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Hague Conventions (1899 & 1907)

BIOTERRORBIBLE.COM: In 1899, the 1st Peace Conference was held at The Hague with European nations and prohibited "the use of projectiles whose sole purpose is the release of asphyxiating or harmful gases.” In 1907, the 2nd Peace Conference was held at The Hague whereby the conference added the use of poisons or poisoned weapons to the list of banned weaponry.

Israel is the only modern nation that has not signed the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention  (refusal to engage in offensive biological warfare, stockpiling, and use of biological weapons). Israel is also the only modern nation that has signed but not ratified the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (refusal to produce, stockpile and use chemical weapons). Should a future biological terror attack hit America or any other nation, the state of Israel will be the prime suspect.

Title: Hague Conventions Of 1899 And 1907
Date: 2012
Source: Wikipedia

Abstract: The Hague Conventions were two international treaties negotiated at international peace conferences at The Hague in the Netherlands: The First Hague Conference in 1899 and the Second Hague Conference in 1907. Along with the Geneva Conventions, the Hague Conventions were among the first formal statements of the laws of war and war crimes in the nascent body of secular international law. A third conference was planned for 1914 and later rescheduled for 1915, but never took place due to the start of World War I. The German international law scholar and neo-Kantian pacifist Walther Schücking called the assemblies the "international union of Hague conferences", and saw them as a nucleus of an international federation that was to meet at regular intervals to administer justice and develop international law procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes, asserting "that a definite political union of the states of the world has been created with the First and Second Conferences." The various agencies created by the Conferences, like the Permanent Court of Arbitration, "are agents or organs of the union."

A major effort in both the conferences was to create a binding international court for compulsory arbitration to settle international disputes, which was considered necessary to replace the institution of war. This effort, however, failed to realize success either in 1899 or in 1907. The First Conference was generally a success and was focused on disarmament efforts. The Second Conference failed to create a binding international court for compulsory arbitration but did enlarge the machinery for voluntary arbitration, and established conventions regulating the collection of debts, rules of war, and the rights and obligations of neutrals. Along with disarmament and obligatory arbitration, both conferences included negotiations concerning the laws of war and war crimes. Many of the rules laid down at the Hague Conventions were violated in the First World War.

Most of the great powers, including the United States, Britain, Russia, France, China, and Persia, favored a binding international arbitration, but the condition was that the vote should be unanimous, and a few countries, led by Germany, vetoed the idea.

Hague Convention of 1899

The peace conference was proposed on August 29, 1898 by Russian Tsar Nicholas II.[3] Nicholas and Count Mikhail Nikolayevich Muravyov, his foreign minister, were instrumental in initiating the conference. It was held from May 18, 1899 and signed on July 29 of that year, and entered into force on September 4, 1900. The Hague Convention of 1899 consisted of four main sections and three additional declarations (the final main section is for some reason identical to the first additional declaration):

I: Pacific Settlement of International Disputes
II: Laws and Customs of War on Land
III: Adaptation to Maritime Warfare of Principles of Geneva Convention of 1864
IV: Prohibiting Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons
Declaration I: On the Launching of Projectiles and Explosives from Balloons
Declaration II: On the Use of Projectiles the Object of Which is the Diffusion of Asphyxiating or Deleterious Gases
Declaration III: On the Use of Bullets Which Expand or Flatten Easily in the Human Body

The main effect of the Convention was to ban the use of certain types of modern technology in war: bombing from the air, chemical warfare, and hollow point bullets. The Convention also set up the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

Hague Convention of 1907


The second conference, in 1907, was generally a failure, with few major decisions. However, the meeting of major powers did prefigure later 20th-century attempts at international cooperation.

The second conference was called at the suggestion of President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904, but postponed because of the war between Russia and Japan. The Second Peace Conference was held from June 15 to October 18, 1907, to expand upon the original Hague Convention, modifying some parts and adding others, with an increased focus on naval warfare. The British tried to secure limitation of armaments, but were defeated by the other powers, led by Germany, which feared a British attempt to stop the growth of the German fleet. Germany also rejected proposals for compulsory arbitration. However, the conference did enlarge the machinery for voluntary arbitration, and established conventions regulating the collection of debts, rules of war, and the rights and obligations of neutrals.

The Final Agreement was signed on October 18, 1907, and entered into force on January 26, 1910. It consisted of thirteen sections, of which twelve were ratified and entered into force:


I: The Pacific Settlement of International Disputes
II: The Limitation of Employment of Force for Recovery of Contract Debts
III: The Opening of Hostilities
IV: The Laws and Customs of War on Land
includes the Annex on The Qualifications of Belligerents, Chapter II: Prisoners of War
V: The Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers and Persons in Case of War on Land
VI: The Status of Enemy Merchant Ships at the Outbreak of Hostilities
VII: The Conversion of Merchant Ships into War-Ships
VIII: The Laying of Automatic Submarine Contact Mines
IX: Bombardment by Naval Forces in Time of War
X: Adaptation to Maritime War of the Principles of the Geneva Convention
XI: Certain Restrictions with Regard to the Exercise of the Right of Capture in Naval War
XII: The Creation of an International Prize Court [Not Ratified]
XIII: The Rights and Duties of Neutral Powers in Naval War

Two Declarations were Signed as Well:

Declaration I: extending Declaration II from the 1899 Conference to other types of aircraft
Declaration II: on the obligatory arbitration

The Brazilian delegation was led by the statesman Ruy Barbosa, whose contribution was essential for the defense of the principle of legal equality of nations. The British delegation included the 11th Lord Reay (Donald James Mackay), Sir Ernest Satow and Eyre Crowe. The Russian delegation was led by Fyodor Martens.The Uruguayan delegation was led by José Batlle y Ordóñez, great defender of the compulsory arbitration by creating the idea of an International Court of Arbitration, and an alliance of nations to force the arbitration.

Geneva Protocol to Hague Convention


Though not negotiated in The Hague, the Geneva Protocol to the Hague Convention is considered an addition to the Convention. Signed on June 17, 1925 and entering into force on February 8, 1928, it permanently bans the use of all forms of chemical and biological warfare in its single section, entitled Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. The protocol grew out of the increasing public outcry against chemical warfare following the use of mustard gas and similar agents in World War I, and fears that chemical and biological warfare could lead to horrific consequences in any future war. The protocol has since been augmented by the Biological Weapons Convention (1972) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (1993) (Wikipedia, 2012).