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Liberation or War Crime?

The first Peace and Progress symposium, entitled Liberation or War Crime: A symposium to assess the damage done to international law and co-operation by the war and occupation of Iraq, was held on June 1st 2003 at the Young Vic in London. Audio clips (in mp3 format) of the panelists initial inputs are available below - click on the Listen links to hear each segment of the symposium.

Professor Burns Weston, Professor of International Law and human Rights at Iowa University
That is was illegal for, primarily two reasons: firstly because none of the facts that were cited to justify the claims made, appear to me at least, to be plausible. ..the other reason is because I believe that the important Security Council Resolution, number 1441 has been given a twisted interpretation by both the US and British Governments, in such a way as also to be implausible.

Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the LSE
Not to see Iraq and the war in Iraq as a single event, but look back over the past decade and see how in fact the laws of war, and the compliance with the international regulation against the use of force, had been gradually whittled away through a whole series of incidents, going right back through, Somalia, obviously, Kosovo, East Timor and so on.

Professor Phillipe Sands, QC, Professor of International Law at University College, London
The Prime Minister's view that the use of force was lawful was premised on the existence of weapons of mass destruction. If there were no weapons, or if he had no reasonable basis for concluding that there were weapons, then his government's claim to legality falls away. We therefore are entitled to be informed of the full basis upon which he formed the view that such weapons could be used within 45 minutes.

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