The Use of Force Against Iraq: A Legal Assessment & Why the Invasion of Iraq was Lawful

Published: Summer 2002    |    By: Jutta Brunnée & David R. Wingfield   |    Volume 59, No. 4


This special Issue of Behind The Headlines focuses upon the legal justifications for the invasion of Iraq by both US and British forces. The First article by Jutta Brunnée reviews three legal justifications espoused by the United States of America and the United Kingdom as to why they invaded Iraq. Ultimately breaking down these arguments to demonstrate that they did not supported such intervention in the first place. The second article by David R. Wingfield Challenges the perception that the invasion of Iraq was unlawful. He argues that one cannot view the invasion of Iraq as lawful or unlawful but rather as reasonable or unreasonable. He attributes this method of approach to his assertion that international communities cannot debate and enforce laws in the same way domestic courts can.

About the Author

Jutta Brunnée is Professor of Law and Metcalf Chair in Environmental Law at the University of Toronto.

David Wingfield is a Toronto lawyer and holds an MA in international relations.