Lawsuits and courtcases


[Background articles on International Humanitarian Law]


International Criminal Court Complaint filed against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Tenet, Rice and Gonzales - International arrest warrents required (Francis Boyle 19 Jan 2022

BRussells Tribunal and US Genocide file legal case against four US presidents and four UK prime ministers for War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq (07 Oct 2021) Statement on the closure of the legal case for Iraq in Spain filed against four US presidents and four UK prime ministers for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Iraq (07 Feb 2010)

Petition to Arrest George Bush for the Crimes of Murder and Conspiracy ! (May 2008)

ICC to Get Evidence of 'Illegality' of War (February 2004) | UK 'war crimes' claims examined in The Hague (19 December 2021)| Answer of the ICC prosecutor (PDF) (10 February 2022) | Ocampo Turns Down Iraq Case: Implications for the U.S. (PDF) (10 February 2022) | Open Letter to the International Criminal Court of Justice about war crimes committed in Fallujah (14 March 2022) |

Humanitarian Law groups file rights petition at OAS against the United States for attacks on Hospitals, Clinics in Falluja - 2005 (Lawsuit prepared by the  Association of Humanitarian Lawyers, partners of the BRussells Tribunal)

Rights groups file French torture case vs Rumsfeld (26 Oct 2021)

Center For Constitutional Rights Seeks Criminal Investigation in Germany into Culpability of U.S. Officials in Abu Ghraib Torture | German prosecutors refuse to investigate Rumsfeld over Abu Ghraib abuse (PDF) - Court Cases: German Prosecutor dismisses case against US commanders over Abu Ghraib (November 2004) - New War Crimes Complaint against Donald Rumsfeld in Germany by Center of Constitutional Rights. (14 Nov 2021) - GERMAN FEDERAL PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE DISMISSES RUMSFELD WAR CRIMES CASE (27 April 2022) - Lawyers taking Rumsfeld war crimes case to Spain after German rejection (29 April 2022)

Court case against General Tommy Franks in Brussels | Belgium Guts Universal War Crimes Law (2003)

International Criminal Court | U.S.: Congress Tries to Undermine War Crimes Court |  Iraq drops the ICC (02 March 2022)

Canadian lawyers charge Bush with torture | Canada blocks torture charges against Bush

German court declares Iraq war violated international law (27 September 2021) - Was the War on Iraq Illegal? – The German Federal Administrative Court’s Judgement of 21st June 2005
(Nikolaus Schultz)

Iraqi civilian abuse case in Court of Appeal - UK (10 October 2021)

Spanish court orders arrest of US soldiers for war crime (21 October 2021) - Spanish Judge calls for architects of Iraq invasion to be tried for war crimes (28 March 2022) - Spain prosecutors appeal indictment of US soldiers in Iraq death of journalist (19 May 2007)  (Canada)


Formal complaint sent to the International Criminal Court over Coalition war crimes in Occupied Iraq & Afghanistan (Dr. Gideon Polya, 21 December 2005)


Criminal Charges Filed Against George H.W. Bush (Sr.) in Iceland (04 July 2021)

Lieutenant Watada's War Against the War (07 Aug 2021)


For Immediate Release, July 4th 2006, 16:25 local time
Please disseminate

Criminal Charges Filed Against George H.W. Bush (Sr.) in Iceland

Reykjavik, Iceland (3 July 2021) - A group of ten Icelandic citizens filed yesterday at the Office of the State's Police Chief criminal charges against George H.W. Bush, former U.S. President, who is expected in Iceland this evening at the invitation of Icelands's President Olafur R. Grimsson.

The group accuses former President Bush for participation in war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes against the peace, and crimes against internationally protected persons. It demands that former President Bush be detained by the Icelandic authorities and investigation on these charges. Should the investigation conclude that legal proceedings against him are warranted, the group requests that he be tried before an Icelandic court or extradited to an international criminal tribunal which possesses the requisite jurisdiction to deal with his case. Icelandic courts are, under international law, qualified to try individuals suspected of having committed international crimes.

George H.W. Bush is charged of initiating a war of aggression against Panama in 1989, in breach of international law and the UN Charter, constituting a crime against the peace, and of ordering the kidnapping of Panama's President Noriega in violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons. George H.W. Bush is furthermore charged for his command responsibility for the multiple war crimes committed by US forces in the Gulf War in 1991, including the policy of deliberately bombing civilian targets and the massacre of soldiers hors combat. His command responsibility for these crimes is equivalent to those of other heads of states who have been charged, indicted and convicted for international crimes, including torture, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. George H.W. Bush is also charged for inducing an uprising of Kurds and Shi'ites in Iraq during the Gulf War and then ordering US forces to withhold aid from those who risked the uprising, thus leaving unarmed uprising masses unprotected against Saddam Hussein's brutal forces. By such policies, he knowingly facilitated the commission of crimes against humanity by Saddam Hussein. He is finally accused for conspiring in imposing deadly economic sanctions against the people of Iraq, with the intent to harm the well-being, health and lives of the Iraqi civilian population, with foreknowledge of the likely consequences and with the subsequent knowledge of the sanctions' devastating consequences. Such conduct is considered to be a crime against humanity under international customary law. About one million persons are believed dead as a result of the economic sanctions, thereof half a million children below five years of age.

