Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

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Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:41 am

Adding this as a reference so that we can find them easily.

Geneva Convention 1864:
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/geneva04.asp

Hague Convention of 1899:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/hague02.asp

Hague Convention of 1907:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/pacific.asp

Geneva Convention of 1928:
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva01.asp

Geneva Convention 1929:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva02.asp

Geneva Convention of 1949:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva05.asp


General Laws of War:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/lawwar.asp
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balmoral95 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:59 am


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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by montgomery » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:40 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:Adding this as a reference so that we can find them easily.

Geneva Convention 1864:
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/geneva04.asp

Hague Convention of 1899:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/hague02.asp

Hague Convention of 1907:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/pacific.asp

Geneva Convention of 1928:
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva01.asp

Geneva Convention 1929:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva02.asp

Geneva Convention of 1949:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva05.asp


General Laws of War:

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/lawwar.asp
Just don't start pretending that America has adhered to any conventions. And in fact, a good arguement could be presented to say that America and G.B. have been the worst violators of all. Now that we should all know that the holocaust was outrageously exaggerated.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:06 pm

LOL

I’m enjoying the fact that Montgomery isn’t bothering to hide what he is now. Frankly it’s much more honest than the wide-eyed innocent BS he spewed when he first got here.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by montgomery » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:19 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:LOL

I’m enjoying the fact that Montgomery isn’t bothering to hide what he is now. Frankly it’s much more honest than the wide-eyed innocent BS he spewed when he first got here.
Enjoy, because I don't deny I have changed from an uninformed skeptic into a much more informed skeptic. And now I'm completely confident of asking the pertinent questions of even Dr. Nick. You're completely welcome to accept my challenge too. In fact, there are no two other H.P.'ers I would rather entertain in this discussion. Please see my new thread for the challenge.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeff_36 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:43 am

montgomery wrote: Just don't start pretending that America has adhered to any conventions. And in fact, a good arguement could be presented to say that America and G.B. have been the worst violators of all. Now that we should all know that the holocaust was outrageously exaggerated.
And your beloved third reich by contrast? Really?

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balmoral95 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:52 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
montgomery wrote: Just don't start pretending that America has adhered to any conventions. And in fact, a good arguement could be presented to say that America and G.B. have been the worst violators of all. Now that we should all know that the holocaust was outrageously exaggerated.
And your beloved third reich by contrast? Really?
The usual pablum response. The posts were to publish here what conventions are on the record informatively, not which countries adhere(d) or don't/haven't. :roll:

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeff_36 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:53 am

Balmoral95 wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
montgomery wrote: Just don't start pretending that America has adhered to any conventions. And in fact, a good arguement could be presented to say that America and G.B. have been the worst violators of all. Now that we should all know that the holocaust was outrageously exaggerated.
And your beloved third reich by contrast? Really?
The usual pablum response. The posts were to publish here what conventions are on the record informatively, not which countries adhere(d) or don't/haven't. :roll:
he's all over American war crimes but treats the Nazi state like a loadstar of virtue. I find it hypocritical.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:48 am

It is.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balmoral95 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:52 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 2:48 am
It is.

Insulting, lowly name-calling which has ruined your credibility with 200 million people.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:31 pm

Bump
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:21 pm

. . . all right we are two nations . . .

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:20 pm

Balmoral95 wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:52 am
The posts were to publish here what conventions are on the record informatively, not which countries adhere(d) or don't/haven't. :roll:
Yes....an excellent start but then for what purpose? Absent a direction, I think an analysis of which countries adhere or don't, sign or don't, it the most obvious "general" response. Do you have any other?

I'm kinda more casually interested in how many times or how the conventions are actually enforced? My uninformed view is that mostly the conventions are irrelevant to any action any country really wants to take. In the spirit of HD.......seems to me Israel is constantly being criticized for not being in compliance with various conventions/international laws as in their occupation now incorporation of the Golan Heights?

So.....back to the purpose of the listings and who abides and who violates: who cares what International Law is violated or not by Israel? Its not even a relevant issue?
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:31 pm

Because I wanted to post them to make it easier to find them.
Is that an adequate answer?
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:41 pm

I see pros and cons to it. :)
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:42 pm

This is the particular part that I was looking for:
ARTICLE 82.

The provisions of the present Convention must be respected by the High Contracting Parties under all circumstances.

In case, in time of war, one of the belligerents is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall nevertheless remain in force as between the belligerents who are parties thereto.
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva02.asp

I have a rather annoying {!#%@} I’m dealing with on Facebook. He invaded a group I belong to. He’s stone cold stupid but refuses to give up.
Also, Donald Trump is a clownfraud who only got involved in this for the attention.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balsamo » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:00 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:42 pm
This is the particular part that I was looking for:
ARTICLE 82.

The provisions of the present Convention must be respected by the High Contracting Parties under all circumstances.

In case, in time of war, one of the belligerents is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall nevertheless remain in force as between the belligerents who are parties thereto.
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva02.asp

I have a rather annoying {!#%@} I’m dealing with on Facebook. He invaded a group I belong to. He’s stone cold stupid but refuses to give up.
May i ask why you were looking for this provision?

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:03 pm

Did either of you sign any of the conventions?
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:09 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:00 pm
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 10:42 pm
This is the particular part that I was looking for:
ARTICLE 82.

The provisions of the present Convention must be respected by the High Contracting Parties under all circumstances.

In case, in time of war, one of the belligerents is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall nevertheless remain in force as between the belligerents who are parties thereto.
http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/geneva02.asp

I have a rather annoying {!#%@} I’m dealing with on Facebook. He invaded a group I belong to. He’s stone cold stupid but refuses to give up.
May i ask why you were looking for this provision?
He’s babbling on the treatment on the treatment of POWs.

I realize that this is pie-in-the-sky stuff, both sides mistreated POWs. He is saying that because the USSR was not a signatory Germany was not obligated to care for Red Army POWs.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balsamo » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:30 pm

Well, this is quite an old debate i remember having had on Rodoh first edition, quite a long time ago.
I am sorry to say that this article is not that obvious as far as i am concerned. And i still don't think that the Nazis had any legal obligation to treat the soviet pows under the Geneva convention. Not that i support in any way the bestial way the Nazis treated those pows, but this one of those cases which explains why the concept of "crime against humanity" was put forward and established.

My arguments is that this is a convention - which is a treaty between two or more States - which is legally binding ONLY once the parties signed and ratified the treaty. Reciprocity is the core of any treaty: you do this and i will do that. There is no such things as a national code or sets of laws imposed by a body on its citizens at the international level. Even UN laws legally only applies to its members.

Only national laws can be imposed without discussion and reciprocity: You'll pay taxes even if the State gives you nothing in exchange. That is because the Government is you legal leader and you just have to obey.
Within international relations, there is no such thing.

