On the [il]legality of a military intervention in Syria

Since reports started coming out that the Syrian army was using chemical weapons, it’s becoming increasingly likely that there will be some kind of military intervention in Syria by the US, with support from the UK and France, maybe as soon as tomorrow (Thursday). For some background on the alleged chemical attacks and the on-going situation, the BBC has a good overview here. There is also a very useful article outlining military options.

I won’t reiterate what is being said very eloquently elsewhere, so instead, here’s a round-up of various analyses of the legality (or illegality) of a potential military/humanitarian intervention in Syria by the US, the UK and/or France, without UN Security Council approval.

The Legality of a Syrian Military Intervention: Russia, France, and the UK Weigh In” – post by Julian Ku on Opinio Juris

It sounds like the UK and France are both going to need to come up with some international law theory to justify their support for an attack, and the UK seems interested in the “humanitarian intervention” justification.  If the U.S. goes along with this, it would be interesting to see if the “invisible college of international lawyers” will endorse this legal theory.

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Mali analysis round-up

There’s been some very interesting pieces written about Mali in the past few weeks which I wanted to share as I’ve found them very useful in understanding the current situation. I originally wanted to keep this to analytical pieces related to France’s involvement in Mali but I thought expanding it to wider issues and themes might be useful. I’ll update this as I find more stuff. Please feel free to send links my way (through the comments here or on the contact page)!

General

Chronology of events (in French) by Radio France International (not really an analytical piece but a very useful resource

“France in Mali: the End of the Fairytale” – blog post by Gregory Mann on Africa is a Country

“On Intervention, Popularity and Colonialism in Mali” – blog post by Alex Thurston on Sahel Blog

“Mali, dynamic of war” – blog post by Paul Rogers on Open Democracy

“French Military Intervention in Mali: It’s Legal but … Why? Part I” – blog post by Theodore Christakis and Karine Bannelier on the blog of the European Journal of International Law

On the ICC referral

ICC, Office of the Prosecutor, “Situation in Mali – Article 53(1) Report”

“Mali and the ICC: what lessons can be learned from previous investigations?” in The Guardian

“Random Comments on the Mali Self-Referral to the ICC” – blog post on Spreading the Jam

“Is the International Criminal Court Following the Flag in Mali” – blog post on Political Violence @ a Glance

On human rights

“Intervention in Mali: Human Rights First?” – blog post by Andrew Jillions on Justice in Conflict

Letter to French President Francois Hollande on situation in Mali – from Human Rights Watch

“Mali: Civilians Bear the Brunt of the Conflict” – report from Amnesty International (from last year but provides a good overview nonetheless)

On US-French cooperation in Mali

“Thinking Through the Malian Thicket” – blog post by Deborah Pearlstein on Opinio Juris on the legality (international and domestic) of potential US involvement in Mali.

On criticism of the French intervention in Mali

“France Faces Criticism over Malian Intervention as Humanitarian Questions Arise” – blog post/news story by Sasha Papazoff on La Jeune Politique