According to the BBC, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (David Miliband) is to be required to release documents relating to the alleged torture of Binyam Mohamed.
Torture has been a criminal offence in UK law, by virtue of the International Criminal Court Act 2001 and the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 since 11th May 2001 and 24th September 2001, respectively.
Torture is one of the components of the offence in domestic law of "crime against humanity" (see respectively Section 51 of the English Act and Section 1 of the Scottish Act).
The definition of what is a "crime against humanity" is found in Schedule 8 of the English Act, and torture is mentioned at Paragraph 1(f) of Article 7.
Alert readers of this blog will recall that I mentioned that the existence of Section 51 of the International Criminal Court Act 2001 and Section 1 of the International Criminal Court (Scotland) Act 2001 were two relevant pieces of UK law which Goldsmith appeared to have overlooked when giving his advice to Blair in March 2003.
If UK intelligence agents were found by a court to be sufficiently closely associated with the "torture" of Binyam Mohamed they could be found guilty of a "crime against humanity".
Uncomfortably for politicians in the relevant period, domestic law also makes provision for considering the culpability of "commanders and other superiors", as specified in Section 65 of the English Act.
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
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