If one reads and understands it like any signatory has to respect the obligations of the convention, even when at war with State that did not sign no ratify and therefore not legally obliged to it, then this article 82 is to be understood as the "jesus christ's provision", that is " If someone hits your cheek, tend the other", and there is no instance of such provision in any international norms.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:45 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:30 pm
Well, this is quite an old debate i remember having had on Rodoh first edition, quite a long time ago.
I am sorry to say that this article is not that obvious as far as i am concerned. And i still don't think that the Nazis had any legal obligation to treat the soviet pows under the Geneva convention.
Except that it very plainly says so. This is legally binding on the signatory, it doesn’t matter if both belligerents did.
To me this is one of the easiest things to prove. Hitler never abrogated any of these conventions, he simply didn’t understand that he was still bound by it.
If one reads and understands it like any signatory has to respect the obligations of the convention, even when at war with State that did not sign no ratify and therefore not legally obliged to it, then this article 82 is to be understood as the "jesus christ's provision", that is " If someone hits your cheek, tend the other", and there is no instance of such provision in any international norms.
Except in this instance (that I can think of).

The language is very clear. In fact this is the strongest case that can be made, one in which Germany clearly violated.

Much of this stuff was hazy, it’s why it was strengthened to close loopholes. FFS, the IMT used the fact that Germany violated the Kellogg–Briand Pact as a reason for prosecution!!!!!
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balsamo » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:48 am

No it is not that clear, as far as the french version goes, it states;
Les dispositions de la présente Convention devront être respectées par les Hautes Parties Contractantes en toutes circonstances.
Au cas où, en temps de guerre, un des belligérants ne serait pas partie à la Convention, ses dispositions demeureront néanmoins obligatoires entre les belligérants qui y participent.
my translation in less technical english would be:
In case of war, if one of the belligerents is not part of the convention, its disposals would remain obligatory to the belligerents who are part of it.
"qui y participent" in french means who are part of it, and the only" it" to be found is the Convention, because it cannot logically refer to the war (la guerre), as non signatory parties do not have any obligation.

My reading would be more this way:

In the case there is a conflict between more than two belligerents, and if one of them is not a signatory, then the obligations would remain between the two or more parties who did sign the convention. That is, that this can be no excuse to not applying the convened treatment of the respective prisoners of war, that is the pow's of the parties that signed the treaty.
That is more or less what the nazis did...they respected the disposals as far as the pow's were from states that signed the convention.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:49 am

Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:48 am
No it is not that clear, as far as the french version goes, it states;
Les dispositions de la présente Convention devront être respectées par les Hautes Parties Contractantes en toutes circonstances.
Au cas où, en temps de guerre, un des belligérants ne serait pas partie à la Convention, ses dispositions demeureront néanmoins obligatoires entre les belligérants qui y participent.
my translation in less technical english would be:
In case of war, if one of the belligerents is not part of the convention, its disposals would remain obligatory to the belligerents who are part of it.
"qui y participent" in french means who are part of it, and the only" it" to be found is the Convention, because it cannot logically refer to the war (la guerre), as non signatory parties do not have any obligation.

My reading would be more this way:

In the case there is a conflict between more than two belligerents, and if one of them is not a signatory, then the obligations would remain between the two or more parties who did sign the convention. That is, that this can be no excuse to not applying the convened treatment of the respective prisoners of war, that is the pow's of the parties that signed the treaty.
That is more or less what the nazis did...they respected the disposals as far as the pow's were from states that signed the convention.
The English version is quite clear:

ARTICLE 82.

The provisions of the present Convention must be respected by the High Contracting Parties under all circumstances.

In case, in time of war, one of the belligerents is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall nevertheless remain in force as between the belligerents who are parties thereto.

Hitler’s mistake was thinking that this did not apply to him.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:22 am

Balsamo's interpretation of Article 82 is the same as that put forward by Dr Bergold, Milch's defense attorney, during Milch's NMT trial. My understanding is that in the High Command trial, the tribunal more or less ignored this issue in favor of declaring that the customary rules of war were binding on all parties to the conflict and that the Hague and Geneva conventions were to be understood as further declarations of those rules, thereby not having to rule on whether they were binding contracts relative to nations neither signing nor acceding to them. So the NMT didn't clarify Article 82 AFAIK but found that the Germans were bound by the customary rules of war anyway. That said, the recent commentary I recall interprets Article 82 as Jeffk does.

In any event, in prosecuting war on the USSR the Germans saw themselves as not being subject to such legal niceties - not the Hague convention, not the customary laws of war, not even German law. Somewhere David Thompson (this is in my notes without a link citation) posted two interesting points:

- "a statement by Alfred Rosenberg that the Nazis claimed that they were not bound by the 1929 Geneva Convention on POWs, not because the USSR failed to ratify that treaty, but because the Nazis considered the USSR as having been dissolved following the German invasion."

- "in an exchange which took place on 15-23 Sept 1941 between Wilhelm Canaris and Wilhelm Keitel, there is no mention of the failure of the USSR to ratify the Geneva Convention: . . . [Canaris wrote:] 'Since the 18th century these have gradually been established along the lines that war captivity is neither revenge nor punishment, but solely protective custody, the only purpose of which is to prevent the prisoners of war from a further participation in the war. This principle was developed in accordance with the view held by all armies that it is contrary to military tradition to kill or injure helpless people; this is in the interest of all belligerents in order to prevent mistreatment of their own soldiers in case of capture.

'The decrees for the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war enclosed as supplement No. 1 are based on a fundamentally different viewpoint, as is shown in the opening phrases. According to this viewpoint military service for the Soviets is not considered military duty but, because of the murders committed by the Russians, is characterized in its totality as a crime. Hence the validity of international legal standards in wartime is denied in the war against Bolshevism . . . .'" Keitel's reply: "The objections arise from the military concept of chivalrous warfare! This is the destruction of an ideology! Therefore, I approve and back the measures." In short, Keitel maintained that regardless of the customary rules of war, Germany was adopting its own approach, without reference to the customs of war (let alone more recent conventions(, in the matter of POWs (or, in contemporary terms, Keitel planned to treat Soviet soldiers as unlawful combatants).

The High Command trial IIRC rejected Keitel's view, as well as the revisionist view of the non-applicability of customary rules of war, and offered up a sort of rule of standards of civilized people/nations.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:29 am

Thanks, I feared getting sent into another tangent.

I tracked this down:
Kevin Jon Heller
The Nuremberg Military Tribunals and the Origins of International Criminal Law

I found an accessible version that I may try and squeeze in.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:34 am

That's a great book; he explains my point about what was held by the NMT in the High Command trial.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balsamo » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:20 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:49 am
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:48 am
No it is not that clear, as far as the french version goes, it states;
Les dispositions de la présente Convention devront être respectées par les Hautes Parties Contractantes en toutes circonstances.
Au cas où, en temps de guerre, un des belligérants ne serait pas partie à la Convention, ses dispositions demeureront néanmoins obligatoires entre les belligérants qui y participent.
my translation in less technical english would be:
In case of war, if one of the belligerents is not part of the convention, its disposals would remain obligatory to the belligerents who are part of it.
"qui y participent" in french means who are part of it, and the only" it" to be found is the Convention, because it cannot logically refer to the war (la guerre), as non signatory parties do not have any obligation.

