Legality of the Iraq War
The legality of the invasion and occupation of Iraq has been widely debated since the United States, United Kingdom, and a coalition of other countries launched the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in September 2004 that: "From our point of view and the UN Charter point of view, it [the war] was illegal." The Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court reported in February 2006 that he had received 240 communications in connection with the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 which alleged that various war crimes had been committed. The political leaders of the US and UK have argued the war was legal, while many legal experts and other international leaders have argued that it was illegal. US and UK officials have argued that existing UN Security Council resolutions related to the first Persian Gulf War and the subsequent ceasefire (660, 678), and to later inspections of Iraqi weapons programs (1441), had already authorized the invasion. Critics of the invasion have challenged both of these assertions, arguing that an additional Security Council resolution, which the US and UK failed to obtain, would have been necessary to specifically authorize the invasion.
The UN Security Council, as outlined in Article 39 of the UN Charter, has the ability to rule on the legality of the war, but has yet not been asked by any UN member nation to do so. The United States and the United Kingdom have veto power in the Security Council, so action by the Security Council is highly improbable even if the issue were to be raised. Despite this, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) may ask that the International Court of Justice (ICJ)—"the principal judicial organ of the United Nations" (Article 92)—give either an 'advisory opinion' or 'judgement' on the legality of the war. Indeed, the UNGA asked the ICJ to give an 'advisory opinion' on "the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel", by its resolution A/RES/ES-10/14, as recently as 12 December 2003; despite opposition from permanent members of the Security Council. It achieved this by sitting in tenth 'emergency special session', under the framework of the 'Uniting for Peace' resolution. The ICJ had previously found against the US for its actions in Nicaragua, a finding the US refused to comply with.
- 1 International law
- 2 Principal legal rationales
- 2.1 UN resolutions
- 2.2 Criticisms
- 2.3 War of aggression
- 3 Domestic law
- 4 See also
- 5 Notes
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice, sometimes known as the "World Court" is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. The General Assembly or the Security Council may request that the International Court of Justice provide an advisory opinion on any legal question. Any organ or agency of the UN so authorized by the General Assembly may also request the IJC for an advisory opinion.
Principal legal rationales
The United Nations Charter is the foundation of modern international law. The UN Charter is a treaty ratified by the US and its principal coalition allies in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which are therefore legally bound by its terms. Article 2(4) of the UN Charter generally bans the use of force by states except when carefully circumscribed conditions are met, stating:
All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
This rule was "enshrined in the United Nations Charter in 1945 for a good reason: to prevent states from using force as they felt so inclined", said Louise Doswald-Beck, Secretary-General International Commission of Jurists.
Therefore, in the absence of an armed attack against the US or the coalition members, any legal use of force, or any legal threat of the use of force, had to be supported by a UN security Council resolution authorizing member states to use force against Iraq.
The US and UK governments, along with others, stated (as is detailed in the first four paragraphs of the joint resolution) that the invasion was entirely legal because it was already authorized by existing United Nations Security Council resolutions and a resumption of previously temporarily suspended hostilities, and not a war of aggression as the US and UK were acting as agents for the defense of Kuwait in response to Iraq's 1990 invasion. Some International legal experts, including the International Commission of Jurists, the US-based National Lawyers' Guild, a group of 31 Canadian law professors, and the US-based Lawyers' Committee on Nuclear Policy have found this legal rationale to be untenable, and are of the view that the invasion was not supported by UN resolution and was therefore illegal.
The ICC can find only individuals to have committed crimes, not governments. However, the unauthorized use of force or threat of use of force by a member state of the UN violates the UN Charter.
UNSC Resolution 1441 was passed unanimously on November 8, 2002 to give Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" that had been set out in several previous resolutions (resolution 660, resolution 661, resolution 678, resolution 686, resolution 687, resolution 688, resolution 707, resolution 715, resolution 986, and resolution 1284).
The resolution strengthened the mandate of the UN Monitoring and Verification Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), giving them authority to go anywhere, at any time and talk to anyone in order to verify Iraq’s disarmament."
On the day of the vote the US ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte, assured the Security Council that there were no "hidden triggers" with respect to the use of force, and that in the event of a "further breach" by Iraq, resolution 1441 would require that "the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12." However, he then added: "If the Security Council fails to act decisively in the event of further Iraqi violations, this resolution does not constrain any Member State from acting to defend itself against the threat posed by Iraq or to enforce relevant United Nations resolutions and protect world peace and security."
At the same meeting, UK Permanent Representative Sir Jeremy Greenstock KCMG used many of the same words. "If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in Operational Paragraph 12."
On March 17, 2003, the Attorney General for England and Wales Lord Goldsmith agreed that the use of force against Iraq was justified by resolution 1441, in combination with the earlier resolutions 678 and 687.
According to an independent commission of inquiry set up by the government of the Netherlands, UN resolution 1441 "cannot reasonably be interpreted as authorising individual member states to use military force to compel Iraq to comply with the Security Council's resolutions."
Beginning from the end of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, the Iraqi government agreed to Security Council resolution 687, which called for weapons inspectors to search locations in Iraq for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, as well as weapons that exceed an effective distance of 150 kilometres. After the passing of resolution 687, thirteen additional resolutions (699, 707, 715, 949, 1051, 1060, 1115, 1134, 1137, 1154, 1194, 1205, 1284) were passed by the Security Council reaffirming the continuation of inspections, or citing Iraq's failure to comply fully with them. On September 9, 1998, the Security Council passed resolution 1194, which unanimously condemns Iraq's suspension of cooperation with UNSCOM. One month later, on October 31, Iraq officially declares it will cease all forms of interaction with UNSCOM.
United Nations Security Council resolution 678 (1990) authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council resolution 660 (1990) and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 687 (1991), repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council resolution 688 (1991), and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949 (1994).
The commission of inquiry of the government of the Netherlands found that the UN resolution of the 1990s provided no authority for the invasion.
The legal right to determine how to enforce its own resolutions lies with the Security Council alone (UN Charter Articles 39-42), not with individual nations. On 8 November 2002, immediately after the adoption of Security Council resolution 1441, Russia, the People's Republic of China, and France issued a joint statement declaring that Council Resolution 1441 did not authorize any "automaticity" in the use of force against Iraq, and that a further Council resolution was needed were forced to be used. Critics have also pointed out that the statements of US officials leading up to the war indicated their belief that a new Security Council resolution was required to make an invasion legal, but the UN Security Council has not made such a determination, despite serious debate over this issue. To secure Syria's vote in favor of Council Resolution 1441, Secretary of State Powell reportedly advised Syrian officials that "there is nothing in the resolution to allow it to be used as a pretext to launch a war on Iraq."
The United States structured its reports to the United Nations Security Council around intelligence from the Central Intelligence Agency and Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) stating that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The US claimed that justification for the war rested upon Iraq's violation of several UN resolutions, most recently UN Security Council Resolution 1441.
Commission of Inquiry of Dutch Government
According to a detailed legal investigation conducted by an independent commission of inquiry set up by the government of the Netherlands headed by former Netherlands Supreme Court president Willibrord Davids, the 2003 invasion violated international law. Also, the commission concluded that the notion of "regime change" as practiced by the powers that invaded Iraq had "no basis in international law."  Also, the commission found that UN resolution 1441 "cannot reasonably be interpreted as authorising individual member states to use military force to compel Iraq to comply with the Security Council's resolutions.". In a letter to the parliament, the Dutch cabinet admitted that MPs could have been better informed about the doubts and uncertainties of the Dutch intelligence services and about the United States' request for Dutch support.
The Davids inquiry also investigated the rumours that the appointment of former Dutch foreign minister De Hoop Scheffer as NATO secretary general was the result of his support for the US-led invasion of Iraq, but was unable to find any proof. In February 2010 De Hoop Scheffer himself criticised the Davids Commission report. In an interview with newspaper de Volkskrant he argued that the cabinet did fully inform parliament and that there had never been any doubts. He rejected the conclusion that it took less than 45 minutes to decide to give political support to the United States. he also contested the conclusion that Prime Minister Balkenende failed to provide adequate leadership. In addition, he argued that no United Nations mandate was needed for the invasion of Iraq and remarked that there was no UN mandate when the Netherlands supported the 1991 US operations in Iraq.
