RELEASE: 4 February 2010
WON'T THE ICC MOVE AGAINST
TONY BLAIR ON WAR CRIMES?
goes after Sudan yet again, but refuses to open investigation into British violations
of international law
The International Criminal Court's addition today
of allegations of genocide against President al-Bashir of Sudan following a decision
by the International Criminal Court's appeals chamber, will come as little surprise
to observers of this largely European-financed and politically dominated organisation.
It is no coincidence that this announcement was made at a time when Tony
Blair's illegal war against Iraq is once again in the spotlight because of the
Chilcott inquiry into Britain's invasion of that sovereign country. It is extraordinary
that the ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, has so far refused to open any investigations
into well-documented allegations of war crimes committed by British forces during
the course of the occupation. ICCwatch director, Marc Glendening, in the light
of the ICC's decision, has written to Mr Ocampo to ask him to now justify his
apparently selective commitment to the international rule of law.
claims that there is one so-called 'international law' for European and western
countries, and their leaders, and another quite different legal standard for Third
World nations such as Sudan and its President. So far the ICC prosecutor has only
opened investigations on citizens coming from African countries. He refuses to
even publicly account for why he will not investigate British politicans and military
It has often been said that the ICC is an instrument of European
foreign policy designed to make highly selective, politically motivated interventions
on behalf of western interests. Over 60% of the ICC's funding comes European countries,
it works closely organizationally with the EU, and an overwhelming majority of
its senior staff are Europeans.
In the case of Sudan, the ICC is attempting
to facilitate regime change from outside by removing an elected head of state,
even though there is no legal or moral justification for this.
as a self-governing nation, free from British colonial rule since 1956, has not
signed the Rome Statute, the treaty that brought the ICC into existence. Its citizens
do not, therefore, according to article 34 of the 1969 UN Vienna convention on
treaties, come under its jurisdiction. The Vienna convention, in keeping with
1 and 2 of the UN Charter guaranteeing the right to equal sovereignty
of member countries, states that international treaties can only be binding on
those countries that have signed them.
The United Kingdom has signed the
Rome Statute and its citizens - such as Tony Blair - are subject to the ICC.
it is somewhat convenient for Britain and other western powers that under
Rome Statute the ICC cannot investigate the supreme and traditional
crime of waging wars of aggression against sovereign nations - the
the Nuremberg trials following World War II - the ICC can investigate British
citizens for war crimes and crimes against humanity in relation to Iraq during
and since the 2003 invasion. Few expect that will ever do so.
UK foreign minister, Robin Cook, once famously said: "This is not a court
set up to bring to book prime ministers of the United Kingdom or presidents of
the United States".
more information concerning ICCwatch's critique of the International Criminal
Court, please refer to www.iccwatch.org
a pdf version of this press release, click here
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