Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello and Jus post Bellum
- Research Handbooks in International Law series
Edited by Nigel White and Christian Henderson
Chapter 16: Foreign territorial administration and international trusteeship over people: colonialism, occupation, the mandates and trusteeship arrangements, and international territorial administration
Colonialism, territorial administration by states under the Mandate and Trusteeship systems, occupation by states and territorial administration by international organizations are commonly treated as distinct activities in international law and public policy. Such treatment is helpful in understanding particular issues, for example on certain matters of legitimacy (consider the contrast between mainstream ideas associated with state-conducted colonialism and occupation, on the one hand, and inter- national territorial administration (hereinafter ‘ITA’), on the other), applicable law and mechanisms of accountability. However, a fundamental commonality also operates as between these activities, as a matter of international law and public policy: they are each manifestations of the international institution of trusteeship over people. This commonality is significant not only because it explains the similar nature of activities that tend to be regarded as entirely distinct from each other. Also, it is important because it foregrounds the relevance of an important norm in international law, self-determination, which potentially places the legitimacy of all these activities into question. Although other normative ideas are also relevant to foreign territorial administration, the trusteeship and self-determination concepts are perhaps the most important: they speak to the fundamental question of whether trusteeship over people per se is legitimate as a matter of international law. A focus on them, therefore, is important in identifying how trusteeship over people has been treated normatively in the past and, because of this, how it might be treated in the future.
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