Seminar Paper: International Law Assess the Legality

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International Law

Assess the legality of the 2003 American invasion of Iraq in the context of the United Nations Charter provisions governing the use of force. Does the legal position adopted by the United States on the Iraq war a signal the emergence of new norms governing the use of force under International treaty or customary law? Make sure to incorporate the relevant assigned readings into your answer

invasion of Iraq was in violation of Article 2 of the UN Charter. This states, "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."

When you apply this principal to the invasion, it is clear that U.S. made direct threats against the territorial integrity of Iraq before the invasion. At the same time, another provision of Article 2 states, "All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered."

This provision is highlighting how the U.S. should work with Iraq to ensure that they are following the different standards of international law. When you put these two elements of together, they are highlighting how the invasion was in violation the UN Charter. As the U.S. would use violence to threaten the territorial integrity of Iraq and they were refusing to address this issue of WMD's in a non-violent format.

This would have implications on future international customary law. As the actions taken by the United States, to invade Iraq were based on: UN Resolutions 678, 687 and 1441. These would have an impact on how the legality of the war would be argued. Where, countries such as Great Britain would claim that the invasion of Iraq was clearly justified under 1441 and 678. Under these provisions, if Iraq had violated any of their treaty obligations during from the Gulf War, the various nations were authorized to take military actions against Iraq. With it saying, "Member States to use all necessary means to restore inter-national peace and security in the area."

This is important, because the conflict in international laws would make the situation more confusing. As the Charter would specifically make the invasion of Iraq illegal, yet the various resolutions would give the U.S. The authorization to engage in such action.

This is signaling a shift that is taking place in international norms, with many nations often following international law when it is convenient. However, when the actions that they are going to take come in conflict with international regulations is when this will change. As many nations will often find an excuse to engage in actions that could be violation of the Charter. The U.S. invasion of Iraq was in violation of the Charter, based on the fact that the U.S. was using violence to threaten another member of the UN. At the same time, the fact that they were using past resolutions to justify their actions, is showing how they would knowingly violate this principal.

As a result, a new trend is emerging within the international community. Where, various nations will see the actions that are being taken by the United States, to confirm how they should be acting. The fact that the U.S. is a member of Security Council and can break the Charter for their own reasons; shows how more nations will rely on international institutions to settle various disputes. At which point, many nations will begin to follow similar standards. As they act like they are members of the international community, who are concerned about the rule of law. Once these rules come into to conflict with the other priorities, is when nations will begin to engage in actions that are unilateral in nature. This makes the international situation more unstable, as the various laws are ineffective, due to the perceptions of a hypocrisy that exists.

This is problematic, because it shows how many nations could begin following the different policies of being members of the UN, only to block possible actions that could affect them. While at the same time; having disregard for international law or the treaty obligations that are designed to support international law. As a result, a shift has occurred in how various countries will work with the UN. With many nations maintaining their memberships, yet they will engage in unilateral actions that are of great importance to them. This is because they are feeling the same frustrations with the international community, about addressing the imbalances between wealthy and poor nations.

At the same time, they will often look at countries such as the United States (who are supposed to be setting the example) and will see their actions as hypocritical. Once this takes place, it means that a host of different nations will begin to engage in the same kind of behavior.

When you step back and analyze what is taking place, it is clear that the actions taken by the United States during the invasion of Iraq are showing how a shift that is occurring. Where, the U.S. would begin to abandon the various treaty obligations that they have and started to embrace customary law (to justify their actions). This is because the basic provisions of the UN charter run counter to the national security objectives of the United States. At which point, the U.S. would abandon these standards to peruse their own self-interest. This is troubling, because it is showing how the war in Iraq would reshape this relationship. As many nations would see the U.S. As a member of the Security Council, who is only there to prevent any kind of actions that could be detrimental to their own self-interest. Once these perceptions begin to occur is when other members will begin to follow a similar pattern. At which point, the odds increase that various violations of international laws are common, as no one is taking them seriously. This is problematic, because everyone is engaging similar kinds of actions as those of the U.S. Once this takes place, it means that there is a possibility that the global security situation could become increasingly unstable. Where, various nations will try to unilaterally push one another around for increased areas of influence. This will have ripple effects on the global security situation deteriorating, as the chances that some kind of hostilities taking place increase. Therefore, the invasion of Iraq would serve as a foundation for the new world order, following the period of optimism and cooperation during the 1990's. As many nations are now becoming frustrated with the various imbalances and are using a combination of taking unilateral action, while maintaining their traditional role in international organizations. (1162 words)

Assess the extent to which the Milosevic trial before the International Criminal tribunal for Former Yugoslavia may be considered one of the transformations that is breaking the frames of the traditional framework of International law. Give equal consideration to the implications for the analytical foundations of International law and the theories describing and explaining.

The trying of Milosevic in the ICC could be considered breaking the framework of international law. The reason why is because the international community is establishing their own court, to try individuals and government officials who break international standards. As those who are determined to have been in violation of these laws will be charged in under this criminal justice system. The most notable violations that they can hold various individuals accountable for include: braches of various torture conventions, crimes against humanity and genocide.

This is problematic, because applying these different standards to international law can be challenging. As there are general guidelines that will provide a basic foundation for how they should be applied. Yet, they do not specially address the issues facing real world situations. A good example of this can be seen with the use of stun guns and pepper spray by law enforcement in the United States. Where, many human rights organizations will consider the use of this equipment as torture. However, the manufacturer and police departments will say that this is not torture, because the suspect is not seriously harmed (as they are stunned). This is allows police officers to easily control the suspect, with the least amount of physical violence possible. Yet, many human rights groups will often cite studies claiming how these devices have been known to cause unnecessary harm. The big challenge going forward is how this can be applied, to real world situations. As there is no court that can make such practices illegal or determine what issues would be considered to be in violation of these standards. While at the same time; wanting to prevent obvious abuses of international law from occurring.

This is significant, because it shows the challenges that are faced, in trying to enforce various international legal standards. As the areas of influence and responsibility surrounding a case could be challenging, with… [END OF PREVIEW]

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