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A Matter of Enforcemen​t

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A Matter of Enforcemen​t
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International LawMr. Chris Coverdale is not a lawyer, but he has knowledge of International Law and War Law that I expect many lawyers would envy. He is an intelligent individual with a solid social conscience which, given the present failure of the world to prosecute a cabal psychopathic criminals of the most unrepentant kind responsible for crimes committed in the past decade that may be some of the worst crimes in history, may also be the envy of a good many lawyers. For almost a decade Chris Coverdale has worked tirelessly and persistently to see British Law and International Law properly applied for the great benefit of humanity and the good of the planet we depend on. What Chris Coverdale has confronted is a steadfast resistance within the law enforcement processes and the judiciary itself to the application of its functions to privileged and powerful individuals who are, nonetheless psychopathic criminals.

At the high court in London on May 6th 2009 an appeal was heard to overturn a decision to refuse a judicial review of the Director of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) decision to drop criminal proceedings against Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Jack Straw, Geoff Hoon, Lord Goldsmith and other members of the British Government for crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and other war crimes, against the people of Afghanistan and Iraq. The decision was upheld. In summing up Lord Justice Keane said “The Court’s remit is limited; issues of war, the legality or not thereof are political therefore non-justiciable” echoing the earlier remarks of Mr Justice Roderick Evans that "Decisions of war are such that the Court will not intervene (prerogative matter)". International laws carried into UK law by treaty obligations explicitly prohibit aggressive war and explicitly ascribe responsibility for such crimes to heads of state. Indeed, decisions to go to war can only be made by heads of state, yet judges of the British High Court contend that the legality of war is political and the courts should not intervene, suggesting a lack of intellectual clarity that one would not expect of men of their standing.

Article III of the Nuremberg principles, carried into International Law in 1950 states:

“The fact that a person who committed an act which constitutes a crime under international law acted as Head of State or responsible Government official does not relieve him from responsibility” 

…and Article VI(a) describes Crimes against Peace

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law: Crimes against peace:

i)        Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

ii)       Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).

The News of the World episode, with Police chiefs resigning over their failure to prosecute while MPs and other media join forces to allow Rupert Murdoch to evade prosecution while PM David Cameron sternly tells his old friend to put his house in order is a symptom of the same disease – a resistance to enforcement.

The following is Chris Coverdale’s own document describing in detail the current state of his efforts to compel law enforcement and the judiciary to enforce the law.

Pressing for Enforcement of the Law

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL
CLAIM NO CO/2593/2011
CIVIL DIVISION

ON APPEAL FROM THE QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION AND

THE RULING OF MR JUSTICE OUSELEY OF 28 JUNE 2011

19TH JULY 2011
THE QUEEN on the application of CHRIS COVERDALE CLAIMANT 

‘V’  OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND OTHERS DEFENDANTS 

GROUNDS OF APPEAL 

INTRODUCTION

  1. On March 21st the Claimant made an urgent application for permission to apply for a Judicial Review of the defendant’s decisions to wage war with Libya and to continue to wage war with Afghanistan.   The application for an urgent hearing in order to call a temporary halt to the armed attacks and indiscriminate killings was refused and the case was relegated to await its turn in the adminstrative list. 
  2. On June 14th, after it was reported in the media that NATO forces had fired over 2000 cruise missiles at targets in Libya and more than 1000 people had died, the Claimant made a second urgent application for an interim injunction to call a halt to the armed attacks and the indiscriminate killings of civilians in Afghanistan and Libya whilst the legality of the defendants actions was considered by the court.   On June 30th I received a notice stating that Mr Justice Ouseley had refused both the application for permission to apply for judicial review and the application for urgent interim relief.
  3. I am making this third urgent application to appeal the order of Mr Justice Ouseley hoping that the Court of Appeal will uphold and enforce the law of England and Wales.  By failing to respond to any of the claims of illegality and failing to acknowledge the clear evidence that the defendants are breaching the binding terms of international treaties and violating the domestic and international laws of war, Mr Justice Ouseley is failing in his primary duties of upholding and enforcing the law and preventing crime. 
  4. I am seeking permission to appeal Mr Justice Ouseley’s order of June 28th and to renew my application for urgent interim relief for the attacks and indiscriminate killings to be suspended whilst the legality of the wars, the killings and the lawfulness of the defendants’ actions are considered by the court. 

