The courts have ruled Blair won’t be prosecuted on Iraq. It isn’t just Blair-baiters who should worry about this decision; it is everyone who fears a lawless worldby Michael Mansfield QC and Antonia Benfield / July 31, 2017 / Leave a comment
The High Court has brought to an end the hope of prosecuting Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Peter Goldsmith for the crime of aggression in invading Iraq in 2003. The invasion and subsequent occupation resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, the displacement of over 4 million others, and has left the country and region in a state of chronic instability. Yet the High Court has, in ruling against the Claimant, General Al Rabbat, confirmed that there is to be no accountability. Those responsible are to remain unpunished.
This is a disheartening blow for those seeking justice. The State has spent in excess of £13 million pounds running the Iraq Inquiry, which established, over its 7 years of work, that there is plenty of blame to go around.
The circumstances of the invasion have been extensively scrutinized in John Chilcot’s report published in July 2016. The Report concluded that Saddam Hussein did not pose an urgent threat to the interests of the United Kingdom, that intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction was presented with unwarranted certainty, that peaceful alternatives to war had not been exhausted and that—crucially—war in Iraq was not necessary. Based on the Report’s findings, the conclusion that the UK and allied forces waged an aggressive war in Iraq is, in our opinion, indisputable.
The High Court concluded, however, that domestic prosecution is impossible. As established in an earlier House of Lords decision in Jones, the High Court confirmed the crime of aggression is not a crime in domestic law, and as such, no prosecution can be brought in domestic courts. The High Court…