International Criminal Court could soon try and punish those who wage illegal wars

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London, Jan. 31 (ANI): If a proposal by the International Criminal Court is passed, those involved in a "crime of aggression" or "illegal wars" would be tried and punished in the Hague.

The proposal, backed by more than 70 countries, will be considered at a special "review conference" in Kampala, and would empower the court to try leaders like Tony Blair, who is alleged to have dragged Britain into the Iraq invasion.

Britain, a member of the court, is not against the plan in principle but is fighting furiously for safeguards that would protect Blair and future British prime ministers from arrest.

"This will be one of the major items on the agenda in Kampala and it is almost certain that it will go down to the wire. It is a wrestling match between countries," The Telegraph quoted John Washburn, convenor of AMICC, as saying.

Bill Pace, of the Coalition for the ICC, an umbrella body, said: "This is one of the most consequential endeavours in international law ever attempted.

The "crime of aggression" is included in the ICC's founding treaty, the 2002 Rome Statute, as one of four crimes covered by the court.

On the other three - genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity - the ICC already has the power to try individuals. It has indicted 14 people, three of whom are currently on trial in the Hague.

However, the Rome Statute does not currently allow the court to prosecute cases of aggression.

The proposed aggression statute specifically targets "leadership figures," raising the possibility for the first time that Blair himself could be indicted and brought before the court, which can impose a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. (ANI)

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