Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science
Con to the question "Should the US Have Attacked Iraq?"
"There is no justification under international law for the use of military force against Iraq. The UN charter outlaws the use of force with only two exceptions: individual or collective self-defence in response to an armed attack and action authorised by the security council as a collective response to a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression. There are currently no grounds for a claim to use such force in self-defence. The doctrine of pre-emptive self-defence against an attack that might arise at some hypothetical future time has no basis in international law. Neither security council resolution 1441 nor any prior resolution authorises the proposed use of force in the present circumstances...
A decision to undertake military action in Iraq without proper security council authorisation will seriously undermine the international rule of law. Of course, even with that authorisation, serious questions would remain. A lawful war is not necessarily a just, prudent or humanitarian war."
"War Would Be Illegal," Signed by 16 European Law Professors, The Guardian, Mar. 7, 2003