GROUNDS FOR APPEAL

  1. The ruling by Mr Justice Ouseley that the “Case is considered to be totally without merit in law” is perverse, unlawful and is itself totally without merit in law.
  2. By rejecting my claim outright and refusing to grant an interim injunction to stop the indiscriminate killings (15 - 20 violent deaths every day) of innocent Afghan and Libyan men, women and children whilst the legality of the killings is considered by the court, Mr Justice Ouseley is acting unlawfully.  By confirming that the defendants may continue to use weapons of mass destruction in acts of mass murder, crimes against humanity and genocide, Mr Ouseley aids and abets their atrocities and becomes an accessory to the crimes under section 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001.  Under the doctrine of joint enterprise Mr Ouseley and anyone else who supports or takes part in the defendants’ crimes renders themselves criminally liable as a principal offender for all the offences committed by NATO and ISAF forces since October 7th 2001.
  3. Mr Ouseley knows perfectly well that by wilfully planning and ordering armed attacks on targets in Afghanistan and Libya thereby causing the deaths of thousands of totally innocent Afghan and Libyan men, women and children, as well as the deaths of several hundred members of HM armed forces, the defendants committed, and continue to commit, numerous serious criminal offences against international law and the law of England and Wales.   These crimes include but are not limited to the following:

Particulars of the defendants’ crimes against the law of England and Wales

MURDER

  1. The defendants committed the common law crime of murder.   By ordering HM forces to use high-explosive weapons of mass destruction, such as cruise missiles, bombs, rockets, drones and depleted uranium munitions, against targets in Afghanistan and Libya the defendants caused the deaths (directly and indirectly) of tens of thousands of Afghan and Libyan men women and children.   Each of these deaths is an act of unlawful killing and is a criminal offence of murder under common law.   At any time over the past ten years each of the defendants could have decided that the current death toll was enough and that they should end the armed attacks and the killings before further innocent people were killed.  Each of the defendants could have decided to adopt the lawful non-violent approach to conflict resolution required by the UN Charter, but not one of them has done so.  Each defendant made the considered choice to continue the killing and the wars.  This is evidence of ‘intent to kill’.  Despite knowing that thousands of totally innocent men women and children were being decapitated, disembowelled, dismembered, irradiated, poisoned, burnt or bled to death every month, and despite the knowledge that they were directly responsible for this overload of human suffering, the defendants wilfully chose to continue.  These are the worst atrocities in British history and by deliberately repeating these heinous crimes over and over again the defendants are individually and collectively responsible for the murders of at least 1.2m Afghan, Iraqi and Libyan citizens.  
  2. As the defendants commanded others to commit crimes of ‘murder or manslaughter abroad’ on their behalf they are responsible in law for the consequences.  Under section 9 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861, they are liable for arrest, prosecution and punishment in the UK.  The Act states:   

Where any murder or manslaughter shall be committed on land out of the United Kingdom, whether within the Queens Dominions or without, and whether the person killed were a subject of Her Majesty or not, every offence committed by any subject of Her Majesty in respect of any such case, whether the same shall amount to the offence of murder or of manslaughter, may be dealt with, inquired of, tried, convicted and punished in England or Ireland.

CONSPIRACY TO MURDER

10.  The defendants also committed numerous offences of ‘conspiracy to murder’ under section 4 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 which states:

whosoever shall solicit , encourage, persuade, or endeavour to persuade, or shall propose to any person, to murder any other person, whether he be a subject of Her Majesty or not, and whether he be within the Queen’s dominions or not, shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and being convicted thereof shall be liable to imprisonment for life.

On numerous occasions over the past ten years and particularly in their current positions as holders of public office the defendants have taken part in discussions, made plans and taken decisions to wage aggressive war against the people and States of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.   Although many of the records of these discussions and plans are classified and not available to the claimant, there is abundant evidence in Hansard, Government press releases, the media and sources in the public domain that the defendants individually and collectively planned, condoned, supported and took part in the decisions to use armed force to attack targets in Afghanistan and Libya.   In doing so they committed offences of conspiracy to murder under section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977. 

The offence of conspiracy

Subject to the following provisions of this Part of this Act, if a person agrees with any other person or persons that a course of conduct shall be pursued which, if the agreement is carried out in accordance with their intentions, either (a) will necessarily amount to or involve the commission of any offence or offences by one or more of the parties to the agreement, or (b) would do so but for the existence of facts which render the commission of the offence or any of the offences impossible, he is guilty of conspiracy to commit the offence or offences in question.

The defendants took these decisions knowing perfectly well that Afghan and Libyan citizens could be injured, maimed or killed.   Even though they may not have personally taken part in the decisions to wage war and use armed force to attack the people and States of Afghanistan and Libya, as holders of the highest public offices they participated willingly in the subsequent conduct of the wars and the murders of Afghan and Libyan citizens. By participating in the planning and conduct of these wars they committed numerous criminal offences of ‘conspiracy to murder’ under the law of England and Wales. 

