Rights and duties of the Occupying Power
in The contemporary law of armed conflict
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In former times there was a tendency for a belligerent occupying enemy territory to annex that territory and treat it as part of his own. Territory is occupied only when it is actually under the control and administration of an Occupant and extends only to those areas in which it is actually able to exercise such control. The Occupying Power may extend his own law to the territory only if it is annexed and the transfer of sovereignty recognised. The relations between the Occupying Power and the population are regulated primarily by the terms of the Civilians Convention, which come into force from the time the area is actually placed under the Occupant's authority. The Occupying Power's competence to amend either the local civil or the penal law is not unlimited, and it should not introduce any regulation that suspends, extinguishes or renders unenforceable the legal rights of enemy subjects.


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