International dispute means a "disagreement on a point of law or fact a conflict of  legal views or of interest between the States." This disagreement between the parties may arise either on legal(justifiable) or political grounds (non-justifiable).
   There are various modes of settlement of the political and legal differences between the nations. Such differences may be resolved either by amicable means or by Compulsive means short of war.

Compulsive / Coercive modes of settlement of International disputes

            The Compulsive or Coercive means for the settlement of the dispute are non-peaceful methods. Such methods involve a pressure or a force on a State to Settle dispute. However, the use of compulsive/ coercive measures does not mean the use of armed forces in all the cases. Following are some of those measures.

(1) Complaints :

                Before proceeding to discuss compulsive means, it will be desirable to advert to another amicable means of settling disputes employed in course of hostilities by commanders of Forces, who often lodge complaints with each other in respect of acts of illegitimate warfare committed by members of their forces. Such acts may either be abuses of the flag or truce, violations of the Geneva Convention or the Like. Such complaints are sent to the enemy under the protection of the flag of truce, and it becomes the duty of the enemy to investigate such complaints and punish the offenders if the complaints be justified.

(2) Retorsion

         The word retorsion means retaliation. It is base, to the certain extent, on the principle of tit for tat. But the affected State can take only those means or measures as retorsion which are otherwise permitted under International Law. For example, in retorsion diplomatic relations may be ended. privileges of diplomatic agents may be withdrawn and economic facilities may be stopped.

          The purpose of Retorsion is to take retaliation but those actions cannot legitimately be taken which are likely to endanger international peace and security. Such actions if taken shall be illegal


(3) Reprisals: 

           The term reprisal is a wide one and covers all coercive measures adopted by a State for the purpose of obtaining redress. It is different from retorsion in this respect that it may consist acts which are otherwise illegal but are validated under particular circumstances (i.e in view of a prior illegal act by the other State); whereas in the case of restoration there can be no legal objection to the retaliatory measures as they are only unfriendly acts within the competence of the aggrieved State.
            Lawrence defines reprisals as the mode of putting stress upon an offering state which are of a violent nature, though they fall short of actual war. He divides reprisals into positive, negative, special and general.
             It is generally believed that the right of reprisal can be validly used only when the other State has committed an International crime or violation any rule of International Law. Moreover, the Reprisal will be justified only when its object is to settle the International disputes. otherwise, it (Reprisal) will be treated illegal. so it can say that  -

              a) Reprisals are illegal unless they are based on a previous act contrary to International Law.

              b) There must be certain proportion between the offense and reprisal,

              c) Reprisal can be justified only when the force is used for necessary.

(4) Other sub divisions of reprisals 

            Two important subdivision of Reprisals are Hostile Embargo and Pacific Blockade.     

(a) Hostile Embargo : 

         Hostile embargo means the provisional seizure or detention of the merchant's ships or property of the offending State in the ports of the State that seeks redress.

(b) Pacific Blockade : 

           Specific blockade consists of the temporary suspension of the commerce of an offending or recalcitrant State by the closing of access to its coats, or some particular part of its coats, but without recourse to other hostile measures, save in so far as may be necessary to enforce the restriction.

(See... Short Note on... Specific Blockade ) 

(7) Intervention :

      It is another compulsive means of settling disputes between States short of war. According to Professor Oppenheim, it is the dictatorial interference by a State in the affairs of another State for the purpose of maintaining or altering the actual condition of things.

Profesor Winfield has Classified intervention in three categories :

          1. Internal Intervention
          2. External Intervention
          3. Punitive Intervention


(8)  War

         When a dispute between a State is not settled even by coercive/ compulsive mean, they may resort to war. War is an ultimate means of Settling International Disputes. By resorting a war a State seek to impose their will on each other.


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