UK Military Action against ISIS: Legal and Strategic Aspects

On 26 September 2014, Parliament approved British military intervention in Iraq against Islamic State by 524 to 43 votes. The previous day, the Government published a summary of its legal position for military action, suggesting that the consent of Iraq ‘provides a clear and unequivocal legal basis for the deployment of UK forces and military assets to take military action to strike [Islamic State] sites and military strongholds in Iraq.’

On 6 October 2014, we convened a ‘rapid reaction seminar’ to offer some initial thoughts on the legal and strategic aspects of this development. I opened the seminar by reviewing the legal justification for military intervention in Iraq and Syria, while my colleague Dr Daniel Steed from the Strategy and Security Institute gave his assessment of the bigger strategic picture. The seminar was attended by over 100 students, members of staff and external visitors. Thanks to all of them for the fascinating discussion!

Below are my slides for this event.