Turning national security questions over to ICC judges

Sunday Telegraph:

At a special "review conference" in Kampala, Uganda, the nations which have signed up to the court, including Britain, will consider a proposal to let the court try the "crime of aggression" - the offence allegedly committed by Tony Blair.

If the proposal, backed by more than 70 countries, passes, national leaders alleged to have launched "illegal" wars could be seized, transported to the Hague, tried and imprisoned.

UK law requires British police to enforce indictments and arrest warrants issued by the court.

Britain, a member of the court, is not against the plan in principle but is fighting furiously for safeguards that would protect Mr Blair and future British prime ministers from arrest.

John Washburn, convenor of AMICC, an umbrella body of non-governmental organisations interested in the court, said: "This will be one of the major items on the agenda in Kampala and it is almost certain that it will go down to the wire.

"It is a wrestling match between countries."

The "crime of aggression" is included in the ICC's founding treaty, the 2002 Rome Statute, as one of four crimes covered by the court.

On the other three - genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity - the ICC already has the power to try individuals. It has indicted 14 people, three of whom are currently on trial in the Hague.

However, the Rome Statute does not currently allow the court to prosecute cases of aggression.


The wisdom of President Bush in rejecting the treaty become more apparent everyday. It is bad enough that US judges are trying to second guess the executive. It is ridiculous to let liberal European judges decide what is in our national security interest. This will just put more power into the hands of despots and non state actors like bin Laden.


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