Dit is ook een ‘vernietigend’ oordeel in het kader van het voortdurend streven – in en buiten ons parlement – naar onderzoek naar de beweegredenen van het toenmalig kabinet-Balkenende om de invasie van Irak (politiek) te steunen.
One of Britain’s most authoritative judicial figures last night delivered a blistering attack on the invasion of Iraq, describing it as a serious violation of international law, and accusing Britain and the US of acting like a "world vigilante".
Lord Bingham, in his first major speech since retiring as the senior law lord, rejected the then attorney general’s defence of the 2003 invasion as fundamentally flawed.
Contradicting head-on Lord Goldsmith’s advice that the invasion was lawful, Bingham stated: "It was not plain that Iraq had failed to comply in a manner justifying resort to force and there were no strong factual grounds or hard evidence to show that it had." Adding his weight to the body of international legal opinion opposed to the invasion, Bingham said that to argue, as the British government had done, that Britain and the US could unilaterally decide that Iraq had broken UN resolutions "passes belief"…
The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats continue to press for an independent inquiry into the circumstances around the invasion. The government says an inquiry would be harmful while British troops are in Iraq. Ministers say most of the remaining 4,000 will leave by mid-2009.
Addressing the British Institute of International and Comparative Law last night, Bingham said: "If I am right that the invasion of Iraq by the US, the UK, and some other states was unauthorised by the security council there was, of course, a serious violation of international law and the rule of law
Lord Bingham believes there was ‘a serious violation of international law and the rule of law’ by Britain. But the former Attorney General stands by his advice to Tony Blair in 2003 that military action against Iraq was lawful. And Jack Straw, the Lord Chancellor, also challenges Lord Bingham’s view.
Lord Goldsmiths advice to ministers on Britains invasion of Iraq was flawed in two fundamental respects, Britains most respected former judge said tonight.
Lord Bingham KG, who retired in September as senior law lord, said that if he was right in concluding that the 2003 invasion had been unauthorised there was, of course, a serious violation of international law and of the rule of law.
It is thought to be the first time that Lord Bingham has expressed his views about the legal advice given to Tony Blair by the former Attorney General. The issue never came before Lord Bingham while he was sitting as a judge. But Lord Goldsmith, who had been shown an advance text of Lord Binghams remarks, made it clear today that he stood by his advice. And the former Attorney General was supported this afternoon by the Lord Chancellor, Jack Straw…
The rule of law in the international legal order is damaged in those situations where there is a ‘willingness of some states in some circumstances to rewrite the rules to meet the perceived exigencies of the political situation’ said the Rt Hon Lord Bingham of Cornhill KG, recently retired Senior Law Lord, last night at the Annual Grotius Lecture on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.
He used as an example the ‘serious violation of international law’ by the United States, the United Kingdom and others in invading Iraq in 2003, which, he said, despite the genuine beliefs of many of those involved that it was lawful, nevertheless the effect was to ‘undermine the foundation on which the post-1945 consensus had been constructed’. Lord Bingham commented that ‘however attractive it might be for a single state to be free of all the legal constraints that bind all other states, they are unlikely to tolerate such a situation for very long and in the meantime the solo state would lose the benefits and protections that international agreement can confer. The rule of the jungle is no more tolerable in a big jungle’.
Lord Bingham also highlighted the ‘unilateral decisions of the US Government that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to the detention conditions in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or to trial of Al-Qa’ida or Taliban prisoners by military commissions’ as being contrary to the rule of law and stated that ‘the moment that a State treats the rules of international law as binding on others but not on itself, the compact on which the law rests is broken’. He called for greater use of the International Court of Justice in matters connected to the UN Charter and noted the debate on the legality of the Iraq war has ‘enhanced the importance of international law in the public mind’…
Lord Bingham has had a long and distinguished career, having been Lord Chief Justice, Master of the Rolls and Senior Law Lord. Professor Sir David Edward KCMG QC, Professor Emeritus of the University of Edinburgh and former judge of the European Court of Justice, chaired the event.
The Rt Hon Jack Straw MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, spoke after the Dinner at this event. He disagreed with Lord Bingham’s conclusions about the Iraq war. However, he affirmed strongly the independence of the judiciary and the need to uphold the rule of law across the world. In this he commented on the importance of the work of the Institute in this regard.
A senior British law lord, former Lord Chief Justice Lord Bingham, stated yesterday in a speech at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London that the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was a serious violation of international law.
Lord Binghams comments were made in reference to the Parliamentary statement made by the then Attorney-General, Lord Goldsmith, that existing UN resolutions justified the decision to resort to force against Iraq, due to the fact that this country had violated the terms of Resplution 1441 (November 2002). This resolution stated that Iraq was in material breach of the ceasefire terms under Resoluton 687, relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction, long-range missiles and the refusal to compensate Kuwait for the looting after the invasion of 1991.
However, at the time, the inspection teams led by Hans Blix had found absolutely nothing incriminating and were continuing their work in the field. Iraq had no WMD. Secondly, Resolution 1441 stated clearly that the UN Security Council would remain seized of the matter in the event of material breach (which in the event did not exist) and in any case, the basic precept of the UN Charter declares that decisions to go to war must necessarily pass by the UNSC.
Moreover, why did the USA in particular apply so much pressure to Member States of the Council to back a decision to go to war if it was not necessary? Why did Tony Blair, the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, declare that they were working on a second and separate Resolution?…
However, the American and British governments, joined by a sickening clique of snivelling yellow-bellied cowardly sycophants whose heart was not in it but who were too gutless and spineless to say no, pressed ahead. The precepts of international law exist to be adhered to, not to be broken. Therefore the perpetrators of this illegal act of butchery, this stain on the collective conscience of Mankind must be brought before a court of law and justice must be done, if we do not want future generations to deride us for what we are collectively showing ourselves to be…
‘War Against Iraq is Illegal’
Those who wage this war will be taken before the International Criminal Court at The Hague to be tried for war crimes if there are civilian casualties and possibly, crimes against humanity, if the conditions are met. The author of this article will be the proud author of the indictment. More than this, it is hereby proved that the nation in breach of Resolution 1441 is the United States of America, not Iraq.
A war against the sovereign state of Iraq without the express authorization of the UNO is illegal under international law, running against the UN Charter and against the Resolution 1441.
Under international law, Article 2, Paragraph 4 of the UN Charter is clear:..
I personally shall make every effort to this end here on Pravda.Ru to see that international law is adhered to and that the world is ruled on principles of multi-lateralism, equality of rights among nations, diplomacy, discussion and dialogue.
Opmerking Dit is een belangrijke visie in het kader van het voort durend streven – in en buiten het parlement – naar onderzoek naar de beweegredenen van ons toenmalig kabinet-Balkenende om de invasie van Irak (politiek) te steunen.