My reading would be more this way:

In the case there is a conflict between more than two belligerents, and if one of them is not a signatory, then the obligations would remain between the two or more parties who did sign the convention. That is, that this can be no excuse to not applying the convened treatment of the respective prisoners of war, that is the pow's of the parties that signed the treaty.
That is more or less what the nazis did...they respected the disposals as far as the pow's were from states that signed the convention.
The English version is quite clear:

ARTICLE 82.

The provisions of the present Convention must be respected by the High Contracting Parties under all circumstances.

In case, in time of war, one of the belligerents is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall nevertheless remain in force as between the belligerents who are parties thereto.

Hitler’s mistake was thinking that this did not apply to him.
I cannot speak about the english version, but the french one is quite clear to me, and French by 1929 was still an international idiom, so can i ask you how you interpret the "thereto" part? parties to the convention or parties to the war?

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balsamo » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:19 am

Thanks Stat for your post.

Just to be clear, i don't know much about mister Bergold's plea. But the same way, i would not count on the IMT to be a fair referee on that matter.

So i will comment first.

Statmec:
"a statement by Alfred Rosenberg that the Nazis claimed that they were not bound by the 1929 Geneva Convention on POWs, not because the USSR failed to ratify that treaty, but because the Nazis considered the USSR as having been dissolved following the German invasion."
Quite nonsensical to me . Since both reason would have "legally"- that is under pre-existent laws - allowed the Nazis to commit their crimes. I feel it was more a way to diminish his own guilt than a real legal argument. But then, it does not matter much.
"in an exchange which took place on 15-23 Sept 1941 between Wilhelm Canaris and Wilhelm Keitel, there is no mention of the failure of the USSR to ratify the Geneva Convention: . . . [Canaris wrote:] 'Since the 18th century these have gradually been established along the lines that war captivity is neither revenge nor punishment, but solely protective custody, the only purpose of which is to prevent the prisoners of war from a further participation in the war. This principle was developed in accordance with the view held by all armies that it is contrary to military tradition to kill or injure helpless people; this is in the interest of all belligerents in order to prevent mistreatment of their own soldiers in case of capture.
This is more pertinent, and i remember having been mentioned by Roberto on the old Rodoh.
Canaris was not really a Nazi, but still was a military. Now even without his BS about his "since the 18th century gambit", i feel he is really trying to protect the German conscripts who were being sent to Russia. He is right when he says that "it is in interest of all belligerents" - of course it is, but then, he also knew about the "criminal orders" issued by Hitler.
This was an arguments, not very well founded, to oppose those orders, warning that they would put the lives of the German soldiers at risk. And many among the German Army agreed with that, but for nothing.
They did not see what Hitler had in mind launching Barbarossa.

But again, all those concerns were not only motivated by "humanist ideas", but only to prevent national disaster in case of things going wrong.

It was not a purely legal debate, but an attempt to prevent the future German pow's from suffering.
Hitler did not care about such details. And that's it!
The High Command trial IIRC rejected Keitel's view, as well as the revisionist view of the non-applicability of customary rules of war, and offered up a sort of rule of standards of civilized people/nations.
Of course, the High Command trial rejected it.
But did it demonstrate that the Soviets did respected the Convention their pow's were supposed to benefit? Katyn anyone? Or maybe the history of Soviet's warfare? like during the civil war? or the Poland war?

This can be all acceptable arguments isolately, but the fact is that there were no provision or disposal applying to non signatory Belligerents which would have imposed a personal state of conduct without the guarantee of reciprocity.
the recent commentary I recall interprets Article 82 as Jeffk does.
To go the right side of the track is always the best.
Still this is BS.
Back then, i mentioned numerous examples showing that signatories of this conventions (and the ones before) took their liberty when it came with the "laws of warfare"... France, Spain, Great Britain among others, long before WW2 event started.

Points are:
International Conventions are Treaties.
They are enforced ONLY when signed and ratified by States
Logically, they have force BETWEEN those who have signed and ratified it.
There are no instance of a treaty signed by equally sovereign States which does not involved or imply the concept of reciprocity.
And that is basically it!

There are no instances of international submission of sovereignty - well except the EU :lol: - to a point where a State will accept to submit to a law it did not agree with before. No instance! except of course, AFTER having lost a war or in case of economical bankruptcy.

It is a sad but true story: they were just no international laws or norms to prevent a State from killing its own people!

This is why the UN and the concept of "crime against humanity" came to the rescue...well partly, but still it is there.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:50 am

Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:20 am
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:49 am
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:48 am
No it is not that clear, as far as the french version goes, it states;
Les dispositions de la présente Convention devront être respectées par les Hautes Parties Contractantes en toutes circonstances.
Au cas où, en temps de guerre, un des belligérants ne serait pas partie à la Convention, ses dispositions demeureront néanmoins obligatoires entre les belligérants qui y participent.
my translation in less technical english would be:
In case of war, if one of the belligerents is not part of the convention, its disposals would remain obligatory to the belligerents who are part of it.
"qui y participent" in french means who are part of it, and the only" it" to be found is the Convention, because it cannot logically refer to the war (la guerre), as non signatory parties do not have any obligation.

My reading would be more this way:

In the case there is a conflict between more than two belligerents, and if one of them is not a signatory, then the obligations would remain between the two or more parties who did sign the convention. That is, that this can be no excuse to not applying the convened treatment of the respective prisoners of war, that is the pow's of the parties that signed the treaty.
That is more or less what the nazis did...they respected the disposals as far as the pow's were from states that signed the convention.
The English version is quite clear:

ARTICLE 82.

The provisions of the present Convention must be respected by the High Contracting Parties under all circumstances.

In case, in time of war, one of the belligerents is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall nevertheless remain in force as between the belligerents who are parties thereto.

Hitler’s mistake was thinking that this did not apply to him.
I cannot speak about the english version, but the french one is quite clear to me, and French by 1929 was still an international idiom, so can i ask you how you interpret the "thereto" part? parties to the convention or parties to the war?
No, this is the key:

In case, in time of war, one of the belligerents is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall nevertheless remain in force as between the belligerents who are parties thereto.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:30 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:19 am
But, of course, neither you nor anyone commenting here helps establish international law.ust to be clear, i don't know much about mister Bergold's plea. But the same way, . . .i would not count on the IMT to be a fair referee on that matter.
Dr Bergold: "Finally, we wish to draw the attention to Article 82, Paragraph 2, of the Geneva Convention of 1929 which contains the following regulation: 'If in wartime one of the belligerents is not a member of the convention the regulations of this convention remain valid, nevertheless, for the belligerents who have signed the convention.' This does not mean that the signatories are bound to the Geneva Convention also with regard to the treatment of soldiers of a non-signatory power, but only with regard to soldiers of the signatories who are at war. Article 82, paragraph 2, of the Geneva Convention, therefore, states that with regard to the relations of nonsignatories the convention is not valid. The regulation was made so that it should not be thought that if a non-signatory participated in the war the Geneva Convention would not apply to that war." Milch proceeding, 25 March 1947.

NMT, not IMT. :) But, of course, neither you nor anyone commenting here helps establish international law. International tribunals, OTOH, have done so.