The group holds that Icelandic courts can assert subject-matter, territorial and personal jurisdiction over former President Bush, on the base of the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 2021 and of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Internationally Protected Persons. In addition, the group argues that Icelandic courts can assert their jurisdiction to any person who is suspected of having planned, directed or committed crimes against humanity under international customary law, as well as for planning and carrying out crimes against the peace.

For further information, please contact Elias Davidsson,
The Charges are posted (in Icelandic) on the webpage


Iraq Says British Raid Was a Violation (April 6, 2007)
British troops raided the National Iraqi Intelligence Agency in Basra, claiming the act aimed to capture a death squad leader and that they found 30 prisoners with signs of torture. However, the Iraqi government condemned the raid, saying it violated Iraqi sovereignty in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1546. According to a report by the Iraqi government, the British forces violated the orders of an Iraqi judge by arresting prisoners already in Iraqi custody and were negligent in allowing several prisoners to escape during the raid. (Associated Press)

Armed Groups Occupy Hospitals and Kidnap Doctors (February 13, 2022)
A growing number of Iraqis have been refraining from using hospitals due to fear of being shot or arrested by insurgent groups and official forces. US troops intrude into hospitals on a daily basis, placing or looking for snipers on the roof and arresting doctors. According to an Iraqi doctor, “whatever we say they arrest us and treat us, doctors, as if we are terrorists. They take us for interrogation and threaten us. So, in reality, we face danger from the insurgents as well as from the [official] troops.” This constitutes a violation of the Geneva Conventions, which state that hospitals are and should remain neutral and accessible to everybody, especially civilians. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)


The Courts Are Starting To Accept That the War against Iraq Is A Crime (October 17, 2021)
A British domestic court has ruled that the damage caused to military planes and equipment by two anti-war protestors was not illegal because the defendants sought “to prevent specific war crimes from being committed” in Iraq, where the planes and munitions would ultimately end up. Furthermore, in a German court an army major has successfully argued that the US and the UK did not legally invade Iraq, therefore he broke no laws in refusing to obey a military order. The author concludes that such decisions set a precedent for the recognition of the Iraq war as an act of aggression, and therefore a war crime – of which the British government should be very wary. (Guardian)

Bush and Saddam Should Both Stand Trial, Says Nuremberg Prosecutor (August 25, 2021)
A prosecutor of Nazi war crimes at Nuremberg, Benjamin Ferenccz, believes US President George W. Bush’s aggressive war in Iraq constitutes a “supreme international crime” capable of prosecution in an international court. Claiming that the atrocities of the Iraq war were “highly predictable," Ferenccz points to the UN Charter, which unequivocally states that no nation can use armed force without UN Security Council permission. He convincingly argues that, due to his invasion of Iraq and the subsequent acts of the US military, Bush should face charges for war crimes along with Saddam Hussein. (OneWorld)

Iraqi Leaders Question US Troops' Immunity (July 6, 2006)
Iraqi leaders have called for a review of the US-implemented law that prevents prosecution of coalition forces in Iraqi courts. Following reports of several alleged atrocities by US troops against Iraqi civilians, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that immunity from prosecution encourages members of coalition forces to “commit such crimes in cold blood.” This Washington Post article concludes that challenges to the immunity order could widen a rift between US and Iraqi authorities.

UN Security Council Should Ensure Full Accountability for Multinational Force Abuses (June 14, 2022)
In a statement ahead of a Council meeting reviewing the mandate of the Multinational Force (MNF), Amnesty International USA calls on the UN Security Council and the Iraqi government to hold to account “those who commit crimes under international law in Iraq, including members of the US-led MNF.” Amnesty demands that the Council not extend the immunity from legal proceedings for abuses by the MNF or their contractors and concludes that “the Iraqi criminal justice system should be able to exercise jurisdiction over any crime committed in Iraq.”

Iraq Tells UN it Wants Multinational Force to Stay (June 13, 2022)
Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari has formally notified the UN Security Council that it wants the US-led multinational force (MNF) to remain in place. Resolution 1637 said the Council would terminate the MNF’s mandate at the request of Iraq's government. The letter's release coincided with a five-hour visit to Baghdad by US President George W. Bush. (Reuters)

Letter from the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations Addressed to the President of the Security Council (June 9, 2022)
Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs Hoshyar Zebari has requested that the Security Council extend the mandate of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Iraq, due for review in June. In a letter addressed to the President of the Council, Zebari thanked the MNF for its assistance in “providing security and stability in Iraq.” Under Resolution 1637 (2005), the Council can terminate the force’s mandate at any time if Iraq’s government asks it to do so. In addition, Zebari welcomed the continuation of the current arrangements for the Development Fund for Iraq and the International Advisory and Monitoring Boards.

