3 November 2003

Blair waged war illegally, say leading lawyers

Tony Blair is facing a formal complaint to the international war-crimes tribunal by a panel of senior international legal experts for unlawfully waging war in Iraq.

The panel of eight law professors, including experts from Oxford University and the London School of Economics, is studying evidence that alleges Britain has broken international treaties on war and human rights in Iraq.

The allegations centre on Iraqi civilian deaths caused by British cluster bombs, the targeting of power stations and the use of toxic depleted uranium shells against tanks.

Lawyers advising the panel allege that these tactics have led to thousands of avoidable civilian casualties - in breach of the Geneva Conventions. The case against the Prime Minister is strengthened, they claim, by his failure to get UN sanction for the war.

Of course this will go nowehere, but we need a better process than mere advice from the attormey-general to determine the lawfulness of a war.

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