Late-Breaking Panel: Missile Strikes Against Syria
Introductory Remarks for the Late-Breaking Panel: Missile Strikes Against Syria, Proceedings of the 2017 American Society of International Law Annual Meeting (2018 Forthcoming)
3 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2018 Last revised: 21 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 16, 2018
In these introductory remarks for a panel on the legality of the Trump administration’s missile strikes against Syria, Professor Powell draws on her earlier work on the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. The U.S. missile strikes came in direct response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons on a rebel-held — a chemical attack that reportedly killed dozens of people, including children. The panel explored the legality of the missiles strikes, given the lack of prior United Nations and congressional authorization, as required under international law and constitutional law respectively. Importantly, speakers also addressed how to respond to the use of chemical weapons against civilians, when the UN Security Council is unable to act, in light of an almost certain Russian veto to protect its Syrian regime allies.
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