NGO Letter to the Security Council (May 19, 2006)
A group of 27 NGOs points out that the US-led Multinational Force (MNF) in Iraq has seriously violated international law, including bans on the use of torture, illegal detentions, siege tactics against population centers, and “indiscriminate and especially injurious” weapons. Furthermore, the MNF is responsible for failing to address patterns of corruption and mismanagement in Iraq’s development fund and reconstruction programs. Citing numerous official reports and legal texts, the letter urges Council members to “substantially reconsider, revise or terminate” the MNF’s mandate to bring it into conformity with international law. (Global Policy Forum)

A Safer Weapon, With Risks (May 18, 2022)
The US military has developed a laser weapon device for use in Iraq that temporarily blinds oncoming drivers approaching military checkpoints. The device, which can be attached to an M-4 rifle, was designed to allow soldiers to “dazzle” rather than fire at drivers who fail to stop. Though the military designed the device to reduce death and injury, human rights groups have criticized laser weapons, calling them cruel, unusual and illegal under Protocol IV of the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects. (Los Angeles Times)

NGO Letter to the Security Council on Iraq (March 14, 2022)
On the eve of the Security Council’s quarterly discussion on the situation in Iraq, a group of NGOs has written the Council to voice their concern. Several disturbing reports have been released by Secretary General Kofi Annan, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and human rights organizations. These reports have highlighted significant violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, especially in the area of detention practices. In response, the NGOs ask the Council to break its pattern of pro forma review, “accept its responsibility” and “substantially review the mandate it has given to the MNF.”

Tortured Logic (February 28, 2022)
According to former US Army interrogator Anthony Lagouranis, mid- and low-level officials have shouldered all responsibility for prison abuse in Iraq, despite signals from high level officials justifying the use of torture. Interrogators routinely use dogs, hypothermia, and other “enhancements” while interrogating prisoners, despite clear violations of international law. Colonel Thomas Pappas, the top intelligence officer at Abu Ghraib, admitted authorizing such techniques without regard for the Geneva Conventions. Though US President George Bush has signed legislation banning torture, he asserts the right to interpret the legislation "in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the president" as justification for the continued use of torture. (New York Times)

Former UN Human Rights Chief in Iraq Says US Violating Geneva Conventions, Jailing Innocent Detainees (February 28, 2022)
In this interview, former United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) human rights chief John Pace discusses sectarian violence, US military operations, and the legality of the war. According to Pace, ongoing US military operations have led to widespread civilian displacement and destruction, and along with the rise in sectarian militias contribute most to instability in Iraq. Furthermore, US detentions violate the Geneva Conventions and as many as 90 percent of all Iraqi prisoners are innocent. “Normalization,” Pace says, cannot go forward in Iraq so long as the US military occupation remains. (Democracy Now!)

Ocampo Turns Down Iraq Case: Implications for the US (February 2006)
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo announced that his office will not investigate war crimes committed in Iraq by coalition forces. The Bush administration has staunchly opposed the ICC claiming it will “unfairly target” US military personnel. Ocampo’s decision gives evidence of the court's impartiality. (Citizens for Global Solutions)

Blair in Secret Plot with Bush to Dupe UN (January 29, 2022)
Leaked White House documents reveal that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George Bush planned to invade Iraq regardless of whether or not they won UN approval. Though Blair has asserted that the final decision to invade was made only twenty-four hours before the war began, the leaked documents from a high-level meeting between Bush and Blair indicate that the decision was made before the Security Council discussed - but never adopted - a second resolution authorizing war against Iraq. (Mail on Sunday)

Accession through the Backdoor (January 2006)
When bullying fails, the US uses military force to further its trade agenda. On February 11, 2004, less than a year after the US invasion, Iraq was granted observer status at the World Trade Organization (WTO) while under the rule of Paul Bremer’s Coalition Provisional Authority. Though not yet a WTO member, Iraq has steadily progressed in the secretive process of WTO accession thanks to heavy US prodding. UK Attorney General Lord Peter Goldsmith has warned that structural economic reforms, as imposed by the US occupation and required for WTO membership, “would not be authorized under international law.” (Focus on the Global South)

Willy Peter (January 2006)
This article examines the US military’s use of white phosphorus, an incendiary weapon commonly known as “Willy Peter,” in the November 2004 attacks on Fallujah. Though white phosphorous munitions are banned under the 1980 Geneva Convention on Biological and Chemical Weapons, the US has not signed the agreement and instead classifies white phosphorous as a “psychological” weapon. As ZMag points out, there is nothing psychological about a weapon that melts skin to the bone while damaging the nervous system and blocking the circulation of blood.


Iraq and the Laws of War: US as Belligerent Occupant (December 22, 2021)
In this article, University of Illinois Law Professor Francis Boyle rigorously analyses the legal aspects of the US occupation of Iraq. On several counts, he concludes, the war is illegal. In addition to violating the customary international laws of war, as set forth by the 1907 Hague Convention, the Nuremburg Charter, and the Geneva Conventions, the Bush administration has also repeatedly violated the US Army Field Manual in its conduct of the Iraq war. (CounterPunch)

UN Report: Coalition Forces in Iraq Hold 11,559 (November 14, 2021)
According to a United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) report covering the period of September 1 to October 31, both US- and Iraqi-led military forces have had a negative impact on human rights. The report criticizes US and Iraqi armed forces for arresting doctors and occupying medical facilities in Anbar province, in violation of international human rights law. To view the report, click here. (Associated Press)

UN Food Envoy Says Coalition Breaking Law in Iraq (October 14, 2021)
In a press statement on World Food Day, UN Special Rapporteur for the Right to Food Jean Ziegler accuses US and British forces of violating the Geneva Conventions. Specifically, Ziegler highlights the practice of cutting supplies of food and water to Iraqi civilians so as to encourage them to flee before major military attacks. The Geneva Conventions prohibit the deprivation of food and water as a weapon of war. Ziegler hopes the General Assembly will "condemn this strategy of the coalition forces" when he presents his report in New York on October 27, 2005. (Reuters)

The "Tribunal Movement" Holds Court in Istanbul (June 26, 2021)
The World Tribunal on Iraq, a project of the global antiwar movement, investigates “legal and moral culpability for documented crimes” committed by the US government in its war against Iraq. Despite critics’ accusations that the Tribunal is biased and unwarranted, this truthout article points out that it plays an important role in “filling in the gaps where governments and even the United Nations are unable and unwilling to act.”

Wilmshurst Resignation Letter (March 24, 2022)
Elizabeth Wilmshurst, former Deputy Legal Advisor to the UK Foreign Office, resigned in March 2003 over the Iraq War. In her resignation letter, which the BBC website published in March 2005, she calls the joint US-UK invasion “unlawful” and “a crime of aggression” because the Security Council did not issue a resolution authorizing the use of force.


Does the US Military Prosecute Its Soldiers Aggressively Enough? (November 19, 2021)
The US Marine Corps has launched an investigation into military conduct after a US broadcaster aired footage of a US soldier shooting an unarmed Iraqi insurgent inside a mosque. This article questions whether the US military justice system works effectively, arguing that “a society's legal discipline usually parallels overall discipline in its army.” (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

J'accuse: War Crimes & Iraq (November 4, 2021)
Conn Hallinan charges that the US has systematically violated international law in its fight against terrorism. The US has violated the Geneva Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention Against Torture through mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The Bush administration justifies its acts by pointing to the “changed nature of the post-9/11 world,” a world in which international law apparently does not apply to Washington's decision-makers. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Denial of Water to Iraqi Cities (November 2004)
The US has violated the Geneva Convention by cutting off water supplies to Tall Afar, Samarra and Fallujah for several days in September and October 2004, denying up to 750,000 civilians access to water. The US further breached international law when forces refused to let the Red Cross deliver water to Fallujah the in hopes that dwindling supplies of food and water would eventually cause the insurgents to surrender. (Cambridge Solidarity with Iraq)

Q&A: Private Military Contractors and the Law (October 21, 2004)
Though private military contractors (PMCs) play an increasing role in military operations, their legal status remains unclear. This question and answer page from Human Rights Watch offers a breakdown of the legal implications for PMCs operating in Iraq. Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, PMCs are generally protected as civilians. This designation is complicated, however, when contractors participate directly in military operations.

Aide Quits over ‘Illegal' War (October 17, 2004)
Carne Ross, the top Iraq expert at the British Mission to the United Nations, quit the Foreign Office because of the UK government's conduct over the war in Iraq. Ross, who worked on Prime Minister Tony Blair's dossier on weapons of mass destruction, regards the war as illegal. This article also cites sources who say that the British Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, harbored doubts about the war's legality until shortly before the war. (Sunday Times)

Iraq War Was Illegal and Breached UN Charter, Says Annan (September 16, 2021)
For the first time, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has declared that the war on Iraq was illegal. In a BBC interview Annan explicitly stated that military action violated the UN Charter, despite US claims that their actions were an act of self-defense and therefore in accordance with UN rules. (Guardian)

US Immunity in Iraq Will Go Beyond June 30 (June 24, 2004)
As its last “act” as occupying power of Iraq, US Administrator Paul Bremer is extending Order 17 “bestowing” on US troops and civilian personnel immunity from prosecution by Iraqi courts for “killing Iraqis or destroying local property” after June 30, 2004. Critics contend that this unilateral declaration proves that the US is not handing over “full sovereignty” to Iraq and that the US authority is giving itself “special privileges” that undermine the transition. (Washington Post)

Contractor Immunity a Divisive Issue (June 14, 2004)
The White House remains adamant that Iraq's Interim Government accept a proposal granting “immunity from prosecution” for all US private contractors operating in the country. The plan raises critical questions about the legal status of nearly 30,000 foreign workers in Iraq, largely private security personnel, who are not covered by UN Security Council resolution 1546 and do not fall under US military jurisdiction. (Washington Post)

Red Cross Ultimatum to US on Saddam (June 14, 2004)
International Committee of the Red Cross Spokeswoman Nada Doumani contends that under international law, the US must either press charges against Saddam Hussein and other regime officials or release them from prison after June 30, 2004. The Coalition is detaining Saddam Hussein, as well as other senior Baath party officials, as POWs. (Guardian)

US Officials Fashion Legal Basis to Keep Force in Iraq (March 26, 2022)
US officials contend that if negotiations for a “status-of-forces” agreement with Iraq's transitional government fail, UN Security Council Resolution 1511 will provide the legal justification required for US-led coalition forces to maintain control of Iraq until December, 2005. (New York Times)

Lawyer Who Quit Over Iraq to Testify at Anti-War Trial (March 10, 2022)
Former British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook challenged the government's assertions that “rogue states” funding terrorist activities, combined with the events of September 11, did not justify invading Iraq. Cook believes that the US and the UK “converted a country that had no link with international terrorism into a country which is rife with international terrorists.” (Independent)

War Chief Reveals Legal Crisis (March 7, 2022)
British Admiral Sir Michael Boyce has revealed that days before the Iraq invasion, he demanded assurances from Downing Street about the legality of launching war. Boyce's revelations fuel charges that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair pressured Lord Goldsmith to declare the war legal. (Observer)

Blix: Iraq War was Illegal (March 5, 2022)
Former chief weapons inspector Hans Blix argues that UN Security Council resolution 1441 did not give the US and the UK justification to launch war on Iraq. Blix contends that only a second resolution “explicitly authorizing” war would have legalized the invasion. (Independent)

Sending Blair to Prison (March 2, 2022)
A consortium of international lawyers has appealed to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate charges of war crimes against the UK government. The group alleges that “strong prima facie” evidence exists that the intent of war was not to eradicate WMD, but to elicit the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime. (Daily Mail)

Revealed: Attorney General Changed His Advice on Legality of Iraq War (February 29, 2022)
Reports indicate that Attorney General Lord Goldsmiths' prewar assessment ruled that the UK requires a UN Security Council resolution giving “specific authorization for war.” Why was the Attorney General's comments not publicized and what does this tell us about the credibility of the US and the UK governments? (Independent)

Free-Market Iraq? Not So Fast (January 12, 2004)
US plans to restructure Iraq's economy, including the privatization of a majority of state-owned corporations, "may be violating longstanding international laws governing military occupation." Is the US overstepping its bounds and how should Security Council Resolution 1483 be interpreted? (New York Times)  


Hussein's Trial: Humanitarian Laws (December 16, 2003)
James Paul, Executive Director of Global Policy Forum, discusses the role of the US, the UN and international law in the forthcoming trial of Saddam Hussein. (Washington Post)

Through a Legal Lens - the Attack and Occupation of Iraq (December 15, 2021)
This article discusses the many illegalities comitted by the US and its coalition partners prior to the invasion, as well as during the war and the post-war crisis. (Electronic Iraq)

Saddam’s Arrest Raises Troubling Questions (December 2003)
For decades Washington supported the regime of Saddam Hussein. US officials responsible for such policies could themselves be guilty of war crimes and might face allegations in an international tribunal. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

War Critics Astonished as US Hawk Admits Invasion was Illegal (November 20, 2021)
Richard Perle, a neoconservative close to the Bush administration, gave justification for the invasion of Iraq that deviated markedly from the official US rationale. According to Perle, moral reasons justified invasion despite the fact that "international law ... would have required [the US] to leave Saddam Hussein alone." (Guardian)

Is International Law Relevant to the War in Iraq and its Aftermath? (October 29, 2003)
International law insists on a collective rather than unilateral notion of justice, argues Professor Hilary Charlesworth. Disregarding international law in the case of Iraq makes it harder to refer to international legal standards in future cases. The doctrine of pre-emptive self-defense would have also allowed Iraq to attack the US. (National Press Club, Canberra)

Greeks Accuse Blair of War Crimes in Iraq (July 29, 2003)
In a case lodged with the International Criminal Court, the Athens Bar Association accuses Prime Minister Tony Blair and other UK ministers of crimes against humanity for prosecuting the war against Iraq. (Gaurdian)

The Ugly Truth of America's Camp Cropper (July 22, 2003)
Robert Fisk accuses the US military in Iraq of beating Iraqi prisoners during interrogations and gunning down three prisoners "while trying to escape." Fisk tells the story of a Dutch citizen captured by the US military and detained at the military’s “Camp Cropper” for over 30 days without notifying his family or the Danish government. (Independent)

Are We Committing War Crimes in Iraq? (July 7, 2003)
The Bush administration continues its policies of diplomatic arm-twisting to ensure that US citizens and officials do not fall under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. The Miami Herald speculates that some of the highest officials in the Bush administration don’t want to face prosecution for war crimes in Iraq.

