international law Archive

  • Syria: the next best thing

    He’d lost the debate before he even opened his mouth.  To summon back Britain’s MPs from the four corners of the earth during the summer recess needs an urgent case: committing British military forces to immediate action is one such, whereas committing to wait for […]

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  • How to go to war with Syria

    Parliament has been recalled tomorrow for a debate on the crisis in Syria.  The use of poison gas in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta appears to have crossed a line, and western governments are preparing to respond with military force. There are two related questions […]

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  • The death of Osama Bin Laden

    Quakers are enjoined to see “that of God in everyone”, but it must be hard to see it in the person of Osama Bin Laden.  A terrorist and a mass murderer, he was behind the deaths of thousands of innocents: this website can find more […]

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  • Too much information

    One has to admire the elegance of Tony Blair’s argument in front of the Chilcot enquiry last Friday. He was recalled to the enquiry after his previous appearance a year ago in order to answer some additional questions, of which the main one related to […]

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  • Nick Clegg: a blunder, not a crime

    It seems that Nick Clegg is still adapting to government. Describing the Iraq war as “illegal”, as he did in the House of Commons yesterday, may have made sense as part of his election campaign messaging, but not something to be said by someone deputising […]

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  • When it comes to law, we are looking in the wrong place

    Letter published in the Guardian, 28 January 2010 Jack Straw’s letter to the attorney general of 20 February 2003, published by the Chilcot inquiry, shows that, when it comes to a legal view of the Iraq war, we are looking in the wrong place. He […]

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  • Why does the government employ lawyers?

    The Chilcot inquiry’s encounter with Jack Straw is turning up yet more gems. Jack Straw was foreign secretary at the time of the invasion of Iraq and the inquiry into British government decision-making has revealed this comment from him in response to legal advice that […]

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  • The trial of Tzipi Livni

    Let me say at the outset that there is no simple answer to this question. The development of the law in theory has outstripped the implementation of the law in practice, which is bound to create difficulties. I shall come back to this theme. The […]

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  • International anarchy at sea

    This blog has written before about the spate of piracy in the seas off the coast of Somalia. Ships are being taken hostage and ransomed back to their owners; the same is true of passengers on smaller craft. The limits of the law are exposed […]

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  • The law is an ass

    Amid European rejoicing about the restoration of multilateralism to the White House in the recent American presidential election, an interesting corrective is published in the Wall Street Journal. Law professors Jack Goldsmith and Eric Posner examine the European record on adhering to international law and […]

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