whole. Part One, on the right of conquest in traditional international law and practice, is overtly historical... but Part Two is where Korman's impressive knowledge of the legal aspects really comes into its own.... Korman's book is an excellent study of a fascinating area of international law: it can be warmly recommended to both international lawyers and international historians. It is well-written in a lucid and accessible style, and the depth of research and analysis is very impressive.
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Lindsay Moir, INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW QUARTERLY, 1998 48; 244 -
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An impressive and deeply analytical book.
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NON-OFFENSIVE DEFENSE AND CONVERSION, March 1997 -
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The work by Sharon Korman is a very comprehensive, well nigh exhaustive, analysis of the international law of territorial conquest, written in a lucid style that sets it apart from many works on international law... The work combines meticulous scholarship in international law with forward-looking International Relations thinking.
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Alain Wijffels, LEGAL HISTORY REVIEW, 1999 67; 409 -
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This excellent study is a posthumous homage to the influence of Professor Hedley Bull [Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at Oxford University] on young researchers in the field of international relations and international history.
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SC Neff, EDINBURGH LAW REVIEW, 1997 1, 514 -
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The wealth of historical material (including case-studies of five post-1945 events)..is very valuable and presented with scrupulous fair-mindedness. Those who consult this work will find (as this reviewer did) much to stimulate and clarify their thinking on this difficult subject.
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Professor David Kennedy, Harvard Law School, AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 1997 91; 745 -
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An excellent doctrinal history.... Korman’s intense passion for her subject is clear.
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Anthony Carty, BRITISH YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 2000 2; 260 -
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Korman's work is immensely stimulating and very helpful for the struggling scholars of international legal history. It should also be, and perhaps already is, basic reading for international law students.
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Pradip Bhaumik, STANFORD JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW, 1997 33; 413 -
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A work of sweeping scope..balanced and judicious. The thinking is lucid yet refined. Korman's work is the most up-to-date study of seizure of territories, and the only one that charts the progress of both the ideology and the application of the right of conquest and the political events and legal principles that gradually undermined and finally dismantled it.
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Vaughan Lowe, Chichele Professor of Public International Law at Oxford University, WAR IN HISTORY, 2000 7; 486 --
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It is a commonplace of contemporary international law that title to territory
cannot validly be acquired by the use of force. That rule is usually derived from the prohibition on the use of force in article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which is regarded as the completion of the process of outlawing the use of force in international relations... That process overturned the principle that had, one imagines, obtained throughout the rest of the world's history: the principle that the conqueror takes the territory.
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The core of Dr Korman's study is an account of this development, traced through the writings of..international jurists and the practice of..States. She begins with a chapter on the 'theoretical background', discussing..such writers as Grotius, Pufendorf, Vattel and Oppenheim, and.. some eighteenth-century political writings on the right of conquest. This raises the main lines of the controversy, and sets the scene for the rest of the book.
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Chapter 2 describes the colonial expansion effected by right of conquest, distinguished from other conquests by the fact that the conquered were 'barbarians', and Chapter 3 takes the history of conquest in relations between 'civilized' states up to the end of the nineteenth century... Dr Korman then.. devotes Chapter 4 to an account of the traditional law of conquest. The Chapter closes Part I of the book, which had by this stage won the affection of this reviewer for the elegance of its style and the lightness with which Dr Korman wears her learning.
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Part Two is every bit as good a read; but the analysis here begins to acquire real teeth. Chapter 5 describes events following the moral turning-point of the First World War and the development of the notion of the right of self-determination. Some incisive analysis of the settlements after the Second World War and the acquisition of territories by Poland and the Soviet Union makes clear that the acceptance of annexation by force persisted in practice well after the adoption of the League Covenant and Kellogg-Briand Pact.
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The tension between the aspirations of the UN Charter and the exigencies of international relations is then subjected to exceptionally deft and perceptive scrutiny in Chapter 6, on the legal developments concerning the acquisition of territory by conquest that have occurred since the end of the classical period of international law. This is as good an account of this aspect of the law as is to be found anywhere, and much more readable than most.
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Dr Korman offers some unorthodox readings of key developments. War was permissible under the Kellogg-Briand Pact, she argues, not only in self-defence but also as a sanction for violation of the Pact, with the result that it was permissible for lawful belligerents to deprive aggressors of territory. She considers that the Second World War was conducted outside the framework of the League Covenant, so that the allied territorial acquisitions of 1945 were legally valid. Such conclusions may surprise many readers, steeped in the belief that territory cannot be gained by force; but the reasoning is persuasive.
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.. It may, however, be the final five pages of the book that exert the greatest influence..
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Has the legal bar on the recognition of title acquired by conquest hindered rather than helped the quest for peace and justice? Might Syria have concluded a comprehensive settlement with Israel by now if international law had not stipulated that Israel's acquisition of the Golan Heights should never be recognized, no matter how many years pass? There is a real need to break the taboo surrounding the principle of the non-use of force, and to conduct a serious moral inquiry into the practical consequences of the principle. There can be few more important issues than that addressed by Dr Korman in this elegant and erudite book; and it is hard to imagine a better written analysis of it.
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Contents

PART ONE THE RIGHT OF CONQUEST
5
The Right of Conquest in Relations between
41
The Right of Conquest in Relations between States
67
Conditions for the Validity of Title by Conquest
94
PART TWO THE DEMISE OF THE RIGHT
133
Legal Developments Regarding the Acquisition
179
International Reactions to the Acquisition
249
Continuing Problems Regarding
302
Bibliography
309
Index
324
Copyright

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The Right of Conquest: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in ...
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Book Reviews 107 discussion isof ahigh standard, and raises many ...
THE RIGHT OF CONQUEST: THE ACQUISITION OF TERRITORY BY FORCE. ININTERNA TIONAL LA WAND PRACTICE, by S. KORMAN. Oxford, Clarendon. Press, 1996. 342pp. ...
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1999] Book Reviews 243
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Acquisition of Territory, Annexation and the Jordan Valley
4 S. Korman, The Right of Conquest: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in International Law and Practice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996) 8. ...
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The Right of Conquest: The Acquisition of Territory by Force in. International Law and Practice. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1996. X + 342 p. ...
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War in History
http://wih.sagepub.com. War in History. DOI: 10.1177/096834450000700408. 2000; 7; 486. War In History. Vaughan Lowe. Force in International Law and Practice ...
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