After Iraq Is there a Future for the Charter System? (July 2, 2021)
Professor Richard Falk examines the potential effects of the Iraq War on the UN Charter and the UN’s role in humanitarian interventions. He also examines the future of the UN Charter system. (Counterpunch)

US Detentions of Iraqis May Violate International Law (June 30, 2021)
Amnesty International has gathered evidence detailing US violations of international law in Iraq. It alleges that the US military has subjected Iraqi prisoners to ''cruel, inhuman or degrading'' conditions at detention centers in Baghdad. (Associated Press)

Soldiers Fear They're Acting Illegally (June 29, 2003)
UK soldiers in Iraq fear that they could be charged for war crimes in the International Criminal Court. The controversy in the UK over whether or not the government exaggerated the threat from Saddam Hussein exacerbates the soldiers’ fears of prosecution. (Sunday Herald)

Preventive War’ and International Law After Iraq (May 22, 2022)
Globelaw provides an extensive legal analysis of the Iraq war, concluding that the world now faces a critical choice between unilateralism and the rule of law.

Lawless War (April 2003)
Le Monde Diplomatique accuses the UK and US of “wiping their feet on the most basic principles of the UN, and behaving as aggressors” in their war on Iraq. Never have two founding members of the UN so brutally flouted international law and thereby made themselves, under the terms of that law, into “delinquent states.”

War On Iraq Was Illegal, Say Top Lawyers (May 25, 2003)
Several of Britain’s most eminent international law scholars have condemned the war against Iraq as illegal. Senior legal experts are alleging that the conflict has seriously weakened the authority of the United Nations and potentially threaten global security. (Independent)

Allies' Postwar Panic Puts Justice in Jeopardy (May 23, 2022)
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch questions Washington’s plan to prosecute Saddam Hussein's henchmen in a court composed of handpicked Iraqis rather than an independent internationally led tribunal. (International Herald Tribune)

US and UK Action in Post-War Iraq May Be Illegal (May 22, 2022)
A leaked memo to Prime Minister Tony Blair from the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, states that a whole range of actions taken by coalition authorities in Post-war Iraq may have been unlawful. (The Scotsman)

Transition to Empire (May 1, 2022)
This article argues that the US has completely ignored the UN and international law by occupying Iraq, imposing its own law of neo-colonialism. The author compares the US occupation to examples from history ranging from British colonial rule in India and the Sudan, to General Macarthur’s occupation of Japan after World War II. (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Will International Law Shape the Occupation, or the Occupation Shape International Law? (May 14, 2022)
This Foreign Policy in Focus article examines the draft resolution submitted to the Security Council by the U.S. administration. It “makes few if any concessions to legality or respect for the UN Charter and the Security Council” argues the author, claiming that the US is trying to shape international law rather than adhere to it.

Shame of US Troops' Iraqi Street Justice (April 28, 2003)
US Troops stripped four Iraqi looters naked, wrote the words ‘dirty thief’ on their chests in Arabic, and paraded them through the streets of Baghdad at gunpoint. The Geneva Conventions protect prisoners against “insults or public curiosity,” a standard which human rights groups say has been breached by the callous actions of the US troops. (The Daily Mirror)

Let the UN Put Saddam on Trial (April 21, 2022)
Only the United Nations has the legitimacy and credibility to establish a human rights court to try Iraqi leaders for war crimes. If the Pentagon proceeds with plans to set up a US military tribunal to carry out this task, the entire process will be discredited as “victor’s justice.” (International Herald Tribune)

Splits Widen on the Road to Justice (April 20, 2022)
The State Department and the Pentagon are at odds about how to try former Iraqi leaders for human rights violations. The Pentagon wants a US military tribunal, while the State Department prefers a tribunal based in Iraq staffed by Iraqi lawyers and judges. Neither endorses a UN tribunal which would give the process international legitimacy. (Observer)

US Commander Franks Faces Belgium Genocide Case (April 18, 2022)
Four Doctors use Belgium’s universal competence law to bring an action against US Commander Tommy Franks for war coalition actions in Iraq. Legal experts think the court may gain jurisdiction over the case despite amendments to the law in March 2003, designed to avoid the law being used for political complaints. (Expatica)

US Victory Has Steep Price in Maintaining Safe Iraq Peace (April 18, 2022)
Legal Professor Francis A. Boyle discusses the responsibilities of an occupying power under International Law. The US seems reluctant to declare the war over as this would change its legal status from an invading force to an occupying power, obliging them to care fully for the Iraqi people. (Baltimore Sun)

Justice for War Crimes in Iraq (April 16, 2022)
This Crimes of War article discusses various options for trying Iraqi officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity under Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Law of Belligerent Occupier (April 15, 2022)
This Crimes of War article offers an excellent analysis of a belligerent occupying power’s obligations to care for the civilian population under international law.