WAR CRIMES

11.  On numerous occasions over the past ten years the defendants have committed war crimes of ‘wilful killing’, ‘torture’, ‘attacking civilians’, ‘attacking civilian objects’, ‘excessive incidental, death, injury or damage’, ‘killing or wounding a person hors de combat, ‘attacking undefended places’, ‘mutilation’,  ‘attacking protected objects’, ‘treacherously killing or wounding’, ‘denying quarter’, ‘destroying or seizing the enemy’s’ property’, ‘pillaging’, ‘employing poisoned weapons’, ‘employing prohibited materials and devices’, ‘cruel treatment’, and ‘execution without due process’.   Participation in each of these war crimes is a criminal offence under sections 51 or 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001:

51.  It is an offence against the law of England and Wales for a person to commit genocide, a crime against humanity or a war crime.  This section applies to acts committed (a) in England or Wales, or (b) outside the United Kingdom by a United Kingdom national, a United Kingdom resident or a person subject to UK service jurisdiction.

52.  It is an offence against the law of England and Wales for a person to engage in conduct ancillary to an act to which this section applies. This section applies to an act that if committed in England or Wales would constitute (a) an offence under section 51 (genocide, crime against humanity or war crime), or (b) an offence under this section, but which, being committed (or intended to be committed) outside England and Wales, does not constitute such an offence.  The reference in subsection (1) to conduct ancillary to such an act is to conduct that would constitute an ancillary offence in relation to that act if the act were committed in England or Wales.  This section applies where the conduct in question consists of or includes an act committed—(a) in England or Wales, or (b) outside the United Kingdom by a United Kingdom national, a United Kingdom resident or a person subject to UK service jurisdiction.

Extensive evidence that these war crimes took place and that the defendants took part in the crimes exists in the classified records kept by the Ministry of Defence, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Privy Council, the Cabinet Office and other Government offices.   The fact that the claimant is unable to produce copies of these records or the bodies or body parts of the victims for the court to examine or consider does not mean, as Mr Ouseley asserts, that there is no evidence that these crimes have taken place.   If British police and law enforcement authorities had carried out, rather than refusing to carry out, their lawful duties of investigating crimes, gathering the evidence and arresting, prosecuting, trying, convicting and punishing Britain’s war criminals then evidence of these crimes would have been placed before a court eight years ago, these killings, war crimes and atrocities would have been prevented and there would be no reason to bring this case before the court.  However, as the Police and Crown Prosecution Service have refused on more than 300 occasions in the past eight years to investigate the crimes or arrest and prosecute the offenders, the defendants continue to commit their atrocities with impunity.  There is no doubt that war crimes have occurred and are continuing to occur and that the defendants have the primary responsibility for their occurrence. 

CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY 

12.  Extensive evidence that the defendants have committed ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘conduct ancillary to crimes against humanity’ of ‘murder’, ‘torture’, and ‘extermination’ under sections 51 and 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001 (ICCA) exists in the public domain and in government records.  This evidence will be produced for the court if we can find police officers or crown prosecutors willing or able to do that for which they are paid.  A ‘crime against humanity’ is defined in Schedule 8 of ICCA, the same definition that is contained in Article 7 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court:

For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: (a) Murder; (b) Extermination; (c) Enslavement; (d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population; (e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law; (f)Torture; (g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity; (h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court; (i) Enforced disappearance of persons; (j) The crime of apartheid; (k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

For the purpose of paragraph 1: (a )“Attack directed against any civilian population” means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack; (b) “Extermination” includes the intentional infliction of conditions of life, inter alia the deprivation of access to food and medicine, calculated to bring about the destruction of part of a population; (c) “Enslavement” means the exercise of any or all of the powers attaching to the right of ownership over a person and includes the exercise of such power in the course of trafficking in persons, in particular women and children; (d) “Deportation or forcible transfer of population” means forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under international law; (e) “Torture” means the intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, upon a person in the custody or under the control of the accused; except that torture shall not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions; (f) “Forced pregnancy” means the unlawful confinement of a woman forcibly made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any population or carrying out other grave violations of international law; (g) “Persecution” means the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity; (h) “The crime of apartheid” means inhumane acts of a character similar to those referred to in paragraph 1, committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime; (I) “Enforced disappearance of persons” means the arrest, detention or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.

A crime against humanity is defined in law as “any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack”.  By agreeing to courses of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts of murder against the civilian population in Tripoli Kabul and other towns and cities in furtherance of British Government policies to commit such attacks, the defendants committed ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘conduct ancillary to crimes against humanity’ under sections 51 and 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001. 

GENOCIDE

13.  Contrary to Mr Ouseley’s assertion that “there is simply no evidence to support the contention in relation to genocide” there is extensive evidence in NATO, EU and UK government records, in the public domain and in the earlier submissions made in this claim that the defendants committed genocide and conduct ancillary to genocide against the Afghan, Iraqi and Libyan people under sections 51 and 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001.  The same evidence shows that the defendants committed crimes of genocide under the common law of England and Wales.   The criminal offence of genocide is defined in Schedule 8 of ICCA which uses the same definition that is contained in Article 6 of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court:

For the purpose of this Statute, “genocide” means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

To assist the court in ascertaining whether the indiscriminate killings of Afghan and Libyan nationals constitute crimes of genocide rather than murder, crimes against humanity, war crimes or manslaughter, it is necessary to refer to the definitions of the elements of the crime laid down in the legislation.  The introduction to the International Criminal Court Act 2001 (Elements of Crimes) Regulations 2001 states:

The structure of the elements of the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes follows the structure of the corresponding provisions of articles 6, 7 and 8 of the Rome Statute. Some paragraphs of those articles of the Rome Statute list multiple crimes. In those instances, the elements of crimes appear in separate paragraphs which correspond to each of those crimes to facilitate the identification of the respective elements. 

