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Iraq and the Use of Force in International Law$
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Marc Weller

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199595303

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199595303.001.0001

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Iraq and Kuwait

Iraq and Kuwait

(p.12) 2 Iraq and Kuwait
Iraq and the Use of Force in International Law

Marc Weller (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was a key test case for the doctrine of serious violation of peremptory norms. The international response to the clear and unambiguous armed invasion of Kuwait would determine whether the UN International Law Commission, which had pioneered this concept, had advanced beyond actual practice of states, or whether the responses of states would conform to the rule in reality. If the first important structural aspect of the episode related to the credibility of the prohibition of the use of force, and its legal nature of a high status rule within the emerging international constitutional system, the second issue was one of process. The question was whether the armed action by Iraq would simply be reversed through the application of collective self-defence, or whether it would also lead to a revival and reconstitution of the UN's collective security mechanism. This chapter tries to answer this question through a review of developments following upon the invasion of Kuwait. It begins by setting out the political and legal background to these developments.

Keywords:   Iraq, Kuwait, use of force, invasion, self-defence, United Nations, international relations, economic sanctions

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