Monday, November 03, 2003

Put Blair before the ICC

There's been some questions on the blogs over the past few days over whether Tony Blair could one day be prosecuted under international law for "initiating a war of aggression". The answer is yes (and there would seem to be an open-and-shut-case), however the ICC is currently not exercising their jurisdiction over crimes against peace because they are still waiting for the international community to supply an adequete definition of the crime. But it seems that there are plenty of other things to get him for:

Tony Blair is facing a formal complaint to the international war-crimes tribunal by a panel of senior international legal experts for unlawfully waging war in Iraq.

The charges focus around specific violations of the Geneva conventions and international human rights treaties, leading to excessive numbers of avoidable civilian deaths. Not as good as a simple charge of aggression IMHO, but you've got to go with the tools available. Unfortunately, the true architects of the invasion of Iraq - Bush, Cheney, and the NeoCon cabal - are beyond the ICC's jurisdiction. But the United Kingdom is a signatory, and Blair is well within their reach. He certainly has a case to answer; it's just a question of whether the ICC will live up to its mandate to prosecute crimes against humanity, or whether it will be subverted into another rubberstamp body for the major powers.