Center for Constitutional Rights and Greenpeace
On 12 March 2003, eight days before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, in coalition with Greenpeace, called upon UN member states to convene a General Assembly 'emergency special session' (ESS), under the terms of the Assembly's own 'Uniting for Peace' resolution, in the hope that the UN "unites as a whole to defend its founding principles and stop the impending attack on Iraq". By 18 March 2003, the US was making clear to UN member states that, "Given the current highly charged atmosphere, the United States would regard a General Assembly session on Iraq as unhelpful and as directed against the United States". UN members were also warned that: "the staging of such a divisive session could do additional harm to the UN".
Doubts in the British government
Then UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw sent a secret letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair in April 2002 warning Blair that the case for military action against Iraq was of "dubious legality." The letter goes on to state that “regime change per se is no justification for military action” and that “the weight of legal advice here is that a fresh [UN] mandate may well be required.” Such a new UN mandate was never given. The letter also expresses doubts regarding the outcome of military action.
In March 2003, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, then deputy legal adviser to the British Foreign Office, resigned in protest of Britain's decision to invade without Security Council authorization. Wilmshurst also insinuated that the English Attorney General Lord Goldsmith also believed the war was illegal, but changed his opinion several weeks before the invasion.
In 2010, the deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, during prime minister's questions in Parliament, asserted that the Iraq war was illegal. Statements issued later suggested that this was a personal view and not a formal view of the coalition government.
Lord Bingham of Cornhill
In November 2008, Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and Senior Law Lord, stated that English Attorney General Lord Goldsmith's advice to the British Government contained "no hard evidence" that Iraq had defied UN resolutions "in a manner justifying resort to force" and that the invasion was "a serious violation of international law and of the rule of law."
War of aggression
essentially an evil thing...to initiate a war of aggression...is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
Benjamin B. Ferencz was one of the chief prosecutors for the United States at the military trials of German officials following World War II, and a former law professor. In an interview given on August 25, 2006, Ferencz stated that not only Saddam Hussein should be tried, but also George W. Bush because the Iraq War had been begun by the U.S. without permission by the UN Security Council. Benjamin B. Ferencz wrote the foreword for Michael Haas's book, George W. Bush, War Criminal?: The Bush Administration's Liability for 269 War Crimes. Ferencz elaborated as follows:
a prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity, that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.
... The United Nations charter has a provision which was agreed to by the United States, formulated by the United States, in fact, after World War II. It says that from now on, no nation can use armed force without the permission of the U.N. Security Council. They can use force in connection with self-defense, but a country can't use force in anticipation of self-defense. Regarding Iraq, the last Security Council resolution essentially said, "Look, send the weapons inspectors out to Iraq, have them come back and tell us what they've found -- then we'll figure out what we're going to do." The U.S. was impatient, and decided to invade Iraq -- which was all pre-arranged of course. So, the United States went to war, in violation of the charter.
Professor Ferencz quoted the British deputy legal adviser to the Foreign Ministry who resigned suddenly before the Iraq war started, stating in her resignation letter:
I regret that I cannot agree that it is lawful to use force against Iraq without a second Security Council resolution. [A]n unlawful use of force on such a scale amounts to the crime of aggression; nor can I agree with such action in circumstances that are so detrimental to the international order and the rule of law.
The invasion of Iraq was neither in self-defense against armed attack nor sanctioned by UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force by member states and thus constituted the crime of war of aggression, according to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in Geneva. A "war waged without a clear mandate from the United Nations Security Council would constitute a flagrant violation of the prohibition of the use of force.” We note with “deep dismay that a small number of states are poised to launch an outright illegal invasion of Iraq, which amounts to a war of aggression.”
Then Iraq Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammed Aldouri shared the view that the invasion was a violation of international law and constituted a war of aggression, as did a number of American legal experts, including Marjorie Cohn, Professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and president of the National Lawyers Guild and former Attorney-General of the United States Ramsey Clark.
With the support of large bipartisan majorities, the US Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. The resolution asserts the authorization by the Constitution of the United States and the United States Congress for the President to fight anti-United States terrorism. Citing the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Saddam Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement. The resolution "supported" and "encouraged" diplomatic efforts by President George W. Bush to "strictly enforce through the U.N. Security Council all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq" and "obtain prompt and decisive action by the Security Council to ensure that Iraq abandons its strategy of delay, evasion, and noncompliance and promptly and strictly complies with all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq." The resolution authorized President Bush to use the Armed Forces of the United States "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate" in order to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding Iraq."
