[JURIST] Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu [backgrounder] on Sunday called [Observer op-ed] for former US president George W. Bush and former UK prime minister Tony Blair [JURIST news archives] to stand trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] for their roles in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Tutu argues that
The immorality of the United States and Great Britain’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilised and polarised the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history. Instead of recognising that the world we lived in, with increasingly sophisticated communications, transportations and weapons systems necessitated sophisticated leadership that would bring the global family together, the then-leaders of the US and UK fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart.
The ICC has jurisdiction to hear cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, but it does not currently have the power to prosecute crimes of aggression.
In November the Malaysian Kuala Lumpur Foundation to Criminalise War (KLFCW) [official website] found Bush and Blair guilty of war crimes after a symbolic trial [JURIST reports]. In October the attorney general for British Columbia blocked a lawsuit [JURIST report] filed by the Canadian Centre for International Justice [advocacy website] against Bush on torture allegations. Earlier in October Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International [advocacy websites] urged the Canadian government to investigate and arrest [JURIST report] Bush for his role in torture. In February 2011 the Center for Constitutional Rights and the European Center for Human Rights [advocacy websites] urged the signatory states of the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) [text] to pursue criminal charges [JURIST report] against Bush. Other calls to investigate the criminal culpability of Bush and officials in his administration have been rejected consistently by US officials [JURIST report]. In 2010 a former UN official strongly suggested [JURIST report] a war crimes investigation of actions by both sides in the Afghanistan war. In 2009 the UK High Court criticized [JURIST report] its own Ministry of Defense for failure to investigate or release documents regarding a claim of war crimes against UK soldiers in Iraq.