Jim Sillars calls for war crimes act aimed at Tony Blair

Jim Sillars calls for war crimes act aimed at Tony Blair 17.05.16
Tony Blair
The former deputy leader of the SNP has called on the new Scottish government to introduce legislation that would provide for Tony Blair to be put on trial over the Iraq War.
Jim Sillars said that Mr Blair could face trial in the High Court in Edinburgh if Holyrood passed a war crimes act.
The news comes after former First Minister Alex Salmond said he will continue to try and have Mr Blair brought to court.
Mr Salmond has said the former Prime Minister should be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
However, the ICC said the “crime of aggression” was outwith its remit.
Writing in The Herald, Mr Sillars said Mr Salmond was “proceeding up a legal dead end” but that with his suggestion, Mr Salmond “should still be able to get his man” if the SNP were supported by the Greens in the Scottish Parliament.
Retrospective legislation would be unorthodox but Mr Sillars said the Nuremberg Trials set a precedent for doing this.
He said: “There is nothing to prevent the SNP government from tabling a War Crimes Act, incorporating the ICC definition of aggression, and making it retrospective to 2001, which would ensure Blair’s planning from then until the Iraq invasion is covered under it.
“Retrospective legislation is usually held to be obnoxious, but both in Scotland and England it has been employed to ensure that Nazis found to be sheltering in these islands were not able to escape from justice.”
He added: “Perhaps Alex, frustrated by the limitations imposed upon the ICC, can have a word with Nicola about using the legal powers of the Scottish Parliament to bring Blair to the justice that otherwise he will escape.”
Professor James Chalmers, of Glasgow University, said: “This would certainly be a creative piece of legislation, but it might be better to wait and see what Chilcot actually says now we have a date for his report.”
Photo credit: By Müller / MSC, CC BY 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38406916

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