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Alexander Green

By Alexander Green

800px-Azaz_Syria_during_the_Syrian_Civil_War_Missing_front_of_HouseThe obvious should go without saying. However, sometimes it goes much better with saying. It should be obvious, at least to every right-thinking international lawyer, that Western military intervention in Syria would be illegal at this time. Someone had better tell Messrs Obama and Cameron before they do something we all might regret.

This article will first provide a brief summary of the facts before examining the legal position. I will argue, based upon a normative interpretation of international law, that any military action without the consent of the UN Security Council would be illegal even if a deliberate chemical attack was carried out by the Syrian government on its civilian population.

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By Alexander Green

Lubanga: given fourteen years

The answer to this question might seem obvious, but in the wake of the Lubanga Sentencing Decision, which saw a sentence of just fourteen years for the organiser of a child army, it is important to reflect on where international criminal justice is going and why. This is all the more important when one considers that Lubanga will end up serving a maximum of only eight years due to time already spent in custody. Compare this to the United Kingdom, where a convicted burglar can receive up to fourteen years inside. Is sending unnumbered children to war really an equivalent crime to robbing a house by night? Surely it cannot be, so why are we even bothering to sentence war criminals to jail if the punishment is so lax?

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A complement to: Financial Suicide: Lessons From Economic Demography

By Alexander Green

In a recent article for this blog, Joshua Mellors highlighted the usefulness of economic demography in letting us know that:

“…if large portions of your population suddenly emigrate, or suicide rates markedly increase, it might be time for a Plan B.”

Now, as a lawyer, I am of a more vindictive and backwards looking sort. When the proverbial substance hits the fan I want to know who to blame and why. Mellors points to a study in the British Medical Journal, which indicates that around one thousand people in England have committed suicide as a result of the recession, due to a combination of rising unemployment and the devaluation of savings. Intuitively, it is clear who is to blame: those that made the choices giving rise to the conditions that prompted these unfortunate individuals to end their lives. This is commonly assumed to be politicians (by imposing austerity measures) and bankers (by prioritising short term profit over sustainability).

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