I am delighted to announce that over the next few days Opinio Juris will be hosting a symposium on what is increasingly called, following Tel Aviv University’s Aeyal Gross, the “functional approach” to the law of occupation. Here is the description that was sent to the contributors:
Occupation law has undergone significant evolution in modern times, and cases such as Iraq and Gaza have raised interesting questions about when an occupation ends and what the duties of an occupying power may be during the transition to restoration of lawful sovereignty. How can occupation law be applied to situations in which an occupying power has partially retreated but continues to exercise governmental functions? Is the application of occupation law a binary question, or can some provisions of the law of occupation apply, while others may not? Which arrangement is most responsive to fostering accountability toward the civilian population? International attention sparked by the Gaza flotilla incident in 2010 has raised significant questions about the legal status of Gaza, with the governments of Israel and Turkey arguing opposing sides of the question of whether Gaza is occupied.
We will post the contributions on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We will then post responses by the contributors on Thursday. The line-up is as follows:
- Prof. Aeyal Gross, Tel Aviv University
- Sari Bashi, Executive Director, Gisha: Legal Center for Freedom of Movement
- Valentina Azarov, Al Quds University
- Adv. Pnina Sharvit Baruch
- Dr. Matthew Saul, Durham University
Readers will notice that the contributors come from all over the political spectrum. Indeed, what makes this symposium so interesting is that it is not possible to infer a particular scholar’s position on the functional approach from his or her political affiliations — being “pro-Israel” or “pro-Palestinian” does not necessarily correlate with either acceptance or rejection of the functional approach.
We look forward to the discussion and encourage readers to weigh in — respectfully — in the comments.