The accountability deficits of major western powers: A pilot project on UK military accountability for international crimes in Iraq

The project presents a follow up to Hansen’s previous research on accountability issues in the context of alleged UK war crimes in Iraq.


Funder: ESRC Impact Acceleration Grant/ University of Essex
Awarded: £14,000
Duration: 1 year
Staff Involved: T Hansen (C Ferstman, Essex: PI)

Description

Specifically, this project, headed by Ferstman (Essex), examines domestic accountability measures in the UK relating to violations of international human rights law and humanitarian law in conflicts abroad. It sets out and critically interrogates the various legal measures and steps taken towards accountability in the UK, including IHAT/ SPLI, the Service Prosecutions Authority, civil litigation, judicial reviews and others.

The project led to the publication of the discussion paper, “The UK Military in Iraq: Efforts and Prospects for Accountability International Crimes Allegations”, which was launched at a major event in The Hague on 1 October 2018. The project has also led to the publication of short articles including a piece published on EJIL:Talk by Hansen: “Complementarity in(action) in the UK?”, as well as joint submissions by Ferstman and Hansen to the House of Common’s Defence Committee (Submission of evidence to United Kingdom Parliament (Commons Defence Committee) on the topic “Protecting veterans from the spectre of investigation and re-investigation”) and the Ministry of Defence on issues of combat immunity.

The research findings have been presented at conferences and workshops at Essex, Oxford, King’s College, Loyola of Chicago, Amnesty International and elsewhere. The research findings are cited in legal submissions to the ICC by civil society organizations such as the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.