So much for Theresa May’s arguments.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that the attack on the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons stockpiles early on Saturday morning was legally questionable.

His deputy, Tom Watson, commissioned legal advice over the weekend after the government published only a summary of its own. Dapo Akande, the professor of public international law and co-director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, concluded that the government’s position was “significantly flawed”.

He argued that contrary to government claims, neither the United Nations charter nor international law permitted military action on the basis of humanitarian intervention. He also suggested that accepting the UK’s position on the use of force would undermine the supremacy of the UN charter.

Akande claimed that even if a doctrine of humanitarian intervention did exist under international law, the strikes against Syria would not meet the three tests set out by the government as they did not bring “immediate and urgent relief” from the evils it sought to prevent, and was taken before international chemical weapons inspectors were able to reach eastern Ghouta.

He concluded that if nations accepted the UK government’s position, it would set a precedent for individual states making their own assessments of when force was necessary to achieve humanitarian ends in future, with the risk of abuse.

Source: Labour releases advice casting doubt on legitimacy of Syria strikes | World news | The Guardian

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