CONVENTION (VIII) RELATIVE TO THE LAYING
OF AUTOMATIC SUBMARINE CONTACT MINES
Signed at The Hague, 18 October 1907
INTRODUCTORY NOTE: Mines have been used in wars since the middle of the 19th century. Their extensive use in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904–1905 made an international regulation desirable both to protect neutral commerce and to uphold the principle of immunity of enemy merchantmen from attack without warning. Based on preparatory work by the Institute of International Law and the International Law Association, the present Convention was concluded at the Second Hague Peace Conference. The powers were unable to reach complete agreement on the matter. The result of the deliberations was a compromise. Only Articles 1 and 5 contain clear and unequivocal regulations. Article 2, which forbids the laying of contact mines off the coast and the ports of the enemy with the sole object of intercepting commercial shipping, is of limited value, for a belligerent has only to allege that mines were laid for a purpose other than merely intercepting commercial navigation.
ENTRY INTO FORCE: 26 January 1910.
AUTHENTIC TEXT: French. The English translation below is reprinted from Scott, Hague Conventions, pp. 151–156. It reproduces the translation of the United States Department of State. The marginal titles added to the Convention have no official character.
TEXT PUBLISHED IN: Conférence internationale de la Paix, 1907, pp. 650–653 (French); Les deux Conférences de la Paix, pp. 131–134 (French); Scott, Hague Conventions, pp. 151–156 (Engl.); Scott, Les Conventions de La Haye, pp. 151–156 (French); Scott, Les Conférences de La Haye, pp. 74–76 (French); Martens, NRGT, 3ème série, Vol. Ill, pp. 580–603 (French, German); Deltenre, pp. 314–324 (Engl., French, German, Dutch); International Red Cross Handbook, 1983, p. 333 (Engl. — extract); Manuel de la Croix-Rouge internationale, 1983, p. 345 (French — extract); Manual de la Cruz Roja internacional, 1983, p. 337 (Span. — extract); Handbook of the International Movement, 1994, p. 312 (Engl.); Manuel du Mouvement international, 1994, p. 324 (French); Manual del Movimiento internacional, 1994, p. 316 (Span.); GBTS, 1910, No. 12, Cd. 5116 (Engl., French); BFSP, Vol. 100, 1906–1907, pp. 389- 401 (French, German); Higgins, pp. 322–327 (Engl., French); US Statutes at Large, Vol. 36, pp. 2332–2350 (Engl., French); CTS, Vol. 205, pp. 331–344 (French); AJIL, Vol. 2, 1908, pp. 138–145 (Engl., French); Malloy, Vol. II, pp. 2304–2314 (Engl.); Bevans, Vol. I, pp. 669–680 (Engl.); Friedman, pp. 342- 347 (Engl.); Roberts and Guelff, pp. 103–110 (Engl.); Ronzitti, pp. 129–139 (Engl., French); Droit des conflits armés, pp. 1115–1122 (French); Genet, pp. 523–525 (French); Mezhdunarodnoe pravo, Vol. III, pp. 144–145 (Russ.); Korovin, p. 391 (Russ.); Revista de Derecho Internacional y politico exterior, Cronica, Afio DJ, 1907, pp 89–91 (Span.); Arellano, pp. 375–376 (Span. — extract); Briceno, pp. 220–222 (Span. — extract); Bustamante, Vol. II, pp. 324- 330 (Span.); Ceppi,