Genocide by killing 

1.  The perpetrator killed[1] one or more persons.

2.  Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, ethnical, racial or religious group.

3.  The perpetrator intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.

4.  The conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such destruction.

Genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm

1.  The perpetrator caused serious bodily harm or mental harm to one or more persons.[2]

2.  Such person or persons belonged to a particular national, ethnical, racial or religious group.

3.  The perpetrator intended to destroy, in whole or in part, that national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such.

4.  The conduct took place in the context of a manifest pattern of similar conduct directed against that group or was conduct that could itself effect such destruction.

GENOCIDE IN AFGHANISTAN

By repeatedly choosing to use high-explosive weapons such as cruise missiles, rockets, drones and cluster bombs in at least 100,000 separate attacks on targets in Afghanistan knowing that thousands of Afghan nationals had been injured and killed, and knowing that further innocent men women and children were likely to be injured and killed, the defendants went ahead with further armed attacks.   The deliberate intentional act of commanding HM armed forces to use weapons of mass destruction against targets in Afghanistan, taken by the defendants in the knowledge that the likely consequences of their decision would be the death of members of the Afghan national group, constitutes ‘intention to destroy’ part of the Afghan national group and as such proves ‘intent to commit genocide’.   As each attack and its consequential loss of life took place in the context of the manifest pattern of the war with Afghanistan, and as the use of cruise missiles, drones and depleted uranium is conduct that could itself effect such destruction, all four elements of the crime of genocide are present in the war against Afghanistan leaving no doubt that these armed attacks constitute a crime of genocide.

GENOCIDE IN LIBYA

The same rationale applies to the defendants’ decision to launch armed attacks against targets in Libya.  By choosing to use weapons of mass destruction such as cruise missiles, rockets and drones against targets in populated areas of Libya, injuring and killing Libyan citizens solely because they were Libyan citizens living in Libya, the defendants and others committed genocide.  When Coalition forces deployed and then used depleted uranium munitions against targets in Libya (and Afghanistan) knowing that radio active dust particles with a half life of four billion years would be released into the atmosphere, and in the knowledge that the effects of such irradiation would cause cancers, still births and malformations in foetuses and children, the defendants intention to kill Libyan nationals both now and for many years in the future became clear.   The defendants’ deliberate intentional acts of waging aggressive war and using weapons of mass destruction against targets in Libya in the certain knowledge that hundreds or even thousands of Libyan nationals would be injured or killed constitute a crime of genocide.    By committing this crime, the worst crime known to mankind, the defendants and every person who supported, assisted or facilitated the crimes (including taxpayers) rendered themselves criminally liable for arrest, prosecution and punishment for genocide and conduct ancillary to genocide under sections 51 and 52 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001.

AGGRESSION

14.  I assert that the defendants committed the common law crime of aggression against the Afghan and Libyan people.  By attacking, invading and occupying the independent nation State of Afghanistan and repeatedly using armed force to maintain the illegal occupation and support the ‘puppet’ Government of President Karsai, the defendants committed the same crime of aggression in breach of the Kellogg-Briand Pact that was committed by Adolf Hitler and Germany’s leaders during WWII.   By using cruise missiles, rockets, bombs and depleted uranium to attack targets in Libya in March 2011 the defendants initiated the sixth war of aggression with which Britain has been involved since 1998.   This is the sixth time in 13 years that Britain’s leaders have breached the international laws of war and committed the world’s most serious crime.  They must be stopped.  It is this court that can and must stop them.

“In the opinion of the Tribunal, those who wage aggressive war are doing that which is equally illegal, and of much greater moment than a breach of one of the rules of the Hague Convention.   In interpreting the words of the Pact, it must be remembered that international law is not the product of an international legislature, and that such international agreements as the Pact have to deal with general principles of law, and not with administrative matters of procedure.   The law of war is to be found not only in treaties, but in the customs and practices of states which gradually obtained universal recognition, and from the general principles of justice applied by jurists and practiced by military courts.

Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced.

War is essentially an evil thing.  Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.  To initiate a war of aggression therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

Judgement of the Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946

15.  In ascertaining whether the attacks on Afghanistan and Libya constitute the common law crime of aggression the court will be assisted by the definition of aggression agreed by the UN General Assembly in December 1974.  Articles 2 and 3 of the resolution identify some key elements of the crime: 

Definition of Aggression

The General Assembly,

Basing itself on the fact that one of the fundamental purposes of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security and to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace…

Adopts the following definition of Aggression:

Article 1 

Aggression is the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, as set out in this definition.

