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There is no doubt that international law was of major importance during the Gulf conflict of 1990-91. Military and other actions were repeatedly justified through reference to international law, and disputes about interpretation were frequent.

This book provides a definitive legal analysis of the conflict, with reference both to international and to English law. Some have been tempted to argue that international law is an ineffective means of controlling the activities of a state and its armed forces from the fact that there were no war crimes trials of the leaders of Iraq, or of any other state. International law does, however, provide a set of norms either (a) agreed to by individual states through the ratification of, or accession to, a treaty, or (b) which apply to all states by the operation of customary international law and other secondary sources. This book determines these norms in order to judge the manner in which individual states recognized the binding nature of them in the conduct of their operations. The contributors include lawyers from each of the three British armed services.

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