Civilians under Fire in Iraq (April 8, 2022)
Amnesty International condemns US and British military forces for killing Iraqi civilians through the use of cluster bombs. These weapons kill soldiers and civilians indiscriminately and are outlawed by international law.

US Government Accused of War Crimes against Journalists (April 10, 2022)
International journalist organizations accuse the US government of committing war crimes by intentionally firing on correspondents in Iraq. Reporters without Borders called on the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission to investigate two incidents which left three journalists dead and several others wounded. (Inter Press Service)

International Law and the Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq (March 27, 2022)
This Znet article analyzes the body of international law that protects Iraqi civilians during the US attack. The Geneva Conventions tolerate civilian casualties in limited circumstances if the use of force is legal. If the war breaches international law, as in this case, all civilian casualties are simply war crimes.

One Rule for Them (March 25, 2022)
Washington complains that displaying captured US soldiers on Iraqi TV breaches the Geneva Conventions. This sudden concern for international law does not apply to the US itself. The government feels free to wage an illegal war on Iraq and breach 15 articles of the Geneva Conventions by its treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo bay. (Guardian)

Law Groups Say US Invasion Illegal (March 21, 2022)
Two US legal groups denounce the US attack on Iraq as a violation of the UN charter and 50 years of international law. Such an action "would simply return us to an international order based on imperial ambition and coercive force," they stated in an open letter on the attack. (OneWorld)

Tearing Up the Rules: The Illegality of Invading Iraq (March 2003)
A US-led invasion of Iraq will be illegal under the UN Charter and international law generally. This legal report by the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR) clearly rejects efforts by the US and UK to circumvent the Security Council and claim legal justification for a war against Iraq.

As Attack on Iraq Begins, Question Remains: Is It Legal? (March 21, 2022)
International-law experts agree that President Bush cannot justify the US war against Iraq with his new doctrine of preemptive military action to forestall a supposed threat to the US. There is also widespread agreement that the war is a violation of the UN Charter. (Christian Science Monitor)

Sorry, Mr Blair, but 1441 Does Not Authorise Force (March 17, 2022)
In regards to an attack on Iraq, Keir Starmer argues that the UN Charter justifies only two possibilities for military action: individual or collective self-defense, or if the Security Council decides that force is necessary to "to maintain or restore international peace and security.” (Guardian)

Law Unto Themselves (March 14, 2022)
It is the near-unanimous view of international lawyers that a military attack against Iraq under existing UN resolutions would be a violation of international law, despite claims to the contrary by the governments of the US and the UK (Guardian)

Are Bush and Blair Breaking the Law? (February 25, 2022)
International experts are divided about the legality of war with Iraq. Some argue that preparing a war is a crime against peace as stated by the 1945 Nuremberg charter. (Times, London)

Bush and Blair Must See that Law Has a Life of its Own (February 23, 2022)
UN Security Council Resolution 1441 does not contain the magic words ‘all necessary means’ when contemplating action stemming from a material breach, meaning a second resolution is necessary to legally justify war. International law has become more important to the public than in the past so the US should be wary of acting alone. (Alertnet)

International Humanitarian Law Issues in a Potential War in Iraq (February 20, 2022)
This Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper examines some of the key issues that may arise under international humanitarian law in the event of a US-led attack against Iraq. These legal issues include concerns about urban combat, targeting decisions, and the duties of an occupying power.

Lawyers, Doctors Warn UN Over US Attack on Iraq (February 12, 2022)
Two groups representing more than 300 international lawyers and physicians have issued statements to the UN Security Council warning that a US attack on Iraq would be in blatant violation of international law and would cost thousands of lives. (Inter Press Service)

US Prepared to Violate International Law (February 1, 2022)
"We continue to reserve our sovereign right to take military action against Iraq alone or in a coalition," said US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Yet, international law does not provide for this kind of sovereign right, and the UN does not recognize the use of unilateral military force. (Coastal Convergence Society)

Before the War (February 2003)
Ignacio Ramonet argues that while all indications are that a US-led war against Iraq will begin soon, "there is still nothing under the international rule of law to justify this aggression." (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Lawyers Grapple With Attack on Iraq (January 31, 2022)
Gerry Simpson from the London School of Economics discusses the legal aspects of a possible US war against Iraq and the controversial Bush Doctrine of using force to prevent future attacks from potential enemies. (AlterNet)