Article 2

The first use of armed force by a State in contravention of the Charter shall constitute prima facie evidence of an act of aggression although the Security Council may, in conformity with the Charter, conclude that a determination that an act of aggression has been committed would not be justified in the light of other relevant circumstances, including the fact that the acts concerned or their consequences are not of sufficient gravity.  

Article 3

Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, subject to and in accordance with the provisions of Article 2, qualify as an act of aggression:

(a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof;

(b)  Bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a State against the territory of another State; 

(c) The blockade of the ports or coast of a State by the armed forces of another State;

(d)  An attack by the armed forces of a State on the land, sea or air forces, or marine and air fleets of another State;

(e) The use of armed forces of one State which are within the territory of another State with the agreement of the receiving State, in contravention of the conditions provided for in the agreement or any extension of their presence in such territory beyond the termination of the agreement;

(f) The action of a State in allowing its territory, which it has placed at the disposal of another State, to be used by that other State for perpetrating an act of aggression against a third State; 

(g) The sending by or on behalf of a State of armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out acts of armed force against another State of such gravity as to amount to the acts listed above, or its substantial involvement therein.


 

16.  It is a matter of public record that US and UK armed forces were the first to use armed force when they initiated the conflict against the government of Afghanistan on October 7th 2001 by launching attacks using submarine launched missiles.   In a statement to the nation the Prime Minister (Tony Blair) said:  

“ We have set the objectives to eradicate Osama bin Laden’s network of terror and to take action against the Taliban regime that is sponsoring it.  As to the precise British involvement I can confirm that last Wednesday the US Government made a specific request that a number of UK military assets be used in the operation which has now begun.  And I gave authority for these assets to be deployed.  They include the base at Diego Garcia, reconnaissance and flight support aircraft and missile firing submarines.  Missile firing submarines are in use tonight.  The air assets will be available for use in the coming days…”

17.  This is clear evidence of an act of aggression against the people and State of Afghanistan.  Not only does it breach the prohibition on the first use of armed force, but it provides clear evidence of violations of Article 3 (a), 3 (b), 3 (d), 3 (e) and 3 (f) above.   For almost ten years the defendants, their predecessors, their staff, advisors and Britain’s military commanders have repeatedly breached the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the UN Charter and the Rome Statute and in doing so they committed the common law crime of aggression.

TREASON 

18.  By deploying HM armed forces overseas to attack targets in Afghanistan at the request of the President of the United States of America, the Prime Minister exceeded his authority, breached his oath and committed treason.  By risking and subsequently taking the lives of British soldiers in unlawful acts of aggression against Afghanistan (and Iraq) on behalf of a foreign government the defendants and their predecessors committed treason. Members of HM forces were employed to defend the realm.   British servicemen and women are asked to give up their lives if necessary to defend Britain from the aggressive acts of other nations.   By forcing Britain’s servicemen and women to fight or give their lives for illegal acts of aggression by the USA, the defendants committed treason.  

THE DUTY TO DISOBEY UNLAWFUL ORDERS

19.  Under the laws of war every human being is duty bound to disobey the orders of their Government when those orders are unlawful.  

“The very essence of the [London] Charter is that individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual State.   He who violates the laws of war cannot obtain immunity while acting in pursuance of the authority of the State, if the State in authorising action moves outside its competence under international law…”

“That a soldier was ordered to kill or torture in violation of the international law of war has never been recognised as a defence to such acts of brutality, though, as the Charter here provides, the order may be urged in mitigation of the punishment.   The true test, which is found in varying degrees in the criminal law of most nations, is not the existence of the order, but whether moral choice was in fact possible…”

Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946

20.  Knowing that the armed attacks on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and the indiscriminate killing of Afghan, Iraqi and Libyan citizens are violations of the laws of war, British servicemen and women (and all taxpayers) are duty bound to disobey the defendants’ orders and cease all use (or support) of armed force with immediate effect. 

“If a person, who is bound to obey a duly constituted superior, receives from the superior an order to do some act or make some omission which is manifestly illegal, he is under a legal duty to refuse to carry out the order and if he does carry it out he will be criminally responsible for what he does in doing so… 

Manual of Military Law, Pt I, Chapter VI, Article 24

21.  The publication of the Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict by the MoD in 2004 confirmed this interpretation of the law and made it quite clear that the duty to disobey a manifestly unlawful order applies to all superior orders from wherever they originate.

16. 47 (3) Orders from a superior in this context include those of a government, a superior - military or civilian - or a national law or regulation.  A serviceman is under a duty not to obey a manifestly unlawful order. 

Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Chapter 16, Article 47

22.  This law is clear.   Every day that British citizens continue to obey the defendants’ orders (such as fighting in Afghanistan, firing cruise missiles into Libya or paying taxes to support the wars), they commit crimes under UK and International law.   Under the laws of war every citizen is duty bound to refuse to obey the orders of the British Government whilst it continues to breach international treaties and violate the laws of war.  Should a person fail to disobey Government orders they render themselves criminally liable for the crimes committed by the defendants and under the doctrine of joint enterprise may face arrest, prosecution and punishment as a principal offender for the criminal offences of murder, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, aggression and treason. 

23.  Although every member of HM armed forces and every British citizen owes loyalty to Queen and country when the nation is at peace, the same does not apply in times of war.   Since 1928 all war is illegal[3].   Every Government and every citizen is duty bound under international law[4] to take effective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and the suppression of acts of aggression.   In other words we are all duty bound by international law to do all we can to ensure that every human being is allowed to live in peace.   Any action which transgresses this duty is a criminal offence.   Everyone knows that using bombs and high explosives to attack and kill men women and children is an act of murder and is a crime throughout the world.  So why do we laud and applaud our leaders when they order our armed forces to use cruise missiles, rockets, bombs, drones and depleted uranium munitions against targets in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya killing and injuring tens of thousands of totally innocent men, women and children?   It is the duty of every British citizen to refuse all further orders from the defendants, the Queen (commander in chief), Parliament, the Government, law enforcement authorities,  or military commanders whilst they wage unlawful wars of aggression and murder innocent men women and children. 

24.  The only time that military commanders can force members of the armed forces to fight is when a nation (Britain and its dominions) is under attack from another nation.  A nation’s armed forces  are employed for defence of the realm. To order servicemen and women to take part in a war of aggression with all its’ horrific consequences is the worst crime that a political, civil, judicial or military leader can commit.  

25.  By failing to acknowledge that these crimes are taking place or that the defendants are, or might be, jointly and severally responsible and accountable for these crimes under the law of England and Wales, Mr Ouseley is wilfully breaching the Judges oath, failing in his duty to prevent crimes from taking place, condoning the actions of the defendants and enabling them to continue the indiscriminate killings and the genocide of both the Afghan and Libyan people.  By rejecting the claim and stating that it is totally without merit, he confirms to the defendants, the Government, the armed forces and the public that he approves of the defendants’ actions and wishes them to carry on attacking and killing innocent men women and children.  By ignoring the law and attempting to suppress this attempt to end the wars and the genocide of the Afghan and Libyan people, Mr Ouseley demonstrates his support for the defendants’ crimes and renders himself criminally liable in law for the consequences. 

REASONS THAT THE CLAIM IS JUSTICIABLE IN BRITISH COURTS

26.  By ruling that the claim is not justiciable in so far as it relates to the interpretation of UN Resolutions, Mr Ouseley demonstrates his contempt for the United Nations, for treaties between nations, for the principles of international law, for the law of England and Wales, for children’s right to life and his disdain for the due process of justice in Britain.

Particulars showing that interpretations of UN resolutions are justiciable in UK courts

27.  The defendants, supported by Mr Ouseley, make the iniquitous claim that their actions (such as the waging of aggressive war, the murder of thousands of men women and children, the use of weapons of mass destruction and the extensive destruction of public and private property) and their interpretation of UN Security Council Resolutions are not justiciable in the courts of England and Wales. I refute their claim.

28.  When Britain signed and ratified the UN Charter and Parliament enacted the United Nations Act in 1946 it did so to ensure that the Government would have the legal authority to order members of HM armed forces to take part in UN authorised peacekeeping operations throughout ‘His Majesty’s dominions and … to any other territory in which His Majesty has from time to time jurisdiction’.   Without the authority of Parliament it is an act of treason to order members of HM armed forces into situations in which their lives may be put at risk in pursuit of a foreign government’s aspirations.   

29.  The wording of the United Nations Act 1946 makes it clear that Parliament gave authority to the Crown (the Queen and Her Government) to give effect to UN Security Council Resolutions only in so far as the measures decided upon: 

(a)   do not involve the use of armed force; 

(b)   do not extend beyond the UK and UK Crown territories; 

(c)    are made by Orders in Council and; 

(d)   are laid before, and approved by, Parliament.  

United Nations Act 1946

Measures under Article 41

(1)   If under Article forty-one of the Charter of the United Nations signed at San Francisco on the twenty-sixth day of June, nineteen hundred and forty five, (being the Article which relates to measures not involving the use of armed force) the Security Council of the United Nations call upon His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom to apply any measures to give effect to any decision of that Council, His Majesty may by Order in Council make such provision as appears to Him necessary or expedient for enabling those measures to be effectively applied, including (without prejudice to the generality of the preceding words) provision for the apprehension, trial and punishment of persons offending against the Order.

