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Project of an International Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War. Brussels, 27 August 1874.

On the initiative of Czar Alexander II of Russia the delegates of 15 European States met in Brussels on 27 July 1874 to examine the draft of an international agreement concerning the laws and customs of war submitted to them by the Russian Government. The Conference adopted the draft with minor alterations. However, since not all the governments were willing to accept it as a binding convention it was not ratified. The project nevertheless formed an important step in the movement for the codification of the laws of war. In the year in which it was adopted, the Institute of International Law, at its session in Geneva, appointed a committee to study the Brussels Declaration and to submit to the Institute its opinion and supplementary proposals on the subject. The efforts of the Institute led to the adoption of the Manual of the Laws and Customs of War at Oxford in 1880. Both the Brussels Declaration and the Oxford Manual formed the basis of the two Hague Conventions on land warfare and the Regulations annexed to them, adopted in 1899 and 1907. Many of the provisions of the two Hague Conventions can easily be traced back to the Brussels Declaration and the Oxford Manual.
Brussels Conference of 1874

27.08.1874, Brussels




D.Schindler and J.Toman, The Laws of Armed Conflicts, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1988, pp.22-34.

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