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Argument: The invasion of Iraq was illegal, making a withdrawal necessary

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Supporting quotes

Security council resolution 1441 does not authorise the use of force. Any attack on Iraq would consequently be illegal.
Resolution 1441 finds Iraq to be in "material breach" of its disarmament obligations under earlier security council resolutions. It gives Iraq a "final opportunity" to comply with its obligations and, to that end, establishes an onerous and rigidly-timetabled programme of Iraqi disclosures and UN inspections.
Failures by Iraq to comply are to be reported to the security council, which must then "convene immediately ... to consider the situation and the need for full compliance". The resolution also recalls that the council has repeatedly warned Iraq of "serious consequences" as a result of its continued violations of its obligations.
But the resolution does not authorise the use of force. The term 'serious consequences' is not UN code for enforcement action (the term used is 'all necessary measures'). And, in their explanations of their votes adopting resolution 1441, council members were careful to say that the resolution did not provide such an authorisation."

Supporting articles

  • "Blix: Iraq War Was Illegal". lndependent/UK. March 5, 2004
  • "Iraq Invasion Violated UN Charter" (news.com.au, August 7, 2003) ("With unusual candour, the former chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix today denounced the US-led war on Iraq as a violation of international law, and questioned Washington's motives for the invasion.")
  • Law Professors for the Rule of Law
  • "War on Iraq Was Illegal, Say Top Lawyers" (Severin Carrell and Robert Verkaik, The Independent, May 25, 2003)
  • "International Legal Experts Regard Iraq War as Illegal" (Peter Schwarz, World Socialist Web Site, March 26, 2003)
  • "Tearing up the Rules: The Illegality of Invading Iraq," Center for Economic and Social Rights, March 2003 Superb
  • "Canadian Law Professors Declare US-Led War Illegal" (Henry Michaels, World Socialist Web Site, 22 March 2003)
  • Robin Miller, "This War Is Illegal," March 21, 2003
  • "Chirac: Iraq War Breaches International Law" (Middle East Online, March 21, 2003)
  • "Is the War on Iraq illegal?" (Irwin Cotler, The Globe and Mail, March 21, 2003)
  • Jim Lobe, "Law Groups Say U.S. Invasion Illegal," OneWorld.net, March 21, 2003 (an open letter signed by 31 Canadian international law professors calls a U.S. attack against Iraq "a fundamental breach of international law [that] would seriously threaten the integrity of the international legal order that has been in place since the end of the Second World War.")
  • Joan Russow, "U.S. Enagaged in an Illegal Act," March 20, 2003
  • International Appeal by Lawyers and Jurists against the "Preventive" Use of Force
  • Michael C. Dorf, "Is the War on Iraq Lawful?" Findlaw, March 19, 2003
  • Emma Thomasson, "Iraq War Illegal but Trial Unlikely, Lawyers Say," Reuters, March 19, 2003 ("President Bush and his allies are unlikely to face trial for war crimes although many nations and legal experts say a strike on Iraq without an explicit U.N. mandate breaches international law.")
  • Hilary Charlesworth and Andrew Byrnes, "No, This War Is Illegal, The Age [Melbourne, Australia], March 19, 2003
  • Matthew Happold, "A Talented Lawyer Arguing a Weak Case," The Guardian, March 17, 2003 ("The [British] attorney-general's assertion that the use of force against Iraq is legal without a second UN resolution does not stand scrutiny")
  • Keir Starmer, "Sorry, Mr Blair, But 1441 Does Not Authorise Force," The Guardian, March 17, 2003
  • "Analysis of the US Legal Position on the Use of Force Against Iraq" (Greenpeace, March 16, 2003)
  • Richard Norton-Taylor, "Law Unto Themselves, The Guardian, March 14, 2003 ("A large majority of international lawyers reject the government's claim that UN resolution 1441 gives legal authority for an attack on Iraq.")
  • Robert Verkaik, "'Illegal War' Could Mean Soldiers Face Prosecution," The Independent, March 12, 2003
  • Anthony Howard, "War Against Iraq--The Legal Dilemma, The Times [London], March 11, 2003
  • Mark Littman, "A Supreme International Crime," The Guardian, March 10, 2003 ("Any member of a government backing an aggressive war will be open to prosecution.")
  • "The UN Must Take Mr Blix's Report Seriously--by Voting Against Military Action," The Independent (editorial), March 8, 2003
  • "War Would Be Illegal," The Guardian, March 7, 2003 ("The doctrine of pre-emptive self-defence against an attack that might arise at some hypothetical future time has no basis in international law. Neither security council resolution 1441 nor any prior resolution authorises the proposed use of force in the present circumstances.").
  • Michael White and Patrick Wintour, "No Case for Iraq Attack Say Lawyers," The Guardian, March 7, 2003 (commenting on letter, just above, by 16 professors of international law).
  • "War With Iraq 'Could Be Illegal,'" BBC, March 6, 2003 (British Professor Nicholas Grief says that Bush and Blair could face prosecution for war crimes, specifically waging an illegal war).
  • Alan Elsner, "US War Without UN Approval Would Be Seen as Illegal," Reuters, March 6, 2003 ("Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, said eight out of 10 international lawyers would consider a U.S. attack without a new resolution as a violation of international law.").
  • "Australian Legal Experts Declare an Invasion of Iraq a War Crime" (James Conachy, World Socialist Web Site, February 27, 2003)
  • Bill Bowring, "Bush and Blair Must See Law Has a Life of Its Own," AlertNet, February 21, 2003.
  • Julie Mertus, "The Law(?) of Regime Change," JURIST, February 20, 2003.
  • Thalif Deen, "Of Man and God and Law," Asia Times, February 14, 2003.
  • Nathaniel Hurd, "UN SCR 1141 and Potential Use of Force Against Iraq," December 6, 2002.
  • "IN THE MATTER OF THE POTENTIAL USE OF ARMED FORCE BY THE UK AGAINST IRAQ AND IN THE MATTER OF RELIANCE FOR THAT USE OF FORCE ON UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1441," Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, November 2002.
  • "Lawyers Statement on UN Resolution 1441 on Iraq," November 27, 2002.
  • Mary Ellen O'Connell, "UN Resolution 1441: Compelling Saddam, Restraining Bush," JURIST, November 21, 2002.
  • Marjorie Cohn, "UN Resolution 1441: Blackmailing the Security Council," JURIST, November 21, 2002.
  • George P. Fletcher, "Did the UN Security Council Violate Its Own Rules in Passing the Iraq Resolution?," CounterPunch, November 16, 2002.
  • "Legality of Use of Force against Iraq" (Public Interest Lawyers on behalf of Peacerights, September 10, 2002)
  • Mary Ellen O'Connell, The Myth of Preemptive Self-Defense," August 2002.

Supporting videos

The Iraq War: Legal or Illegal?[1]

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