University of Leicester to host seminar on legal implications of Britain’s wars

Posted by es328 at Mar 22, 2017 12:32 PM |
Legal expert to discuss the possibility of holding MPs accountable for any decision to use military force in free public seminar on 23 March

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 22 March 2017

A prominent legal expert will lead a free public research seminar at the University of Leicester on Thursday 23 March.

Professor Peter Rowe will explore the legal implications of decisions to use British military force abroad during the research seminar in the University of Leicester’s Law School.

In British constitutional practice, the decision to use armed force outside the UK was made by the Prime Minister on the basis of the Royal Prerogative.

On 18 March 2003, in a break with this tradition, the Labour Prime Minister (Mr Blair), proposed a motion to the House of Commons seeking its support for the proposed military action against Iraq.

This procedure was followed for military action affecting Libya (2011); Syria (2013); Iraq (2014); Syria (2015) and has developed into a Parliamentary convention.

Professor Rowe, from Lancaster University, will explore four main issues in the seminar. First, can international law, prohibiting the use of force by States, survive translation into practice? Secondly, who makes the decision to use force? Thirdly, if MPs are given a vote on the use of force, how important is the legal justification for it? Fourthly, are MPs accountable? Finally, some conclusions will be drawn from the British experience since 2000.

Professor Rowe is the author of a recent book Legal Accountability and Britain’s Wars 2000-2015 and his main research interests lie in the fields of military law, the international laws of war, and the relationship between them.

He has also been chairman of the UK Group of the International Society for Military Law and the Laws of War.

Established in 2000, CELI is a forum for a wide-range of activities in the fields of European and international law and their influences on national law, and vice versa. The centre organises regular seminars, conferences and discussion groups, contributes to international research networks, actively seeks and attracts research funding, supports and integrates the research of academics and postgraduate researchers in the School of Law and hosts international academic visitors.

The seminar, ‘The Accountability of Members of Parliament for the Decision to Use Armed Force outside the UK’, is free and open to all and will be held in the Leicester Law School at the University of Leicester, Jan Grodecki Room (FJ164) on Thursday 23 March 2017 between 3:00pm and 5:00pm.

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