The Ethics of Law: How US/UK Intervention in Iraq and Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Breach the Principle of Virtue and International Law

Nartey, Emmanuel Kojo (2023). The Ethics of Law: How US/UK Intervention in Iraq and Russia's Invasion of Ukraine Breach the Principle of Virtue and International Law. Athens Journal of Law (Early access).

URL: https://www.athensjournals.gr/ajl

Abstract

The war in Iraq and the recent war in Ukraine symbolise the importance of resolving the crisis of international law and laws of war. In addition, the problematic aspect of these wars stems from the misconception of aggression or the composition of aggression. This falsity consists solely of the concept of aggression under international law, which has been abused, fragmented and confused. Therefore, this false idea of the concept of aggression under international law contributes to the development of modern conflicts. In an attempt to rationalise some of the fundamental failures in international law and the United Nations Security Council (hereinafter UNSC), this article seeks to examine whether the inclusion of ethics in the mechanism by which international law is implemented will be relatively useful. It explores whether ethical code can be incorporated into the mechanism by which international law is implemented, and if so, how can ethics enhance the existing rules and states' conduct? What role can ethics play in the justification of the use of force by the states, and what conclusion can be drawn from UNSC and states' practice? The article is divided into four sections. The first tries to explain the fundamental principles of ethics, while the second views international law in the conception of subject matter application and practice. The third section looks at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the UK/US invasion of Iraq. And the final part presents a philosophical conclusion on the subject matter.
In conclusion, the purpose of this article is to highlight modern problems with international law and laws of war. It may also highlighten the importance of protecting human dignity and respect for international law in relation to the use of force. It has explored the inadequacy of international law and argues for including ethical principles in the use of force doctrine. It is thus recommended that the international community develop a new code of ethics for the use of force and future military intervention, new guidelines for the use of force in contemporary war and an independent tribunal to adjudicate the use of force.

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