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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

UNSC Overview United Kingdom

This year the European Court has found the UK guilty of violating human rights and due process of law in two cases.

The first involved what was deemed to be the improper investigation into the killing of 6 Iraqi civilians in 2003 and 2004. The Court found the UK had failed to ensure such investigations in five of the six cases, in violation of article 2 (right to life) of the Convention. Significantly, the Court rejected arguments by the UK that the European Convention did not apply to the UK’s operations because they occurred outside the UK’s ordinary territory. The Court held that the fact the UK was an occupying force over the territory in question and therefore exercised public powers there meant the European Convention applied.

The second case the European Court of Human Rights found that the prolonged internment of the applicant, Hilal Abdul-Razzaq Ali Al-Jedda, for more than three years in a detention centre in Basra, Iraq, run by British forces, violated his right to liberty and security under the European Convention.

The UK has also transferred prisoners to countries in which torture is openly permitted and practiced as a matter of course. During the course of the last decade the UK has allowed use of its airspace to transfer prisoners to these countries.

While not clear of blood on their hands, the United Kingdom certainly does not operate at the same levels of impunity or with the same disregard for human rights and security, they are certainly not innocent. That being said, and I may be biased some, it seems that the UK may actually be well suited for writing and suggesting actions and resolutions within the UNSC.

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