What are you advocating - the kind of "international law" propounded pre-Nuremberg by states, like, well, the Third Reich?
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:19 am
Statmec:
"a statement by Alfred Rosenberg that the Nazis claimed that they were not bound by the 1929 Geneva Convention on POWs, not because the USSR failed to ratify that treaty, but because the Nazis considered the USSR as having been dissolved following the German invasion."
Quite nonsensical to me . Since both reason would have "legally"- that is under pre-existent laws - allowed the Nazis to commit their crimes. I feel it was more a way to diminish his own guilt than a real legal argument. But then, it does not matter much.
Thompson's point is that Rosenberg didn't reason that the Geneva Convention was inapplicable but gave a different specious justification for the Germans to proceed as they wished in accordance with their idea of an ideological war and clash of two systems. So Rosenberg's comment is pertinent.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:19 am
Canaris was not really a Nazi, but still was a military.
As Thompson also said, Canaris and evaluations of his behavior and views is a distraction from the issues.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:19 am
Now even without his BS about his "since the 18th century gambit", i feel he is really trying to protect the German conscripts who were being sent to Russia. He is right when he says that "it is in interest of all belligerents" - of course it is, but then, he also knew about the "criminal orders" issued by Hitler.
This was an arguments, not very well founded, to oppose those orders, warning that they would put the lives of the German soldiers at risk. And many among the German Army agreed with that, but for nothing.
They did not see what Hitler had in mind launching Barbarossa.

But again, all those concerns were not only motivated by "humanist ideas", but only to prevent national disaster in case of things going wrong.
You're attacking a straw man. No one "here" - except Keitel - tried arguing that the customary rules of war came from high ideals.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:19 am
It was not a purely legal debate, but an attempt to prevent the future German pow's from suffering.
Hitler did not care about such details. And that's it!
Which is the argument made by Thompson (and me): Hitler was happy to violate international law (and German law) in favor of his own conceptions.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:19 am
But did it demonstrate that the Soviets did respected the Convention their pow's were supposed to benefit? Katyn anyone? Or maybe the history of Soviet's warfare? like during the civil war? or the Poland war?
Not going to play tu quoque. Except to say your argument falls totally apart here: first you argue that the USSR was not bound by the Geneva Convention on POWs, now you are making an argument that the USSR should have respected the convention. More to the point, the question here is about international law, and what it was, not this or that finding of fact under international law in this or that situation.

This can be all acceptable arguments isolately, but the fact is that there were no provision or disposal applying to non signatory Belligerents which would have imposed a personal state of conduct without the guarantee of reciprocity.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:19 am
Back then, i mentioned numerous examples showing that signatories of this conventions (and the ones before) took their liberty when it came with the "laws of warfare"... France, Spain, Great Britain among others, long before WW2 event started.
Again, a different matter. Cops break the law, and so do prosecutors and lawmakers. Ergo: no law applies?
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:19 am
There are no instances of international submission of sovereignty - well except the EU :lol: - to a point where a State will accept to submit to a law it did not agree with before. No instance! except of course, AFTER having lost a war or in case of economical bankruptcy.
Which observation applies, ironically, sort of to the USSR (IIRC they demurred on the POW convention on grounds that one provision - on racial sorting of prisoners - violated the Soviet constitution) but not to Germany, which agreed to the Geneva Convention on prisoners including Article 82.

The EU bit is more hyperventilation.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balsamo » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:44 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:50 am
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:20 am
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:49 am
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:48 am
No it is not that clear, as far as the french version goes, it states;
Les dispositions de la présente Convention devront être respectées par les Hautes Parties Contractantes en toutes circonstances.
Au cas où, en temps de guerre, un des belligérants ne serait pas partie à la Convention, ses dispositions demeureront néanmoins obligatoires entre les belligérants qui y participent.
my translation in less technical english would be:
In case of war, if one of the belligerents is not part of the convention, its disposals would remain obligatory to the belligerents who are part of it.
"qui y participent" in french means who are part of it, and the only" it" to be found is the Convention, because it cannot logically refer to the war (la guerre), as non signatory parties do not have any obligation.

My reading would be more this way:

In the case there is a conflict between more than two belligerents, and if one of them is not a signatory, then the obligations would remain between the two or more parties who did sign the convention. That is, that this can be no excuse to not applying the convened treatment of the respective prisoners of war, that is the pow's of the parties that signed the treaty.
That is more or less what the nazis did...they respected the disposals as far as the pow's were from states that signed the convention.
The English version is quite clear:

ARTICLE 82.

The provisions of the present Convention must be respected by the High Contracting Parties under all circumstances.

In case, in time of war, one of the belligerents is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall nevertheless remain in force as between the belligerents who are parties thereto.

Hitler’s mistake was thinking that this did not apply to him.
I cannot speak about the english version, but the french one is quite clear to me, and French by 1929 was still an international idiom, so can i ask you how you interpret the "thereto" part? parties to the convention or parties to the war?
No, this is the key:

In case, in time of war, one of the belligerents is not a party to the Convention, its provisions shall nevertheless remain in force as between the belligerents who are parties thereto.
Why should the context become the key?
You outlined the context: in the case one of the belligerents is not party to the convention.

The key is the last part: " ITS provisions...between the belligerents WHO ARE PARTIES THERETO. " Now this is the kind of english i am not familiar with, so i looked at the French and the Spanish version, and both indicates - at least to me - that the thereto refers to the Convention, not the war.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 07, 2019 2:00 pm

Article 82 is ambiguous, IMO. It is not clear if the provisions remain in force only "between [among] the belligerents who are parties thereto" in relation to one another or whether they remain in force among the parties of the convention in relation to a belligerent not a party to the convention. Perhaps this ambiguity was part of the reason why the tribunal in the High Command case said that "it is not necessary to decide this question" and grounded its reasoning on the customary laws of war. In the event, the tribunal didn't say this but that the customary laws of war proscribed acts with which the Germans were charged relative to the treatment of POWs.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balsamo » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm

Statmec:
What are you advocating - the kind of "international law" propounded pre-Nuremberg by states, like, well, the Third Reich?
Just that Dr Bergold is right.
It does not lessen the "moral crimes" committed by the Nazis, nor does it justify the "moral crimes" committed by others.

My point is just to remind that today interpretation is in contradiction with how international laws are established. Had this interpretation been clearly explained from the start, no States would have signed it in the first place, and there would have been no Geneva convention.

The development of the whole "customary laws of war" has been based on treaties and reciprocity ever since the 16th century. So when a war broke between the Kingdoms of France and Spain, it was decided what to do with the respective prisoners of war before the first battle. I think this was the first of such treaties. It clearly set standards on how to treat officers and vip's. But also established rules about the transfer of basic soldiers, conditions of exchange, their value in case of ransom, etc. And most important that the costs relating to the custody of the prisoners will be assumed by the country to which they belong. Important because the capacity to pay would have an important influence on how the pow's would be treated.

