Monday, October 7, 2019

Anglo-Irish War: Authority for Independence?

By Joseph Lansing 
Joseph Lansing is a 2019 graduate of Albany Law School. In 2016, he graduated from Siena College with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in History.
While at Albany Law, Joseph was a member of the Rockefeller Chapter of Phi Alpha Delta. He was also a co-founder and Vice President of the Albany Law Democrats from 2018 to 2019. Joseph interned at the New York State Office of General Services. He also interned at the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Joseph prepared this paper for Professor Bonventre's International Law of War and Crime seminar.

The Irish and the English have a long history of conflict which finally came to a head on the Easter Rising. A group of individuals claimed they represented the people and sought to create a new independent government. While the rebellion failed to overthrow the British government, the revolutionaries succeeded in changing the perspective of the Irish people. The Irish would soon fight the English for their independence, using guerilla warfare to defeat their opponent. But this would come to an end in 1921, where Michael Collins on behalf of the Irish people accepted a treaty to end the war.

The treaty presented the Irish with an impossible conflict. The treaty would give the Irish the independence they sought but it would come at the cost of Northern Ireland. The treaty was not well received by many of the Irish and would lead to Irish against Irish over the fate of the country. At the end of the Anglo-Irish War the result was not what many had wanted but it did lead to the independence of Ireland from the British.

This war became a major moment in the histories of both countries. But a question remains as to whether the Irish had authority to go to war in the first place. Does a non-state entity have the right to wage war?
To read the entire paper, open HERE.