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Sunday briefs

[JURIST] Watch press statements made Sunday by President Bush [BBC], UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [BBC] and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar [CBC] at the close of the US-UK-Spain emergency summit on Iraq held in the Portuguese Azores. President Bush said that Monday would be the "moment of truth", the last day for other nations to support the immediate and unconditional disarming of Saddam Hussein demanded by UN Security Council Resolution 1441. Read the complete transcript of the briefing by the summit leaders, now online from the White House. The leaders also issued two formal communiques: read Commitment to Transatlantic Solidarity and A Vision for Iraq and the Iraqi People, available via the State Department.

In a related development in New York Sunday, a United Nations official announced a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council [UN News report] would be held Monday "in connection with the joint declaration [issued Saturday] by France, Germany and Russian Federation" calling for the Council to work out a strict but realistic timetable for Iraqi disarmament. Read the joint declaration [in French], online from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In an interview on ABC-TV Sunday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said that Security Council Resolution 1441 "reaffirms the basis in international law to take military action if it's required" and that no additional resolution was necessary. Read the transcript of his interview, now on the State Department website.

The UK House of Lords [official website] has scheduled a debate on the legality of military action against Iraq for Monday afternoon, and has called the English Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith [official profile], to appear before it to answer questions. The debate will be webcast live . It follows UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's refusal [BBC report] to make the Attorney General's official advice to him on the issue publicly available. A legal opinion prepared earlier this month for the UK-based Committee for Nuclear Disarmament suggested that even if the UN Security Council adopted the second draft US-UK resolution first presented on February 24 (and since amended), absent a further resolution authorizing the use of force "the US and the UK would be acting in violation of international law [CND legal opinion] if they were to attack Iraq."

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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