Doe v. Bush
In early 2003, the Iraq Resolution was challenged in court to stop the invasion and this challenge failed. Judge Lynch summarized the claims for illegality as: "They argue that the President is about to act in violation of the October resolution. They also argue that Congress and the President are in collusion—that Congress has handed over to the President its exclusive power to declare war."
Judge Lynch summarized the position of the United States Government as: "The defendants are equally eloquent about the impropriety of judicial intrusion into the extraordinarily delicate foreign affairs and military calculus, one that could be fatally upset by judicial interference. Such intervention would be all the worse here, defendants say, because Congress and the President are in accord as to the threat to the nation and the legitimacy of a military response to that threat."
The final decision came from a three-judge panel from the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Judge Lynch wrote "this issue is not fit now for judicial review" and that the Judiciary cannot intervene unless there is a fully developed conflict between the President and Congress or if Congress gave the President "absolute discretion" to declare war.
Opinion of the English Attorney General
Before the invasion, the then Attorney General for England and Wales Lord Goldsmith, advised that the war would be in breach of international law for six reasons, ranging from the lack of a second United Nations resolution to UN inspector Hans Blix's continuing search for weapons. Ten days later on 7 March 2003, as UK troops were massing in Kuwait, Lord Goldsmith changed his mind, saying:
I remain of the opinion that the safest legal course would be to secure the adoption of a further resolution to authorise the use of force.... Nevertheless, having regard to the information on the negotiating history which I have been given and to the arguments of the US Administration which I heard in Washington, I accept that a reasonable case can be made that resolution 1441 is capable in principle of reviving the authorisation in 678 without a further resolution.
He concluded his revised analysis by saying that "regime change cannot be the objective of military action."
Downing Street memo
On 1 May 2005, a related UK document known as the Downing Street memo, detailing the minutes of a meeting on 26 July 2002, was apparently leaked to The Sunday Times. The memo recorded the head of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) as expressing the view following his recent visit to Washington that "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." It also quoted Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Foreign Secretary) Jack Straw as saying that it was clear that Bush had "made up his mind" to take military action but that "the case was thin", and the Attorney-General Goldsmith as warning that justifying the invasion on legal grounds would be difficult.
British officials did not dispute the document's authenticity but did dispute that it accurately stated the situation. The Downing Street memo is relevant to the question of the legality of the 2003 invasion of Iraq because it discusses some legal theories that were considered prior to the invasion.
Cabinet meeting minutes
The minutes of the cabinet meetings where the legality of the Iraq war was discussed was subjected to a Freedom of Information request in 2007. The request was refused. On 19 February 2008 the Information Commissioner ordered the minutes to be disclosed in the public interest  but the government appealed to the Information Tribunal. When the Tribunal upheld the order for disclosure in early 2009  Jack Straw (then Justice Minister) issued the first ever ministerial veto (Section 53 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000) and prevented the release of the minutes.
The German Federal Administrative Court on 21 June 2005 found in regard to the Iraq War that it had "grave concerns in terms of public international law." The Court did not make it clear that, in its opinion, the war and the contributions to it by the German Federal Government were outright illegal.
In this minor criminal case the court decided not to convict a Major in the German Army of the crime of refusing duty that would advance the Iraq war. Nikolaus Schultz wrote of this decision: "The Court did not express an opinion as to whether the war on Iraq constituted an act of aggression in the first part of its judgment when dealing with the exceptions of the obligation of a German member of the Federal Armed Forces to obey orders. At a later stage in the written reasons, however, it jumped to the conclusion that a state, which resorts to military force without justification and, therefore, violates the prohibition of the use of force provided for by Art. 2.4 of the Charter, at the same time commits an act of military aggression. The (non-binding) Definition of Aggression of the GA attached to UN General Assembly Resolution 3314 is broad enough to support this conclusion. However, it has to recalled that the State Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) could not agree on a definition of the crime of aggression."
