Law of Neutrality: Then & Now

  • Aditi Nidhi
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  • Aditi Nidhi

    Assistant Professor at ICFAI Law School, ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education [IFHE], Hyderabad, India.

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The 'status' of neutrality, i.e., in the international humanitarian law context, being neutral during times of war or international armed conflict, exists even today as it did years and years ago at the time of its origin. The central idea of the paper is to prove that the law of neutrality and especially the state of proper neutrality today is not a myth and the same law of neutrality applies even today as it did during its inception. Further, the central idea of the paper also relates to the assertion that the practice of "non-belligerency" (a much liberal interpretation of the original idea of neutrality, whose status falls in between the arenas of war and neutrality) is incorrect and has no place in the customary law governing nations and merely happens to be a means for evasion of economic or diplomatic risks with the countries at war/conflict. The utility of this research lies in bringing to notice the fact with much forceful assertion that the law of neutrality should not be bent and amended according to one's needs and interests, and the world needs to be jolted out of the notion that partial impartiality is sufficient during times of wars and conflicts. It also lies in bringing to notice that the status of neutrality may exist even during times of international armed conflicts and not just during times of proper wars. I am working on this paper precisely for the reason that neutrality as a law is often disregarded today and is being misinterpreted, whereas the main contention of the project is that the strict law of neutrality is very valid even today, not only during times of wars (as is the wide-spread notion) but also during times of international armed conflicts. The law of neutrality is also ever-relevant due to the fact that there exist countries even today, such as Switzerland, that exercise a state of 'permanent neutrality.' The law of neutrality is also relevant today in the spate of several ongoing international armed conflicts such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the recently ended US-Iraq war, and any future conflicts that may arise.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 1, Page 460 - 468


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