(2)   Orders in Council made under this section may be so made as to extend to any part of His Majesty’s dominions (other than Dominions within the meaning of the Statute of Westminster 1931, territories administered by the Government of any such Dominion, British India, British Burma and Southern Rhodesia) and, to the extent that His Majesty has jurisdiction therein, to any other territory in which His Majesty has from time to time jurisdiction (other than territories which are being administered by the Government of such Dominion as aforesaid and territories in India or Burma).

(3)   Any Order in Council made under this section may be varied or revoked by a subsequent Order in Council.

(4)   Every Order in Council made under this section shall be laid before Parliament forthwith after it is made, but not withstanding anything in subsection (4) of section one of the Rules Publication Act 1893, an Order in Council made under this section shall not be deemed to be or to contain a statutory rule to which that section applies. 

(5)   Any expenses incurred by His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom in applying such measures as are mentioned in this section shall be defrayed out of money’s provided by Parliament. 

30.  It is a fundamental principle of the United Nations Charter that all international disputes must be settled peacefully and force is never to be employed to settle such disputes.   This principle was understood by Parliament in 1946 when it enacted the United Nations Act.  The Act which authorises the Government to apply Security Council measures under Article 41 (Chapter VII) of the UN Charter clearly states: 

being the Article which relates to measures not involving the use of armed force

31.  The phrase ‘not involving the use of armed force’ is the single most important phrase in the UN Charter.   I fail to understand how the defendants, the British Government, the Queen or Britain’s military commanders can interpret this phrase to mean ‘involving the use of high-explosive weapons such as cruise missiles, rockets, bombs, drones or depleted uranium munitions’.   Only a person or persons intent on mass murder and genocide, and operating in the certain knowledge of their impunity from prosecution, could interpret this prohibition on the use of armed force to mean ‘we have been authorised by the UN Security Council operating under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to use weapons of mass destruction against targets in Afghanistan and Libya’.   

32.  The United Nations Act 1946 makes it quite clear that the defendants are authorised to apply Security Council measures only in so far as the measures do not involve the use of armed force.  By breaching the terms of the legislation the defendants are acting unlawfully against the law of England and Wales and are committing crimes of murder, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggression.

33.  Further proof that the defendants are acting unlawfully is provided by UN General Assembly Resolution 2625. This is the UNGA resolution that lays down the principles of international law relating to the interpretation of the UN Charter. The Declaration includes the following relevant principles:  

DECLARATION ON PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW CONCERNING FRIENDLY RELATIONS AND CO-OPERATION AMONG STATES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS 

Every State has the duty to refrain in its international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.  Such a threat or use of force constitutes a violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations and shall never be employed as a means of settling international issues.

States shall accordingly seek early and just settlement of their international disputes by negotiation, inquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements or other peaceful means of their choice.  In seeking such a settlement the parties shall agree upon such peaceful means as may be appropriate to the circumstances and nature of the dispute.

The parties to a dispute have the duty, in the event of failure to reach a solution by any one of the above peaceful means, to continue to seek a settlement of the dispute by other peaceful means agreed upon by them.

States parties to an international dispute, as well as other States shall refrain from any action which may aggravate the Situation so as to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, and shall act in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements are in violation of international law.

Every State has the duty to refrain from any forcible action which deprives peoples referred to above in the elaboration of the present principle of their right to self-determination and freedom and independence. In their actions against, and resistance to, such forcible action in pursuit of the exercise of their right to self-determination, such peoples are entitled to seek and to receive support in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter.

The principles of the Charter which are embodied in this Declaration constitute basic principles of international law, and consequently appeals to all States to be guided by these principles in their international conduct and to develop their mutual relations on the basis of the strict observance of these principles.

34.   The sentence “Such a threat or use of force constitutes a violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations and shall never be employed as a means of settling international issues” is as clear as a bell.   It means that the threat or use of force is illegal and States must never threaten or use force to settle international issues.   How is it then that the defendants and the British Government are able to declare that their pre-emptive use of armed force and weapons of mass destruction to attack targets in Afghanistan and Libya is lawful and accords with Chapter VII of the UN Charter when this binding declaration of principles of international law declares that the use of force constitutes a violation of international law and shall never be employed as a means of settling international issues?   Which is right – the defendant’s interpretation of the law or the Declaration’s interpretation of the law?

35.  The judges at Nuremburg asserted;

“War is essentially an evil thing.  Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.  To initiate a war of aggression therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

36.  By ignoring the UN Declaration of Principles of International Law and ruling that this claim is non justiciable in the courts of the United Kingdom, Mr Ouseley is wilfully breaching the world’s most important international legal principles, violating the binding terms of the UN Charter and breaching his oath of office. 

37.  By claiming that the defendants, one of whom is the Attorney General, are protected against criminal proceedings (for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, the world’s most serious criminal offences) because the consent of the Attorney General has to be obtained, Mr Ouseley shows his contempt for domestic and international criminal law, the process of justice and the impartiality of the court whilst ignoring the principle that a man (the Attorney General) cannot stand as judge and jury in his own case. 