Nikolaus Schultz wrote in summary of this case: "These findings were watered down to an extent by the Court when it used the cautious proviso that the actions of the states involved only gave rise to grave concerns before arguing the respective issues at stake. By doing that, the Court shifted the burden to the individual soldiers and their decision of conscience whether to obey an order rather than reaching the conclusion that participating in a war violating rules of international law, and even constituting an act of aggression, as the court held, would be illegal and, therefore, justify insubordination."
In January 2010, in the Netherlands the 10-month Davids Commission inquiry published its final report. The Commission had been tasked with investigating Dutch government decision-making on political support for the war in Iraq in 2003 . "The report demolishes the Dutch case for supporting the invasion," says the BBC's Europe correspondent Jonny Dymond.
The operation of the multi-national force in 2003 was supported by the Dutch government following intelligence from the UK and US. The inquiry by the Dutch commission was the first ever independent legal assessment of the invasion decision. The Dutch commissioners included the former president of the Supreme Court, a former judge of the European Court of Justice, and two academic lawyers.
According to the report, the Dutch cabinet failed to fully inform the House of Representatives that the allies' military action against Iraq "had no sound mandate under international law" and that the United Kingdom was instrumental in influencing the Dutch decision to back the war.
It also emerged that the British government had refused to disclose a key document requested by the Dutch panel, a letter to Balkenende from Tony Blair, asking for the support. This letter was said to have been handed over in a "breach of diplomatic protocol" and therefore for Balkenende's eyes only.
The letter was not sent as a note verbale as is normal procedure, but a personal message from Blair to Balkenende, and had to be returned and not stored in the Dutch archives.
The details of the Dutch inquiry's findings and the refusal of the British government to disclose the letter were likely to increase international scrutiny on the Chilcot inquiry.
In response, Balkenende stated that he had fully informed of the House of Representatives about government support for the invasion, and that Saddam Hussein's repeated refusal to respect UN resolutions and co-operate with UN weapons inspectors had justified the invasion.
- Command responsibility
- Crime against humanity
- Criticism of the Iraq War
- Ehren Watada
- Human Rights Record of the United States
- Human rights in post-invasion Iraq
- International Criminal Court and the 2003 invasion of Iraq
- Iraq War misappropriations
- Laws of war
- Legitimacy of the 2003 invasion of Iraq
- List of United Nations Security Council resolutions concerning Iraq
- List of Iraq War resisters
- Opposition to the Iraq War
- Protests against the Iraq War
- Public relations preparations for 2003 invasion of Iraq
- Rationale for the Iraq War
- United Nations Security Council and the Iraq War
- United States and the International Criminal Court
- Views on the 2003 invasion of Iraq
- War crimes committed by the United States
- Hussein Kamel al-Majid
- "Iraq war illegal, says Annan". BBC News. 16 September 2004. Retrieved 2006-05-25.
- Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger in Washington (2004-09-16). "Iraq war was illegal and breached UN charter, says Annan". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- O'Connell, Mary Ellen (November 21, 2002). "UN RESOLUTION 1441: COMPELLING SADDAM, RESTRAINING BUSH". Jurist. Retrieved 2006-05-25.
- Taylor, Rachel S. "International Law - War in Iraq - United Nations - Iraq". World Press Review Online. Retrieved 2006-05-25.
- UNGA Emergency Special Sessions. UN.org.
- Charter of the United Nations, Chapter XIV THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE, Article 92, http://www.icj-cij.org/documents/index.php?p1=4&p2=1&p3=0#Chapter14
- Charter of the United Nations, Chapter XIV, THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE, Article 96, http://www.icj-cij.org/documents/index.php?p1=4&p2=1&p3=0#Chapter14
- Howard Friel and Richard Falk, “The Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports Foreign Policy,” Chapter I, Without Law of Facts, The United States Invades Iraq,” pages 15-17, http://books.google.com/books?id=LM7cRyru0voC&pg=PA15&dq=UN+Charter+Iraq+invasion+2003+violates&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false
- Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art2
- International Commission of Jurists, 18 March 2003, Iraq - ICJ Deplores Moves Toward a War of Aggression on Iraq
- "Online NewsHour: Text of Joint Congressional Resolution on Iraq - October 11, 2002". Pbs.org. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- Saddam Hussein's Defiance of UNSCRs[dead link]
- UN Security Council resolution 1441
- National Lawyers' Guild, 2007 Amendments and Resolutions, "Resolution on Impeachment of Bush and Cheney," http://nlg.org/membership/resolutions/2007%20Resolutions/Impeachment%20resolution.pdf
- "Links to Opinions of Legality of War Against Iraq". Robincmiller.com. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "Law Groups Say U.S. Invasion Illegal". Commondreams.org. 2003-03-21. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "International Commission of Jurists". Icj.org. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- The Relationship between the International Criminal Court and the United Nations Security Council. Daniel D. Ntanda Nsereko. 2007. Zeitschrift für Internationale Strafrechtsdogmatik. ZIS 13/2007 500-506.
