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Occupation policy in Iraq and international law

Schmitt, M. N. and Garraway, C. (2004) Occupation policy in Iraq and international law. In: Langholtz, H., Kondoch, B. and Wells, A. (eds.) International Peacekeeping: The Yearbook of International Peace Operations. International Peacekeeping, 9. Brill, pp. 27-61. ISBN 9789004143159

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On 20 March 2003, a US and UK-led coalition attacked Iraq, formally basing its action on UN Security Council resolutions stretching back over a decade. The operation,Iraqi Freedom, engendered widespread criticism by States, non-governmental organizations, and respected academics. However, even as the debate continued, Coalition forces quickly defeated the Iraqi military and conquered the country. Less than two months after commencement of military action, US President Bush declared from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended". This article explores, from a legal perspective, the published Coalition occupation policies implemented since the Iraqi defeat. Occupation authorities (the Coalition Provisional Authority-CPA) have promulgated most as regulations and orders. For purposes of analysis, they are grouped into five categories: governance, security, relief, the economy, and legal system. The 1907 Hague Convention IV (annexed Regulations) and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention contain the relevant occupation law. Although 1977 Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions includes some occupation provisions, since neither the United States nor Iraq are Parties, it is inapplicable, except as it restates customary international law. Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council has also adopted resolutions that both limit Coalition occupation activities, and expand them beyond the strict confines of international humanitarian law. These treaties and resolutions will serve as the normative standards against which Coalition policies will be evaluated.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
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Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:90473

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