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[casi] Int'l Jur Comm condemns illegal invasion of Iraq

Hi All,


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




International Commission of Jurists (Geneva)

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

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)

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

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