- United States Department of State: Fact Sheet, February 25, 2003. Verified 11th Nov 2007.
- United Nations Security Council Verbatim Report meeting 4644 page 3, Mr. Negroponte United States on 8 November 2002 at 10:00 (retrieved 2007-09-13)
- Meeting of the UNSC Sir Jeremy Greenstock KCMG, UK Permanent Representative, 8 November 2002. "... will return to the Council for discussion as required ..." Verified 11th Nov 2007.
- "A case for war". London: Guardian Unlimited. 2003-03-17. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- Al Jazeera, 12 Jan 2010, "Dutch Inquiry: Iraq Invasion was Illegal," http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2010/01/2010112144254948980.html
- The Guardian, 12 January 2010, "Iraq Invasion Violated International Law, Dutch Inquiry Finds: Investigation into the Netherlands' Support for 2003 War Finds Military Action was Not Justified under UN Resolutions," http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/12/iraq-invasion-violated-interational-law-dutch-inquiry-finds
- "Security Council Resolution 687". Un.org. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "Chronology of main events". Un.org. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- [dead link]
- "Charter of the United Nations". Un.org. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- Taylor, Rachel S. "International Law - War in Iraq - United Nations - Iraq". World Press Review Online. Retrieved 2006-05-25.
- "Joint statement from the Popular Republic of China, the Federation of Russia, and France". UN.int. 2002-11-08. Retrieved 2008-03-23.
- Wintour, Patrick and Brian Whitaker."UK Expects Iraq to Fail Arms Tests". The Guardian, November 11, 2002. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
- "U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses the U.N. Security Council". whitehouse.gov. 2003-02-05. Retrieved 2008-01-12.
- "Network Europe - Iraq war report critical of Dutch PM". Rnw.nl. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "Prime minister disagrees with Iraq report". Dutchnews.nl. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- De Nonconformist (2010-02-20). "Dutch cabinet responds to Iraq war report". Rnw.nl. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "Cabinet admits Iraq war mistakes". Dutchnews.nl. 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "Dutch cabinet admits errors of Iraq invasion"
- "Former minister lashes out at Iraq inquiry". Expatica.com. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- (Dutch)"De Hoop Scheffer kraakt rapport-Davids"
- (Dutch)"De Hoop Scheffer: vertraagd terugtrekken mogelijk"
- Greenpeace calls on the world to unite for peace. Greenpeace.org
- CCR Partners with Greenpeace and Calls on the World to Unite for Peace. CCRjustice.org
- US to UN: Butt out. Greenpeace.org
- The Sunday Times (UK), 17 Jan, 2010, "Revealed: Jack Straw’s Secret Warning to Tony Blair on Iraq," http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6991087.ece
- Wilmshurst Resignation Letter. BBC.com, March 24, 2005. Retrieved on May 29, 2007.
- "Iraq Resolution 1441" (PDF). Number-10.gov.uk. March 7, 2003. Retrieved 2006-05-26.
- "Clegg clarifies stance after saying Iraq war 'illegal'". BBC News. 2010-07-21.
- BBC News (18 November 2008). "Iraq war 'violated rule of law'". Retrieved 2008-11-18.
- Burkeman, Oliver (November 21, 2003). "Invasion right but 'illegal', says US hawk". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 2006-05-26.
- Oliver Burkeman and Julian Borger (November 20, 2003). "War critics astonished as US hawk admits invasion was illegal". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2006-05-26.
- "Former IAEA head suggests Iraq war crime probe of Bush administration." AP, 22 April 2011.
