The aim of the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill to end ‘the cycle of reinvestigation of historic events’ is understandable. This is a problem which needs addressing.
But the Bill’s proposed solution of introducing a ‘presumption against prosecution’ of crimes by British service men and women after five years – unless a case is deemed ‘exceptional’ – is not the way to fix it. The effect of this presumption could put the UK in breach of its existing obligations to bring to justice any persons alleged to have committed serious international crimes.
The Geneva Conventions require the UK to bring before the courts all cases where there is sufficient evidence of the most serious war crimes – such as willful killing and torture – not just exceptional cases.… Seguir leyendo »