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Hi All, FYI International Commission of Jurists (Geneva): 1) ICJ Deplores Moves Toward a War of Aggression on Iraq - March 18, 03 2) Iraq - This War Must be Conducted Lawfully - March 20, 03 Best Andreas ------------------------------------------------------------- International Commission of Jurists (Geneva) http://www.icj.org/news.php3?id_article=2770&lang=en Iraq - ICJ Deplores Moves Toward a War of Aggression on Iraq / La CIJ déplore l'annonce d'une guerre d'agression contre l'Irak / La CIJ lamenta los anuncios de una guerra de agresion contra Irak Administration of Justice - Newsroom 18 March 2003 The ICJ today expressed its deep dismay that a small number of states are poised to launch an outright illegal invasion of Iraq, which amounts to a war of aggression. The United States, the United Kingdom and Spain have signalled their intent to use force in Iraq in spite of the absence of a Security Council Resolution. There is no other plausible legal basis for this attack. In the absence of such Security Council authorisation, no country may use force against another country, except in self-defence against an armed attack. "This rule was enshrined in the United Nations Charter in 1945 for a good reason: to prevent states from using force as they felt so inclined", said ICJ Secretary-General Louise Doswald-Beck. A war waged without a clear mandate by the Security Council would constitute a flagrant violation of the prohibition of the use of force. Security Council Resolution 1441 does not authorise the use of force. Upon its adoption, France, Russia and China, three permanent members of the Security Council, issued a declaration indicating that the Resolution excludes such authority. The bottom line is that nine members of the Security Council, including the five permanent members, need to actively approve the use of force - such support is blatantly lacking. According to ICJ Legal Adviser Ian Seiderman: "The present regime in Iraq is certainly responsible for widespread and systematic human rights violations over the years. However, this reprehensible human rights record does not by itself provide a legal basis for resort to war. The appropriate method of addressing such gross abuses is to treat them as international crimes and to use and strengthen enforcement mechanisms, such as the International Criminal Court." The competency of the Security Council to authorise the use of force is not unlimited. It may only do so to "maintain or restore international peace and security". As States resisting the use of force at this moment understand, the determination upon whether there is a present threat to international peace and security must be based on sufficient objective criteria. The evidence presented by states pressing for war is less than convincing. The ICJ therefore strongly urges the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain and other countries, even at this late hour, to reconsider their policy choices and desist from the unlawful use of force against Iraq. For further information, please contact Louise Doswald-Beck or Ian Seiderman at +4122 9793800 --------------------------------------------- International Commission of Jurists (Geneva) http://www.icj.org/news.php3?id_article=2774&lang=en Iraq - This War Must be Conducted Lawfully Administration of Justice - Newsroom 20 March 2003 The ICJ condemns the illegal invasion of Iraq in the clear absence of Security Council authority -this constitutes a great leap backward in the international rule of law. Now that the military attack has begun in earnest, it is imperative that States take care not to compound one unlawful action with others. All parties are obliged to follow the humanitarian and human rights prescriptions laid in out in the 1949 Geneva Conventions, other relevant international instruments and international customary law. In particular, the fact that Iraq has been illegally invaded in no way absolves it from scrupulously respecting international humanitarian law and human rights law. States which are not taking a part in the hostilities must benefit from, and themselves respect, the rules of neutrality. In particular, they may not allow their territory to be used for military purposes nor may they be made the object of attack. Belligerents are obliged to treat humanely all persons in their power. They must not attack any persons surrendering. All parties to the conflict must take special care to distinguish between military objectives and civilian persons or objects. The latter may not be made a target of attack. The ICJ would like to stress that all States must scrupulously observe the rules prohibiting or limiting the use of certain weapons. No weapon that is excessively cruel or by nature indiscriminate may be used, even if it is not the object of a treaty prohibition. The ICJ is particularly concerned about reports that some parties may be contemplating using chemical agents. For those States party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, a strict interpretation is indispensable. In addition, the 1925 Geneva Protocol and customary law absolutely prohibit the use of chemical weapons. " We hope that these rules will not be the object of the same cavalier treatment that participating states have applied to the UN Charter" said ICJ Secretary-General, Louise Doswald-Beck. The ICJ recalls the absolute prohibition of committing war crimes or crimes against humanity. Such crimes entail the individual responsibility of all involved persons, from the political masters to the foot soldier. All States are obliged to ensure that persons suspected of such crimes are prosecuted. Parties to the Rome Statute that do prosecute these persons, must surrender them to the International Criminal Court. For further information, please contact: Louise Doswald-Beck at +41 22 9793800 _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk