The Military on Trial: The British Army in Iraq


Rachel Kerr
Pages: 46 pages
Shipping Weight: 120 gram
Published: 07-2008
Publisher: WLP
Language: US
ISBN (softcover) : 9789058503633

Product Description

This volume examines a set of cases in civilian and military courts in the UK concerning the conduct of British military forces in Iraq in 2003 and 2004.  It is part of the European Commission funded Framework VI research project CHALLENGE (The Changing Landscape of European Liberty and Security), which brings together 23 universities and institutes in the European Union.

This volume forms part of a discrete strand of the project led by Elspeth Guild at the Radboud University of Nijmegen which examines the relationship in law between actions taken by the military abroad and criminal law in the Member States. Amongst its outputs are this series of papers examining cases concerning the conduct of European militaries in support of the US invasion of Iraq. These cases pose important and intriguing questions regarding the relationship between law, war, politics and legitimacy in the context of a changed strategic and operational environment.

The research for this volume also forms part of a wider programme undertaken by the War Crimes Research Group at King’s College London, examining War and War Crimes. This project is concerned with testing and challenging our understanding of the content of the laws of armed conflict and how they are applied in the context of the contemporary use of force. At issue is where precisely the boundary between that which is acceptable and that which is not acceptable lies. Chiefly, the project is concerned with investigating salient values and attitudes among military professionals regarding the content and application of the law. The media spotlight on these issues demonstrates how far they have entered the public domain, but in the absence of a coherent analytical framework, there is a danger of misleading conclusions being drawn from individual cases about the nature and conduct of contemporary military operations. At the same time, international prosecution of alleged crimes makes it vital for the law to be informed by professional understanding of military operations as much as the law informs those operations.