America's Dangerous New Style of War (January 29, 2022)
Dinah Po Kempner, general counsel at Human Rights Watch, considers how the Geneva Conventions and the laws of war that provide some minimal protection to noncombatants would be affected by the planned US attack on Iraq. (Boston Globe)

US Lawyers Warn Bush on War Crimes (January 28, 2022)
President George W. Bush and senior government officials could be prosecuted for war crimes if “military tactics violated international humanitarian law.” In addition, the International Criminal Court in The Hague could prosecute officials from Great Britain and Canada for their actions in a war against Iraq. (Lawyers Against the War)

Iraqi Minister: US Violates International Law (January 4, 2022)
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri accuses the US of violating international law by “supporting mercenaries against the government of Saddam Hussein,” and cites how the US infringes upon the sovereignty of Iraq by funding and training Iraqi opposition groups. (Associated Press)


Legality Of Use Of Force Against Iraq (September 10, 2021)
An excellent legal brief that argues against the use of force by the UK against Iraq, giving many precedents in international law. (Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy)

Iraqis' Suffering Can Be Made Worse (December 27, 2021)
Oxfam Director Barbara Stocking depicts the alarming humanitarian situation caused by a decade of sanctions, and warns that an attack would only worsen it. Referring to the Geneva Conventions, she asks, “how can an attack on Iraq fail to violate international humanitarian law?” (International Herald Tribune)

CND Asks High Court to Outlaw War on Iraq (December 9, 2021)
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament seeks permission to apply for judicial review of UK Prime Minister Blair, Foreign Secretary Straw, and Defense Secretary Hoon to prevent them from going to war without Security Council authorization. (Agence France Press)

Lawyers Statement on UN Resolution 1441 on Iraq (December 5, 2021)
Professors of law and practicing lawyers urge the Bush administration to follow “the [US] Constitution, to comply with the UN Charter, and not unilaterally attack Iraq.” They argue that Resolution 1441 does not authorize member states to unilaterally attack Iraq. Instead, it requires the Security Council to decide on what to do about a possible Iraqi violation. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Material Breach: US Crimes in Iraq (December 1, 2021)
The US seems likely to use any “whitewash pretext” necessary to accuse Iraq of a “material breach” of resolution 1441 in a push for war. However, the US ought to examine its own flagrant breaches of international law in Iraq that caused unnecessary suffering for Iraqi civilians. (truthout)

Legal Opinion: In the Matter of the Potential Use of Armed Force by the UK Against Iraq (November 2002)
This legal opinion for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament argues that “Security Council Resolution 1441 does not authorize the use of force by member states of the UN” and that the “UK would be in breach of international law” if it attacks Iraq without a new resolution. (Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy)

See You In Court (November 25, 2021)
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) will take Prime Minister Tony Blair to court, unless he agrees that the UK will not attack Iraq without a new UN resolution. CND lawyers say that a US-UK attack would constitute a breach of international law. (Guardian)

Bombing Dual-Use Targets? (November 12, 2021)
International law relies on the principles of distinguishing between combatants and civilians, of proportionality, of military necessity, and of avoiding unnecessary suffering. This article asks how the Security Council can authorize acts that violate the very principles of law that the UN supposedly upholds. (Cape Cod Times)

Avoiding War: Using International Law to Compel a Problem-Solving Approach (November 5, 2021)
This paper claims that international public law requires that states search for substitutes to military responses to terrorism. It uses Afghanistan as an example of failure by the US and UN to find alternatives to military action, but the same argument can also apply to the threat of war on Iraq. (Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research )

The United Nations Charter and the Use of Force Against Iraq (October 2, 2021)
The US would violate the UN Charter by using force against Iraq without authorization from the Security Council or if not acting in collective or individual self-defense. The US can therefore not justify an attack on Iraq by claiming “Iraqi material breach" of cease-fire obligations. (Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy)

Iraq and the “Bush Doctrine of Pre-Emptive of Self-Defense” (August 20, 2021)
Crimes of War Project interviews several specialists in international law and discusses legal grounds for a US attack against Iraq.

The Logic of Empire (August 6, 2002)
George Monbiot criticizes President Bush on his plans to wage war against Iraq and his foreign policy as defiant of international law. Having ripped up all treaties which interfere with its strategic objectives, he claims, “the US is now our foremost enemy. We must begin to treat it as such.” (Guardian)

Bombing Dual-Use Targets: Legal, Ethical, and Doctrinal Perspectives (May 1, 2022)
International law has fallen behind the advancement of precision attacks and the bombing of dual-use targets. This, together with the fact that the US hasn’t even ratified Protocol I of the Geneva Convention, creates a gray area within international law of warfare. (Air & Space Power Chronicles)

War on Iraq Based on Shaky Legal Ground (March 29, 2022)
Any military strikes against Iraq would violate international law. Only the Security Council holds the right to authorize the use of force. (Reuters)