As things turned out, it appeared that these treaties were to the advantage of both countries. And it progressively became the norms to a point when it was custom to apply the former treaties between belligerents automatically. So even if no new treaties were signed, there was always one original that could be referred to.
Of course, those disposals never applied to wars with the Moors or the Turks in which massacres of prisoners were frequent.

this idyllic vision must be relativised, though.
Behavior could still turned sour when conflicts and wars became ideological, like during the wars of religions, or as we have seen with the revolutionary wars in the Vendee, during civil wars, or just because of specific contexts like the Napoleonic war in Spain where a guerrilla warfare led to atrocities.

The point i am trying to make here is that even "customary laws of war" were originally based on treaties and were therefore only observed during wars opposing "customary enemies".
The British Army was not behaving the same way when at war in Europe than during conflicts in Africa. Spain and France did not feel obligated to follow the Hague Convention during the "Rif Wars", and no one claimed that they violated international laws, they just behave barbaric using gas on civilians. Actually the list of atrocities committed by signatories during "non conventional wars" are endless.
NMT, not IMT. :) But, of course, neither you nor anyone commenting here helps establish international law. International tribunals, OTOH, have done so.

This is the foundation of our disagreement: Treaties establish international law, not courts of Justice, at least not before the NMT or the IMT. And unfortunately, there is still no "real" International court of Justice so far.
To give a lighter example, if the UK leaves the EU, it will no longer be under the jurisdiction of the ECJ.

The sad truth is that it was possible before 1945 to commit atrocities without actually violating international laws. It is this anomaly that needed to be corrected. I am of course NOT "advocating" this state of affair. A definition of "crime against humanity" was long due. This is one of the legacies of these courts.
Not going to play tu quoque. Except to say your argument falls totally apart here: first you argue that the USSR was not bound by the Geneva Convention on POWs, now you are making an argument that the USSR should have respected the convention
I was not playing the to quoque, as it would be a "justification" of the atrocities committed. It would of course have been better if they both had respected the Convention, but Stalin did not sign it. So he did not violated the convention when he killed the Polish officers. He just committed an atrocity.
See the above paragraph.
This can be all acceptable arguments isolately, but the fact is that there were no provision or disposal applying to non signatory Belligerents which would have imposed a personal state of conduct without the guarantee of reciprocity.
Well...exactly...the guarantee of reciprocity is what made the development of those laws possible in the first place. Rules have to applied to all or there is no rule. Sad truth is that this conflicts, like others conflicts before, were just outside the existing jurisdiction.
Again, a different matter. Cops break the law, and so do prosecutors and lawmakers. Ergo: no law applies?
One should just not compare how "national laws" work to how international laws do. the nation states are not subject to the same laws as the police officer or the prosecutor.
Not that i would not favor a positive international laws enforced by a international court of justice. Unfortunately, it is not how the game is played in international affairs.
Which observation applies, ironically, sort of to the USSR (IIRC they demurred on the POW convention on grounds that one provision - on racial sorting of prisoners - violated the Soviet constitution) but not to Germany, which agreed to the Geneva Convention on prisoners including Article 82.
LOL...
Hence this discussion on how the article 82 should be understood. And it is a fact that even Nazi Germany did respect - more or less - the convention regarding the prisoners of war of signatories States.
The EU bit is more hyperventilation.

lol
Hence the smilies. But ironically, even the EU is based on a set of treaties. :lol:

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:06 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
Statmec:
What are you advocating - the kind of "international law" propounded pre-Nuremberg by states, like, well, the Third Reich?
Just that Dr Bergold is right.
It does not lessen the "moral crimes" committed by the Nazis, nor does it justify the "moral crimes" committed by others.
But my question wasn't about Article 82. Rather, I put it in relation to your scoffing at IMT and NMT rulings about larger issues in international law generally and especially that you think your opinion trumps the IMT's judgment or the judgments of other international bodies.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
My point is just to remind that today interpretation is in contradiction with how international laws are established. Had this interpretation been clearly explained from the start, no States would have signed it in the first place, and there would have been no Geneva convention.
Non-responsive to the NMT tribunal's reasoning. Insofar as I understand what you mean, which is very little.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
The development of the whole "customary laws of war" has been based on treaties and reciprocity ever since the 16th century. So when a war broke between the Kingdoms of France and Spain, it was decided what to do with the respective prisoners of war before the first battle. I think this was the first of such treaties. It clearly set standards on how to treat officers and vip's. But also established rules about the transfer of basic soldiers, conditions of exchange, their value in case of ransom, etc. And most important that the costs relating to the custody of the prisoners will be assumed by the country to which they belong. Important because the capacity to pay would have an important influence on how the pow's would be treated.

As things turned out, it appeared that these treaties were to the advantage of both countries. And it progressively became the norms to a point when it was custom to apply the former treaties between belligerents automatically. So even if no new treaties were signed, there was always one original that could be referred to.
Of course, those disposals never applied to wars with the Moors or the Turks in which massacres of prisoners were frequent.
I find this line of reasoning and analogizing very surprising. Since Russia was an adherent to the Hague Convention etc none of what you say here is remotely relevant. Unless you agree with the Nazi position that the USSR had put itself outside all international law and beyond the pale by being "Bolshevik" or through its being conquered.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
point i am trying to make here is that even "customary laws of war" were originally based on treaties and were therefore only observed during wars opposing "customary enemies".
You are using a lot of words that don't speak to what the NMT ruled; in fact, you're kind of agreeing with the tribunal's logic, oddly enough.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
The British Army was not behaving the same way when at war in Europe than during conflicts in Africa. Spain and France did not feel obligated to follow the Hague Convention during the "Rif Wars", and no one claimed that they violated international laws, they just behave barbaric using gas on civilians. Actually the list of atrocities committed by signatories during "non conventional wars" are endless.
Regardless of how European powers should treat wars of conquest in Africa, what you're saying is irrelevant to the matter at hand, unless, as noted, you agree with the Nazi position on the USSR. WWII was, in your terms, a conventional war among the conventional parties, or the usual suspects.

The Nazi position was that the USSR - not on account of the status of the Geneva Conventions - but on ideological grounds first of all had placed itself outside the customs, conventions, and laws that had been developed in Europe. In the Nazi view laws, customary obligations, and agreed morality did not apply to relations with the USSR - only Nazi morality. Germany was renouncing the status quo to be able to handle the USSR as the Nazis saw fit, without constraint. They added some tortuous reasoning about the country's status after conquest, but the essence of the Nazi argument (and what I quoted David Thompson on) was that the USSR, because it was Bolshevized and Judaicized, was fair game.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
Treaties establish international law, not courts of Justice, at least not before the NMT or the IMT. And unfortunately, there is still no "real" International court of Justice so far.
I don't plan to take your word over that of, say, that of the Wex Legal Dictionary ("Customary law and conventional law are primary sources of international law. Customary international law results when states follow certain practices generally and consistently out of a sense of legal obligation.") Or Heller's study or others like that.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
I was not playing the to quoque, as it would be a "justification" of the atrocities committed. It would of course have been better if they both had respected the Convention, but Stalin did not sign it.
The point you are avoiding is that had Stalin signed the convention, by the reasoning which Nazi officials themselves stated, the Germans would have behaved the same way in the war against the USSR.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
Well...exactly...the guarantee of reciprocity is what made the development of those laws possible in the first place. Rules have to applied to all or there is no rule. Sad truth is that this conflicts, like others conflicts before, were just outside the existing jurisdiction.
Read the text of the High Command tribunal on this issue.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
One should just not compare how "national laws" work to how international laws do. the nation states are not subject to the same laws as the police officer or the prosecutor.
Not that i would not favor a positive international laws enforced by a international court of justice. Unfortunately, it is not how the game is played in international affairs.
I know, I know, you are 70+ years out of date.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
Hence this discussion on how the article 82 should be understood. And it is a fact that even Nazi Germany did respect - more or less - the convention regarding the prisoners of war of signatories States.
So what? They differentiated the USSR from western countries. They treated POWs differently based on that differentiation, not the Geneva Convention on POWs.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:28 pm
Hence the smilies. But ironically, even the EU is based on a set of treaties. :lol:
Which is beside the point. Which is also why only you giggle about it.
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balsamo » Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm

Statmec:
But my question wasn't about Article 82.
Actually, as far as i am concerned. It was all about article 82. This is the reason i reacted to Jeffk post who seemed to be looking for this article and to use it as an argument in a discussion with some Nazi apologist.
I don't think it is a good idea, as the interpretation that Germany had the legal obligation to respect the convention with a non signatory is just groundless in a purely legalistic perspective.
Rather, I put it in relation to your scoffing at IMT and NMT rulings about larger issues in international law generally and especially that you think your opinion trumps the IMT's judgment or the judgments of other international bodies.
I did not want, and still don't to be dragged into a discussion about the NMT or the IMT. Done that before.
But it is important to remember that back in 1945 it was such a court that was unusual, while international laws existed since States started interacting. Those courts brought big changes - which as i said were long due - in how international laws should be understood. So yes, there was a kind of revolution in international affairs.
But it is also wrong to say that Courts always created international laws. It was just not the case before.

Given that the atrocities took part before such court even were conceived, they should in my view be considered under the "international laws" that existed at that time.
Again, in a purely legalistic perspective, one can debate of the legality of judging acts under laws that did not existed at the time of the facts.
But one can also, as i did, look at the bright side and consider that those new definition of crimes were long due.
Again a completely different topic than the one i reacted to.

It is not a simple opinion. It is a historical fact that no State, especially powerful ones, have never obliged themselves to constraints without the prospect of reciprocity. That is what treaties are about: "if you do that, i will do that too".

Above you wrote:
Article 82 is ambiguous, IMO. It is not clear if the provisions remain in force only "between [among] the belligerents who are parties thereto" in relation to one another or whether they remain in force among the parties of the convention in relation to a belligerent not a party to the convention. Perhaps this ambiguity was part of the reason why the tribunal in the High Command case said that "it is not necessary to decide this question" and grounded its reasoning on the customary laws of war. In the event, the tribunal didn't say this but that the customary laws of war proscribed acts with which the Germans were charged relative to the treatment of POWs.
Actually, i don't find it ambiguous at all. It is the new interpretation that is tricky, otherwise i guess the court would have used it.
As you say, the Court chose to refer to another "ambiguous thing" they call "customary laws of war" - again, i do not denounce the verdicts - but they never was such thing as a unwritten code on how to make war. that would have looked like a universal commitment.
As i said, customary laws only applied between customary enemies, and at the root of that were treaties.
There are just too many examples where those "customs" were ignored all through history.
I have checked. The first treaty related to the prisoners of war was indeed signed between France and Spain in 1533, and as said, it became a custom between European States. But it never had any impact on how wars of colonization were led.
I find this line of reasoning and analogizing very surprising. Since Russia was an adherent to the Hague Convention etc none of what you say here is remotely relevant. Unless you agree with the Nazi position that the USSR had put itself outside all international law and beyond the pale by being "Bolshevik" or through its being conquered.
How is reminding the origins of the so called "customary laws of war" being analogizing.
It does not matter if it was a Nazi position or not, for whatever that means, but yes, a revolution - which is something unexpected and long considered illegal and illegitimate
- changes everything. Now sometimes, the new Regime does its best to reaffirm the engagement of the previous regime, but as far as i know, Lenin nor Stalin never bothered.
Of course, they could have behave just like it was not needed. So the question would be: did they respected the Hague convention the Czar signed in 1899 and 1907 during the wars they undertook? Poland 1919, civil war, Japan, Poland 1939 ? Don't know, just asking.
Did the USSR recognize the public (and private) debts of the former regime? No

But yes, when a revolution occurs, the State ceased to exist diplomatically for a certain times. In the case of the USSR, i can say that France - the former ally of the Russian empire - only recognized the USSR 7 or 8 years after the revolution, the same with Great Britain, the USA will wait until 1933 to establish diplomatic relations with the new Russian regime. How long did it take tfor the USA to finally recognize China for what it was?

A revolution is a disruption in international affairs, and it has nothing to do with how the Nazi might have used this reality.
You are using a lot of words that don't speak to what the NMT ruled; in fact, you're kind of agreeing with the tribunal's logic, oddly enough.
Well because it has nothing to do with the topic, mainly article 82.
It is not as if the NMT created international laws in the first place.
Regardless of how European powers should treat wars of conquest in Africa, what you're saying is irrelevant to the matter at hand, unless, as noted, you agree with the Nazi position on the USSR. WWII was, in your terms, a conventional war among the conventional parties, or the usual suspects.
Why regardless?
The way European Powers (actually the USA are not so clean during the indian wars) behave in their colonial wars just illustrate that there was no such thing as a "universal customary laws of warfare" one could have referred to in order to define a crime, never!

And where the hell did i say that WW2 was just a conventional war? Nothing was conventional under the Nazis. I just reminded that it did respect - at some degree - the obligation it recognized, that is, the Convention of the Hague regarding the pow's of signatories States, the role of the red cross...such things.
On the other hand, Hitler broke so many international laws, that it seems quite useless to me to invent additional violations...in this case, which is for me the only topic, article 82 of the Geneva Convention.
The problem being that the crimes committed by the Nazi Regime were all but conventional and reached such a proportion that it justifies the tricks used by the NMT/IMT. But those were circumstantial tricks nevertheless.
The Nazi position was that the USSR - not on account of the status of the Geneva Conventions - but on ideological grounds first of all had placed itself outside the customs, conventions, and laws that had been developed in Europe. In the Nazi view laws, customary obligations, and agreed morality did not apply to relations with the USSR
Who said the opposite?
I even agreed that Hitler had very little consideration for such silly concept as international laws.
The issue at stake here being did Nazi Germany violated article 82 or not.

it is a good question to know whether such a bestial policy would have been possible if the USSR would have signed this convention? I have my doubt that it would have had any influence on Herr Hitler, but it could have had an influence on how the German Army acceptance of the criminal orders, back in 1941, i mean. Maybe or maybe not.
I am fully aware that Hitler turned this conflict into a existential war, a total war, since day 1, the question would be : would he have had enough influence on his army to impose it his view, had the Soviets signed the convention or not.
What i write is not to be understood as a some forms of moderation regarding Hitler and Nazi's essential criminal policies.

