The Iraq War and International Law

Authored by: Wayne Sandholtz

Routledge Handbook of International Law

Print publication date:  December  2008
Online publication date:  January  2009

Print ISBN: 9780415418768
eBook ISBN: 9780203884621
Adobe ISBN: 9781134113095


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The 2003 war in Iraq, perhaps more than any other event since the Second World War, touched on the historic core issues of public international law, as well as twentieth-century developments in international human rights. Existing rules on the use of force and the treatment of detainees appeared to be under strain; some governments argued for their revision or replacement. This chapter examines the implications of the Iraq war and its aftermath for three areas of international law: the use of force, the treatment of detainees, and occupation. The legal debates surrounding the invasion and occupation of Iraq have largely reaffirmed existing fundamental norms but also highlighted areas of the law in need of further development.

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