CND loses challenge to legality of Iraq war

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In December the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) lost a case against the UK government over their decision to go to war against Iraq. The judicial review in the high court brought proceedings against Tony Blair, the Prime minister, Jack Straw, the Home Secretary and Geoff Hoon, Defence Minister. Following former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who said that "An attack by the United States on Iraq to overthrow its government would be a flagrant violation of the UN charter, the Nuremberg charter and international law", the Campaign argued that the UK "government will be acting illegally if it uses armed force against Iraq without a fresh UN Security Council Resolution." CND argued that present resolutions, including Resolution 1441, did not authorise the use of force.
Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers said: "There is no doubt...that international law does not permit the government to go to war unless there is a fresh Security Council Resolution. Even then there are strict limits on the use of that force in accordance with principles of necessity and proportionality." Carol Naughton, the chair of CND, added: "This war is illegal, immoral and illogical...It is vitally important that this government should be made to comply with international law rather than undermine the Security Council...If the UK is forced to await a fresh Security Council Resolution it gives all concerned the continuing opportunity to obey the law which requires that all peaceful means be used to resolve this dispute over Iraq's weapons." The High court ruled that it had no power to interpret the UN's wishes.
CND press release 6.12.02.

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