All those things called the customary laws of war were military initiatives, they make sense on a purely military perspective. Those were not inspired by humanist consideration, or whatever christian values that could be evoked, it was meant to be a win-win situation. But in order to be a "win-win" situation, both parties always had to agree first.
I don't plan to take your word over that of, say, that of the Wex Legal Dictionary
Lol.
You are not afraid of anachronism. :lol:

The point you are avoiding is that had Stalin signed the convention, by the reasoning which Nazi officials themselves stated, the Germans would have behaved the same way in the war against the USSR.
answered above.
It was never my intention to even try to make Hitler's and the Nazis actions into a "legal" perspective.
My opinion, in this case it is one, is no it would probably not change Hitler's plans but it might have complicated its applications, because of the notion of reciprocity. Had Hitler ignored the convention in the East, the western powers would have been freed from their obligations also. Therefore, i doubt the Army would have comply. But then, maybe or maybe not.
In this case, it is a matter of opinion as the whole question is hypothetical.
Read the text of the High Command tribunal on this issue.
What is it with this obsession? It seems that international laws were created in 1945 by those courts!
I know, I know, you are 70+ years out of date.
:lol:
Which, in this context, is a good thing as we are dealing with acts that were committed 70+ years ago.
So what? They differentiated the USSR from western countries. They treated POWs differently based on that differentiation, not the Geneva Convention on POWs.
So what? nothing but what i wrote.
Just that the fact that the USSR did not signed the convention facilitate greatly Hitler's plan, as said before.
Which is beside the point. Which is also why only you giggle about it.
It was to lighten the atmosphere. But yes, back then, international laws were made by treaties and not non existent supra national courts.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:14 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
Statmec:
But my question wasn't about Article 82.
Actually, as far as i am concerned. It was all about article 82. This is the reason i reacted to Jeffk post who seemed to be looking for this article and to use it as an argument in a discussion with some Nazi apologist.
I don't think it is a good idea, as the interpretation that Germany had the legal obligation to respect the convention with a non signatory is just groundless in a purely legalistic perspective.
I’m not going to get into what you and Stat Mech are discussing.

Based upon further reading on this subject I think my interpretation (as it stood in 1941) is wrong. That provision was put into place after WW I due to a loophole exploited by the combatants after 1917. It was an odd loophole in which the provisions of the previous conventions were voided after a non-signatory (Liberia) joined the combat. The above provision was put into place to close the loophole.

This of course sent me into a wild tangent......


In any case it doesn’t excuse their behavior, as previous discussed there was a wide range of rules and customs dealing with the conduct of soldiers and POWs. German soldiers were still bound by their own rules and regulations, there was even a simple “10 Commandments” in the back of their paybooks:

Image

Image

In any case this has now peaked my interest in the subject.
Damnit.
Also, Donald Trump is a clownfraud who only got involved in this for the attention.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:09 pm

Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
Statmec:
But my question wasn't about Article 82.
Actually, as far as i am concerned. It was all about article 82.
But you replied to me, and the point I replied to wasn't about Article 82. It was about the IMT and NMT.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
This is the reason i reacted to Jeffk post who seemed to be looking for this article and to use it as an argument in a discussion with some Nazi apologist.
I don't think it is a good idea, as the interpretation that Germany had the legal obligation to respect the convention with a non signatory is just groundless in a purely legalistic perspective.
I made a different post on Article 82. I find Article 82 hard to have a firm opinion about based on the language used. Jeffk raised Article 82. I've read a number of recent commentaries that share Jeffk's view, but they've not convinced me.

The NMT ruling, which is what I wrote about, was different to this.
Rather, I put it in relation to your scoffing at IMT and NMT rulings about larger issues in international law generally and especially that you think your opinion trumps the IMT's judgment or the judgments of other international bodies.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
I did not want, and still don't to be dragged into a discussion about the NMT or the IMT.
That is fine. What's confusing is when you reply to a point about the NMT, with basically a non sequitur, and then say you don't want to discuss the NMT.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
But it is also wrong to say that Courts always created international laws. It was just not the case before.
No one said any such thing. Nor did the NMT claims to be creating new law in what I referred you to.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
Given that the atrocities took part before such court even were conceived, they should in my view be considered under the "international laws" that existed at that time.
Which is exactly what the tribunal in the High Command judgment said it was doing. I think you're confused, actually.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
It is not a simple opinion. It is a historical fact that no State, especially powerful ones, have never obliged themselves to constraints without the prospect of reciprocity. That is what treaties are about: "if you do that, i will do that too".
Repetition of a fallacy doesn't make it so.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
Above you wrote:
Article 82 is ambiguous, IMO. It is not clear if the provisions remain in force only "between [among] the belligerents who are parties thereto" in relation to one another or whether they remain in force among the parties of the convention in relation to a belligerent not a party to the convention. Perhaps this ambiguity was part of the reason why the tribunal in the High Command case said that "it is not necessary to decide this question" and grounded its reasoning on the customary laws of war. In the event, the tribunal didn't say this but that the customary laws of war proscribed acts with which the Germans were charged relative to the treatment of POWs.
Actually, i don't find it ambiguous at all. It is the new interpretation that is tricky, otherwise i guess the court would have used it.
The plain language can be read in either of two ways as I explained - that's the reason that the interpretation is tricky, based on reading the text.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
As i said, customary laws only applied between customary enemies, and at the root of that were treaties.
That is your opinion but not that of the tribunals nor of the recent scholarship I've read.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
But it never had any impact on how wars of colonization were led.
So what?
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
How is reminding the origins of the so called "customary laws of war" being analogizing.
It isn't. Your comparing the relations between the countries at war during WWII to colonial situations is.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
Of course, they could have behave just like it was not needed. So the question would be: did they respected the Hague convention the Czar signed in 1899 and 1907 during the wars they undertook? Poland 1919, civil war, Japan, Poland 1939 ? Don't know, just asking.
Did the USSR recognize the public (and private) debts of the former regime? No
Irrelevant. As an aside, the USSR made statements about the conventions. But again neither Germany's wartime rationale for its war conduct in the east nor the judgment of the High Command tribunal was based on the Geneva Convention or USSR statements about it.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
But yes, when a revolution occurs, the State ceased to exist diplomatically for a certain times. In the case of the USSR, i can say that France - the former ally of the Russian empire - only recognized the USSR 7 or 8 years after the revolution, the same with Great Britain, the USA will wait until 1933 to establish diplomatic relations with the new Russian regime. How long did it take tfor the USA to finally recognize China for what it was?

