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The Dutch Contribution to the Armed Coalition Against ISIS

  • Gelijn MolierEmail author
  • Martijn Hekkenberg
Chapter
Part of the Netherlands Yearbook of International Law book series (NYIL, volume 47)

Abstract

The central topic of this chapter is Dutch state practice with regard to the international armed fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. This state practice manifested itself as a Dutch contribution to aerial bombardments in Iraq from October 2014 onwards, and in Syria from January 2016 onwards. In order to uncover its details, the authors primarily examined the various parliamentarian debates held on the international legal aspects of contribution to this armed struggle. What is striking about these debates is that international law played a particularly important role in answering the question of whether the Netherlands should contribute militarily to the fight against ISIS. Remarkably, the Dutch government changed its legal position on the legality of bombarding ISIS in Syria within a period of nine months. The fact that the Dutch government and an increasing number of Western states have started to give a more extensive interpretation of the right of collective self-defence with regard to the fight against ISIS in Syria, has everything to do with the current global disorder, in which failed states and militant non-state actors are commonplace. Public international law adapts to this new ‘world disorder’ by incorporating that state practice which allows for more lenient interpretations of the rules regarding the use of force.

Keywords

International armed coalition against ISIS Use of force Right of (collective) self-defence Humanitarian intervention Responsibility to protect Syria Iraq Non-state actors Failed states State practice Customary international law The Netherlands Parliamentary debates 

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Copyright information

© T.M.C. Asser Press and the authors 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of JurisprudenceLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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