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"Legal Imperialism" and International Law: Legal Foundations for War Crimes, Debt Collection and Colonization

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While force and violence, especially through overt and covert military intervention, have always been an essential part of empire-building, it does not operate in a legal vacuum. Judicial institutions, rulings and legal precedents precede, accompany and follow the process of empire building. The legality of imperial activity is based largely on the imperial state's judicial system and its own legal experts. Their legal theories and opinions are always presented as over-ruling international law as well as the laws of the countries targeted for imperial intervention.

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