38.  Mr Ouseley is bound by the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 to give claimants a fair hearing.  

In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law…

I assert that by dismissing my claim outright without consideration of the relevance of the United Nations Act 1946 and the Declaration on Principles of International Law to the interpretation of Security Council resolutions, and by ignoring the multiple claims of unlawful criminal behaviour by the defendants, and by failing to conduct an impartial hearing of both sides of the argument, Mr Ouseley is breaching my right to a fair hearing of the claim and offending against the ECHR and Article 6 of the HRA.    

39.  I also assert that by ordering me to pay the defendants costs of £940 without giving me the benefit of even a twenty minute hearing to argue my case Mr Ouseley is acting in a partial, vindictive and unfair manner.    

40.  This claim concerns the most important public interest issues of the age - whether the waging of aggressive war, the use of weapons of mass destruction (such as drones, cruise missiles and depleted uranium munitions), the armed attacks on targets in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and the killings of 1.2million innocent Afghan, Iraqi and Libyan men women and children are lawful, and whether they constitute crimes of murder, aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes against the law of England and Wales.  It is because these public interest issues are raised by this claim that the issue is justiciable in England and Wales and the court must give it due consideration.

41.  The claim before the court concerns the lives, rights and duties of millions of Afghan, Iraqi and Libyan citizens as well as British taxpayers and members of HM Armed Forces.   It is because the defendants’ actions constitute abuses of rights under the ECHR, failures of duties and violations of the laws of war, and because the claim raises questions of taxpayers and others’ rights and duties under the domestic and international laws of war, that this claim is unquestionably justiciable in the courts of England and Wales. 

42.  If the court allows this ruling to stand and refuses to grant an injunction to stop the wars and the indiscriminate killing whilst their legality is considered by the court, it will not only confirm the courts support for the Government’s policies of waging illegal war and continuing the indiscriminate killing of men women and children, but it will blight the lives of future generations and finally destroy Britain’s reputation as a peace loving nation committed to the rule of law. 

43.  For these reasons I ask that the court rejects the ruling by Mr Justice Ouseley, grants the application for an interim injunction to halt the killing, undertakes a judicial review of the lawfulness of the defendants’ decisions to wage war with Afghanistan and Libya and issues the following mandatory orders. 

44.  If we are to save the lives of the 15 – 20 innocent men women and children who are being unlawfully killed every day, the court should consider the application for interim relief at the earliest opportunity.    

THE CLAIMS

  1. The interim relief I am seeking is for the court to order a halt to the use of armed force and the unlawful killing of men, women and children in Afghanistan and Libya by HM forces until the legality of such actions and the defendants’ commands are decided in court.
  2. An injunction mandating defendant 5 (the Attorney General) to correct the false claim that UNSCR 1973 authorises military action against Libya and by 12.00 hrs on the day following the making of the Order issues a statement correcting his earlier legal advice and advising the Government, Parliament and HM armed forces and the media of the correct legal advice relating to the wars with Afghanistan and Libya.   Such advice to state that the current conflicts in Libya and Afghanistan are illegal and that all further use of armed force (whether or not it results in death or injury to any person) will constitute a criminal offence and render the offender(s) liable to arrest prosecution and punishment under the domestic and international laws of war.
  3. An injunction mandating defendants 1-5 and 7 to rescind with immediate effect all active-service orders and commands to HM armed forces relating to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya, to end with immediate effect all use of armed force and to return to their bases in the UK.
  4. An injunction mandating defendant 6 (the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs – Baroness Ashton) to order an immediate cease-fire and an end to the use of armed force by all EU nations participating in the wars with Libya and Afghanistan.   To inform all EU citizens of the illegal nature of the conflicts warning them that any further participation whatsoever in the wars and conflicts by any person will constitute a criminal offence under international and domestic law and render all offenders criminally liable for arrest, prosecution and punishment.
  5. An injunction mandating UK taxpayers to withhold all payments of taxes, duties, fines, loans, monies and monetary instruments from the UK Government forthwith and to withhold same until such time that the court agrees that the UK government has ended all use of armed force, is upholding the domestic and international laws and customs of war and has initiated criminal proceedings against those responsible for criminal offences against the people and States of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya under the laws of war.
  6. An injunction mandating the defendants by 12.00 hrs on the day following the making of this Order to instruct law enforcement authorities in Britain and the Hague  to initiate criminal proceedings against those leading European citizens responsible for initiating, supporting or participating in the wars with Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
  7. Costs currently totalling £4,750

Chris Coverdale
The Campaign to Make Wars History
19th July 2011

 

[1] The term “killed” is interchangeable with the term “caused death”.
[2] This conduct may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, acts of torture, rape, sexual violence or inhuman or degrading treatment.
[3] When the UK signed and ratified the General Treaty for the Renunciation of War (Kellogg-Briand Pact)
[4] The UN Charter


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