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The Syrian crisis under the shadow of power politics: whither the role of international law?

Hamid, Abdul Ghafur@Khin Maung Sein and Santuraki, Suleiman Usman (2020) The Syrian crisis under the shadow of power politics: whither the role of international law? Obafemi Awolowo University Law Journal, 3 (2). pp. 417-444. ISSN 0795-8714

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The war in Syria has been going on for more than six years and is still running with no sign to an end in the foreseeable future. Several reports including some commissioned by the United Nations have pointed to raging atrocities being continuously carried out by almost all parties involved in the crisis. This article examines the role of international law in resolving the Syrian conflict amidst the politics of power and national interests. It scrutinises the legal justifications for the involvement of foreign powers in the conflict in the first place and its classification as mostly non-international armed conflict. It argues that whether it is about humanitarian intervention, the responsibility to protect, self-defence, or fighting terrorism, there seems to be no clear legal basis in international law for the involvement of the foreign powers in Syria. Looking at the legal framework and contemporary events, it questions the classification of the conflict as purely non-international. The paper concludes that international law must go beyond academic proscription of the use of force against other states if it were to remain relevant in regulating global affairs. Consequently, it sees the conflict in Syria as a test case for contemporary international law: if it fails, as it seems to be, then the repercussions may not be limited to Syria as the international community might just have signalled a gradual relapse to the era of self-help and lawlessness.

Item Type: Article (Journal)
Additional Information: 3163/86276
Uncontrolled Keywords: The Syrian crisis, power politics, international law, internal armed conflict
Subjects: K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws
Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws > Department of Civil Law
Depositing User: Prof. Dr. Abdul Ghafur Hamid
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2020 12:11
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2020 12:11
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/86276

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