Episode 13 – Double Standards with Carla Ferstman

Carla Ferstman

We looked into one of the long running issues at the International Criminal Court – alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by British forces in Iraq. The UK was part of the United States-led coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003. Because the UK is a member of the ICC, the court can investigate alleged war crimes committed by British nationals in Iraq even though Baghdad itself is not a member. 

The initial ICC probe into possible war crimes in Iraq by UK forces was closed in 2006  by the then prosecutor.  But was reopened in 2014  – with new evidence by Fatou Bensouda – looking at allegations of willful killing, murder, torture, inhumane treatment, rape and sexual violence.
But the UK’s military court system has also been investigating the incidents.

Carla Ferstman is currently  senior lecturer at the University of Essex School of Law. She worked in Rwanda in early domestic criminal trials, for Amnesty International in London  working on the Great Lakes region and later in Sarajevo. In 2001 she joined REDRESS and was its director from 2004 until last year. 

She’s described the criminal investigation in the UK as “inadequate, ineffectual + lacks independence and transparency”  so we asked her to explain more. 

And we caught up with Andrew Cayley, the UK’s Director of Service Prosecutions – – to him whether the UK is dragging its feet. 

Sitting on Carla’s bookshelf is – again – Lindsey Hilsum’s brilliant biography of Marie Colvin – a quarter finished.