Journal Article

The Shifting Foundations of International Law: A Decade of Forceful Measures against Iraq

Michael Byers

in European Journal of International Law

Published on behalf of The EJIL

Volume 13, issue 1, pages 21-41
Published in print February 2002 | ISSN: 0938-5428
Published online February 2002 | e-ISSN: 1464-3596 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejil/13.1.21
The Shifting Foundations of International Law: A Decade of Forceful Measures against Iraq

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Many of the authors who have written on the legal issues arising out of the United States' armed actions against Iraq in the decade following Operation Desert Storm have disagreed on the interpretation of the relevant Security Council resolutions and the United Nations Charter, on the possible emergence of a right to unilateral humanitarian intervention, and on possible extensions to the right of self‐defence. But the same authors have shied away from considering the root causes of their disagreements: i.e., their sometimes starkly divergent views on foundational aspects of international law. What are the general rules concerning the interpretation of Security Council resolutions? What are the general rules concerning the interpretation of treaties? How are rules of customary international law, in general, made and changed? How does customary international law interact with treaties? These are important questions, not only because our approach to them is likely to determine our analyses of substantive rules, but also because the considerable influence of the United States in this post‐Cold War epoch might in fact be changing the answers, with profound consequences for all of international law.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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