Resolution 1441 (2002) and the Invasion of Iraq

Marc Weller

in Iraq and the Use of Force in International Law

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199595303
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595769 | DOI:
Resolution 1441 (2002) and the Invasion of Iraq

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This chapter outlines the events leading up to US military action against Iraq. It argues that the overall impact of this episode on the international system and the rules on the use of force were, perhaps, rather overstated. There was considerable debate about the reconfiguration of international law in the face of one single super- (or hyper-) power, debate about the Security Council's future credibility, and some soul-searching about the future of the prohibition of the use of force. In fact, the longer-term consequences of this episode have been more limited than might have been expected. The Council has not been precluded from ever again adopting Chapter VII resolutions that might conceivably attract unilateral claims for military enforcement. Instead, the Council has responded pragmatically. It now routinely confirms in resolutions of this kind the specific basis of legal authority used, and reserves expressly the right of the Council to control further steps. Moreover, in addition to refining the substance of any mandate granted, more thought is being devoted to its extension in time.

Keywords: US military action; United States; UN Security Council; Afghanistan; Iraq; use of force; self-defence; international law; preventive war; pre-emption; Chapter VII

Chapter.  29109 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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