International Law and Diplomacy in the Spanish Civil Strife

By Norman J. Padelford; Bureau of International Research of Harvard University and Radcliffe College. | Go to book overview
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a Spanish vessel claimed by both parties through requisition decrees.75The decisions referred to above may be taken as reflecting a continuing confusion regarding the juridical implications of the status of insurgency. These conflicting views are not likely to be readily eliminated by allowing the law to be developed exclusively through the judicial process. The subject might properly be regulated and agreement promoted through some multilateral instrument, on the pattern of the Pan-American conventions relating to the Rights and Duties of States, and to the Duties and Rights of States in the Event of Civil Strife.
In conclusion, the law accepted by the general body of states during the Spanish civil strife, as evidenced by public pronouncements and international practice, may be summarized as follows:First, the decision as to whether belligerent rights are to be accorded to parties in a civil disturbance rests originally and ultimately with the political department of each foreign state.
Second, no legal obligation exists compelling any foreign state to recognize belligerency at any time or stage of a civil disturbance.
Third, recognition may be withheld indefinitely by a group of states deciding to act thus as a means of safeguarding their own collective interests and/or the general peace between nations.
Fourth, states may singly or coöperatively embargo the exportation and shipment of arms, ammunition and materials of war, as well as prohibit the departure or transit of volunteers bound for service with the contesting parties, without thereby violating international law or conferring recognition of belligerency.
Fifth, states may institute international naval patrols to protect their shipping upon the high seas from interference by the contesting parties not possessing belligerent rights and acting in a manner contrary to accepted principles and rules of international law. The establishment of such patrols does not amount to a recognition of belligerency.
Sixth, whereas belligerency is a fact, "recognition of belligerency" involves more than bare acknowledgment of the fact. It bears in
Reported in the New York Times, July 8, 1938.


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