A revolution is a disruption in international affairs, and it has nothing to do with how the Nazi might have used this reality.
But my understanding is that in 1941 the USSR made a declaration to clarify that the country considered itself bound by the Hague Convention. Again, this is NOT how the NMT judged the matter.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
Well because it has nothing to do with the topic, mainly article 82.
It is not as if the NMT created international laws in the first place.
Again, the part of my post to which you replied was NOT about Article 82, which I addressed specifically in a subsequent post. How on god's green earth is the tribunal's judgment that the matter should be decided on a basis other than the Geneva and Hague conventions creation of law? You may not like the NMT judgment, but trying to ignore it, when I raised it, and then mischaracterizing it are out of bounds IMO.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
Why regardless?
So that we could focus on the matter at hand and not a different issue.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
The way European Powers (actually the USA are not so clean during the indian wars) behave in their colonial wars just illustrate that there was no such thing as a "universal customary laws of warfare" one could have referred to in order to define a crime, never!
First you argue that the customary rules apply only to customary enemies:
The development of the whole "customary laws of war" has been based on treaties and reciprocity ever since the 16th century. . . . The point i am trying to make here is that even "customary laws of war" were originally based on treaties and were therefore only observed during wars opposing "customary enemies".
The British Army was not behaving the same way when at war in Europe than during conflicts in Africa.
Now you say that these rules never existed. Ok.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
But those were circumstantial tricks nevertheless.
Yet the work of the tribunals formed the basis for a whole phase of international law.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
The Nazi position was that the USSR - not on account of the status of the Geneva Conventions - but on ideological grounds first of all had placed itself outside the customs, conventions, and laws that had been developed in Europe. In the Nazi view laws, customary obligations, and agreed morality did not apply to relations with the USSR
Who said the opposite?
I even agreed that Hitler had very little consideration for such silly concept as international laws.
The issue at stake here being did Nazi Germany violated article 82 or not.
That, one more time, is not what I posted about. Nor what you replied to. Your post also dismissed the NMT's judgment - which, again, did not mention Article 82 and, in fact, explicitly said that it was not based on the Hague or Geneva conventions, either.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
Lol.
You are not afraid of anachronism.
You wrote, "This is the foundation of our disagreement: Treaties establish international law, not courts of Justice," using the present tense, and then sort of qualified that. The Wex Dictionary states a longstanding view, one further developed by the IMT and NMT. For example, the Hague Convention of 1907 stated
On the other hand, the High Contracting Parties clearly do not intend that unforeseen cases should, in the absence of a written undertaking, be left to the arbitrary judgment of military commanders.
Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience.
Can we agree that 1907 came before 1947?
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
The point you are avoiding is that had Stalin signed the convention, by the reasoning which Nazi officials themselves stated, the Germans would have behaved the same way in the war against the USSR.
answered above.
Not successfully.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
What is it with this obsession? It seems that international laws were created in 1945 by those courts!
Not at all. It's just that I wrote about the NMT and you keep wanting to talk about other matters.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
I know, I know, you are 70+ years out of date.
:lol:
Which, in this context, is a good thing as we are dealing with acts that were committed 70+ years ago.
However, sadly, the scholarship has continued.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
ust that the fact that the USSR did not signed the convention facilitate greatly Hitler's plan, as said before.
Since the Nazis reasoned on other grounds, there's no basis for such a conclusion.
Balsamo wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:43 pm
It was to lighten the atmosphere. But yes, back then, international laws were made by treaties and not non existent supra national courts.
1907: "Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience."
. . . all right we are two nations . . .

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:29 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:14 pm
That provision was put into place after WW I due to a loophole exploited by the combatants after 1917. It was an odd loophole in which the provisions of the previous conventions were voided after a non-signatory (Liberia) joined the combat. The above provision was put into place to close the loophole.
Meaning that . . . the first sense I noted ("in relation to one another") rather than in relation to the non-signing belligerent? That makes sense. It may also explain why the tribunals didn't take up defense arguments about the article, in that they didn't consider it controversial. I wonder why and when recent commentary started treating the article to mean "in relation to the non-signing belligerent?
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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:01 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 10:29 pm
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:14 pm
That provision was put into place after WW I due to a loophole exploited by the combatants after 1917. It was an odd loophole in which the provisions of the previous conventions were voided after a non-signatory (Liberia) joined the combat. The above provision was put into place to close the loophole.
Meaning that . . . the first sense I noted ("in relation to one another") rather than in relation to the non-signing belligerent? That makes sense. It may also explain why the tribunals didn't take up defense arguments about the article, in that they didn't consider it controversial. I wonder why and when recent commentary started treating the article to mean "in relation to the non-signing belligerent?
TBH I don’t know. My original interpretation is based upon those recent commentaries. It made more sense once I started looking into the background of it. But the language is very odd and I can see why it was misunderstood.

I also wondered why the IMT didn’t make a bigger issue about it, that’s when I suspected my initial interpretation was wrong. I took a closer look at the language. I also found the background on it, that was a revelation and made it comprehensible.
Also, Donald Trump is a clownfraud who only got involved in this for the attention.

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Re: Hague and Geneva Conventions, General Laws of War

Post by Balsamo » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:26 pm

Statmec:
But you replied to me, and the point I replied to wasn't about Article 82. It was about the IMT and NMT.
That was not clear at all.
Given that art.82 is used mainly in relation to Barbarossa, and that your post was mainly on the the prosecution of Germany for this very war, i think both subject are related.
This is the reason we got a bit confused.

You were also probably influenced by me writing : " But the same way, i would not count on the IMT to be a fair referee on that matter."

Of course, there are connection between the two topics. If Germany broke the article 82, it violated existing laws and could have been judge by the existing jurisdiction.
My perspective was international laws as it existed in 1941, and in this perspective, Dr Bergold's plea is 100% correct. Which is basically the sole reference i took from this court.

Now, the IMT/NMT did change the very weak international law that existed before WW2. How they did it is debatable, but there were not many options anyway. Its merit was precisely to have invented the concept of "international criminal laws" which - and that was the revolution - outlawed WAR itself, the famous "crime against peace".
You wrote, "This is the foundation of our disagreement: Treaties establish international law, not courts of Justice," using the present tense, and then sort of qualified that. The Wex Dictionary states a longstanding view, one further developed by the IMT and NMT. For example, the Hague Convention of 1907 stated:
On the other hand, the High Contracting Parties clearly do not intend that unforeseen cases should, in the absence of a written undertaking, be left to the arbitrary judgment of military commanders.
Until a more complete code of the laws of war has been issued, the High Contracting Parties deem it expedient to declare that, in cases not included in the Regulations adopted by them, the inhabitants and the belligerents remain under the protection and the rule of the principles of the law of nations, as they result from the usages established among civilized peoples, from the laws of humanity, and the dictates of the public conscience.
Can we agree that 1907 came before 1947?
Yes I can.
Can you agree that this convention is was (1) a treaty (2) which scope was limited to the States that signed it - the so called "civilized people"?
That is, that rules were to be respected between members of the "civilized club" which were otherwise free to commit atrocities against "uncivilized people", without violating international laws.
Not successfully.
This is also just an opinion.
It is a purely hypothetical question. Whether the German Army was alreadyt indoctrinated by Nazism to a point it would have led a war unprotected on all fronts is just a matter of opinion.
I have agreed that it wouldn't have had any influence on Hitler.
However, sadly, the scholarship has continued.
Why sadly?
Did i give the impression that i was somehow nostalgic of the old days genocidal nationalistic racist Europe that dared pretend being the incarnation of civilization? Then you misunderstood me completely as my intend was actually to break the myth of this so called "civilized Europe" and its so called "Gentlement's tradition of war".