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Page last updated at 09:13 GMT, Saturday, 3 July 2010 10:13 UK

'No legal justification' for 2003 Iraq war

An expert in international law has said that there was "no justification" for the 2003 Iraq war.

Marc Weller, professor of International Law and International Constitutional Studies at Cambridge University, added that "force can only be used under UN authority in self defence or to rescue a population from an overwhelming humanitarian emergency".

And, in a discussion of the role of international law regarding conflicts, the former head of the British Army, General Sir Mike Jackson, added that "there is a very compelling argument" that Nato action in Kosovo was against the United Nations' Charter.

"The rule of law is something very precious indeed, which has taken many nations centuries to achieve, both internal and external. And, of course, soldiers want to know that they are acting within the law.

"The difficulty with international law - it is not really as precise as domestic law."

Their comments come as the Chilcott Inquiry returns following the general election and is set to turn to the question of the legality of the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

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