- Broomhall, Bruce. International justice and the International Criminal Court (2 ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-19-925600-6.
- Glantz, A.: Bush and Saddam Should Both Stand Trial, Says Nuremberg Prosecutor, OneWorld U.S., August 25, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-12.
- Haas, Michael (2008). George W. Bush, War Criminal?: The Bush Administration's Liability for 269 War Crimes. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-36499-0.
- AlterNet, 2006 July 10, "Could Bush Be Prosecuted for War Crimes? A Nuremberg Chief Prosecutor Says there is a Case for Trying Bush for the 'Supreme Crime Against Humanity, an Illegal War of Aggression Against a Sovereign Nation,'" http://www.alternet.org/world/38604/
- International Commission of Jurists, 18 Mar. 2003, "Iraq - ICJ Deplores Moves Toward a War of Aggression on Iraq" http://www.icj.org/news.php3?id_article=2770&lang=en
- World Socialist Website, 26 Mar. 2003, "International legal Experts Regard Iraq War as Illegal," http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/mar2003/ilaw-m26.shtml
- International Commission of Jurists, 18 Mar. 2003, "Iraq - ICJ Deplores Moves Toward a War of Aggression on Iraq" http://www.icj.org/news.php3?id_article=2770&lang=en
- CNN, 20 Mar. 2003, "U.S. Launches Cruise Missiles at Saddam; Saddam Denounces Attack as 'Criminal,'" http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/19/sprj.irq.main/
- Jurist, Legal News and Research, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 9 Nov, 2006, Forum: Op-ed, "Donald Rumsfeld: The War Crimes Case," http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forumy/2006/11/donald-rumsfeld-war-crimes-case.php
- I.P.O. Information Service, 29 Jan 2004, "Iraq War 2003: Question of War of Aggression, Letter from Mr. Ramsey Clark to the Secretary-General of the United Nations -- 29 January 2004," http://i-p-o.org/ipo-nr-iraq-clark-29jan04.htm
- Doe v. Bush Opinion by Judge Lynch 3/13/2003 Pages 3,4,23,25,26. Retrieved 8/7/2007.
- Hinsliff, Gaby (2005-04-24). "Blair blow as secret war doubts revealed". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
- "Declassified opinion of the UK Attorney General on Iraq Resolution 1441 to the Prime Minister" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2005-04-28. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "MODEL DECISION NOTICE AND ADVICE] Version 3" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "H- -V1" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "Freedom of Information Act 2000: 24 Feb 2009: House of Commons debates". TheyWorkForYou.com. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- Richard Norton-Taylor (2009-02-25). "Why we went to war in Iraq remains a secret as Straw blocks the release of cabinet minutes | Politics". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- Nikolaus Schultz Case Note – Was the war on Iraq Illegal? – The Judgment of the German Federal Administrative Court of 21 June 2005 in the German Law Journal No. 1 (1 January 2006), citation from section "D. The Facts of the Matter and the Outcome of the Case"
- Nikolaus Schultz Case Note – Was the war on Iraq Illegal? – The Judgment of the German Federal Administrative Court of 21 June 2005 in the German Law Journal No. 1 (1 January 2006), citation from section "D. Comments"
- Case Note – Was the war on Iraq Illegal? – The Judgment of the German Federal Administrative Court of 21 June 2005 in the German Law Journal No. 1 (1 January 2006), citation from section "C. The Court’s Reasoning"
- "Dutch inquiry says Iraq war had no mandate". news.bbc.co.uk. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
- "Report answers questions on Iraq - Did the British trick the Dutch after the invasion? Questions answered about the Iraq-report". Nrc.nl. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- "Balkenende rejects Iraq enquiry criticism". Rnw.nl. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- Afua Hirsch, legal affairs correspondent (2010-01-12). ""Iraq war was illegal, Dutch panel rules - Inquiry says conflict had no sound mandate in international law as it emerges UK denied key letter to seven-judge tribunal"''". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
- Afua Hirsch, legal affairs correspondent (2010-01-12). "Iraq invasion violated international law, Dutch inquiry finds - Investigation into the Netherlands' support for 2003 war finds military action was not justified under UN resolutions". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2010-04-19.