Examining international law through the lens of the Middle East, this insightful study demonstrates the qualitatively different manner in which international law is applied in this region of the world. Law is intended to produce a just society, but as it is ultimately a social construct that has travelled through a political process, it cannot be divorced from its relationship to power. The study demonstrates that this understanding shapes the notion, strongly held in the Middle East, that law is little more than a tool of the powerful, used for coercion and oppression. The author considers a number of formative events to demonstrate how the Middle East has become an underclass of the international system wherein law is applied and interpreted selectively, used coercively and, in noticeable situations, simply disregarded. International Law in the Middle East brings various narratives of history to the fore to create a wider arena in which international law can be considered and critiqued.
Jean Allain is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. As well as being an academic, the author has had experience in war trials at The Hague.
Contents: Introduction; Scope of study; Beyond positivism: denial of Kurdish self-determination; Imperial attitude toward the Suez Canal; Disregard for international law in the evolution towards the formation of the state of Israel; Lack of enforcement of international law and the abandonment of Palestinian refugees; Selective enforcement of international law: the Security Council and its varied responses to a decade of aggression (1980-90); Punitive in extremis: United Nations' Iraqi sanctions; Internalizing the requirements of international law: perpetual states of emergency in Egypt and Syria; A stream apart: peaceful settlements in the Middle East; Epilogue; Appendices; Bibliographic Note; Index.