CSS International Law Solved Paper 2016 Question No 6

Discuss the concept of Neutrality. How a neutral State differs from a neutralized State. Explain the rights and duties of neutral and belligerent states during the war.


In modern international law, the traditional law of neutrality governing the legal status of a state which does not take part in a war between other states has become complicated due to the rules on the use of force and the collective security system laid down in the UN Charter. However, the law of neutrality did gain a lot of traction in the warring party. nineteenth and twentieth centuries when some states chose not to side with any

Law of Neutrality

The law of neutrality was developed by Bynkershoek and Vattel in the eighteenth century. It is the attitude of impartiality by a State adopted during war and denotes a legal status. This impartiality should be recognized by belligerent states and gives rise to certain rights and duties, e.g. In the Alabama Claims Arbitration 1872 case, Britain had to pay $15.5 million to US as it remained neutral in the US Civil War but still provided help to the southern states. However, the scope of neutrality has been restricted with the formation of pacts, e.g. NATO.

  1. Neutrality and UN Charter: Under Article 2, states have to provide assistance to UN and refrain from providing assistance to belligerents. Member states have no absolute right of neutrality under Article 41 as they may be under duty to apply enforcement measures against states in war.
However, Article 48 can be used to remain neutral and also in case a veto is used and there is no decision.

Comparison with Neutralized States

Neutralized states are ones whose independence and political and territorial integrity are permanently guaranteed by a collective agreement of Great Powers given that they do not take arms against another state except to defend itself and to never enter into treaties compromising its impartiality. It is a collective act and also contractual. States from the assistance that may violate rules.

This is one of the primary reasons why Switzerland did not join UN until 2002.

Status of neutralized states allows protection of small states against powerful neighbors and maintaining Independence of buffer states, thus, preserving the balance of power. This also differs from neutrality as it is permanent and cannot be relinquished, e.g. Belgium's neutrality ended when it participated in pacts of security and mutual defense after World War II