Protecting war crimes will not make a safer world

“The government has manufactured a narrative that has shifted the blame onto those seeking redress for victims of violations. The truth is violations occur, and as aformer soldier wrote “If you stop the violations, you stop the litigation”. However calling for increased impunity while hiding behind boisterous rhetoric and rapturous neo-conservative applause, bolsters the notion that this government and indeed its army have something to hide.”



The recent government announcement that British soldiers would be protected from lawsuits launched under European Court of Human Rights is a heavy blow to the rule of law, and will make it ever more difficult to seek accountability for abuse.

Though soldiers would still be accountable under international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention and UK Criminal Law, the proposal by Theresa May to remove Britain from ECHR human rights laws in conflict moves us closer to the realm of soldier impunity than before.

This is just the latest development in a long list of due process impingements – instances in the ‘War on Terror’ where perpetrators have been sheltered from legal punishment for war crimes. These range from the lack of accountability following the Senate Report on Torture, to the horrific leaked photos from Abu Ghraib prison that resulted in light reprimands, to the gagging of a…

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