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The conduct of hostilities during Operation Iraqi Freedom: an international humanitarian law assessment

Schmitt, M. N. (2003) The conduct of hostilities during Operation Iraqi Freedom: an international humanitarian law assessment. Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, 6. pp. 73-109. ISSN 1574-096X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S138913590000129X

Abstract/Summary

The war in Iraq thrust international law into the global spotlight as has no conflict since Vietnam. Jus ad bellum debates grew increasingly heated as the launch of hostilities in March 2003 approached. Did Security Council resolution 1441 authorise Operation Iraqi Freedom (hereafter, OIF)? Perhaps the attack was an exercise of self-defence against state-support to terrorism. Did the purported doctrine of ‘preemptive self-defence’, enunciated in the 2002 US National Security Strategy, offer a legal justification? What of humanitarian intervention, democratisation or regime change? Or was the sole normative basis the one formally asserted by the United States and United Kingdom — breach of a ceasefire set forth in a Security Council resolution adopted a dozen years earlier? The jus ad bellum brouhaha resurfaced in April 2005 with the revelation that British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith had issued a classified memorandum on the legality of hostilities that differed from the public justification he proffered, with OIF days away, just over a week later.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:90508
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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