Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Justice for Iraq

The International Criminal Court is investigating the UK for war crimes in Iraq:

Allegations that British troops were responsible for a series of war crimes after the invasion of Iraq are to be examined by the international criminal court (ICC) at The Hague, the specialist tribunal has announced.

The court is to conduct a preliminary examination of what have been estimated to be 60 alleged cases of unlawful killing and claims that more than 170 Iraqis were mistreated while in British military custody during the conflict.

British defence officials are confident that the ICC will not move to the next stage and announce a formal investigation, largely because the UK has the capacity to investigate the allegations itself.

They're probably right. However, it does mean that there will be a lot of scrutiny on those investigations, which in turn is going to limit their ability to whitewash their crimes. The Iraq Historic Allegations Team will actually have to investigate, rather than make excuses, and the Attorney-General will have to grant permission to prosecute, rather than block it to defend Britain's reputation. The ICC won't be delivering justice itself, but their oversight will force the UK to deliver it for them. And that is how the system is supposed to work.