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A Matter of Enforcemen​t - A Matter of Enforcemen​t

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A Matter of Enforcemen​t
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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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