Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Davis Brown


Despite Iraq's complete disdain for international law, the community of States, acting in accordance with international law, had allowed the Ba'ath regime to remain in power. Iraq therefore enjoyed the benefits of the principles of sovereign equality, non-interference with internal affairs, and, for the most part, non-use of force, without shouldering any of the responsibilities that come with the privilege of recognition as a State. This article begins with a presentation of a new approach to jus ad bellum which takes just war theory to the next level, where force is used as a remedy to a grave injury caused by the breach of an international obligation. The article applies an injury-remedy approach to two prior case studies involving Iraq's noncompliance with obligations not to develop weapons of mass destruction. The author concludes with a discussion of the burning question of 2002-03: the lawfulness of the recently concluded Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which the United States and a small coalition used force without Security Council authorization to effect a regime change in Iraq.