Declaration of War on July 28th 1914 from a Legal Historian Point of View Cover Image
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Die Kriegserklärung vom 28. Juli 1914 aus rechtshistorischer Sicht
Declaration of War on July 28th 1914 from a Legal Historian Point of View

Author(s): Christoph Schmetterer
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: STS Science Centre Ltd
Keywords: 1. Weltkrieg; Gefecht von Temes Kubin; Haager Übereinkommen; Hochverrat; Julikrise; Kriegserklärung; Ministerverantwortlichkeit; Prärogative.

Summary/Abstract: On July 28th 1914 Austria-Hungary began World War I by declaring war on Serbia. The political background of this decision has already been analyzed quite often. This article explores the legal conditions of this declaration of war. In Austro-Hungarian constitutional law the emperor had the power to declare war. This power was considered to be prerogative of the crown. Before emperor Francis Joseph decided to declare war on Serbia, foreign minister count Berchtold had told him that Serbia had already attacked Austro-Hungarian troops near Temes Kubin. This was, however, not correct. Berchtold probably committed high treason by influencing the emperor’s decision by this false report. The Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia followed conformed to the rules established by the second peace conference in The Hague.

  • Issue Year: 4/2013
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 69-75
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: German