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The British government wishes to provide legal clarity to its troops : nobody will come after you for obeying orders. They don't want soldiers worrying about human rights during conflicts.

Arguably, it's better to have that ambiguity cleared up. The soldiers involved in the Bloody Sunday killings undoubtedly believed they were protected against prosecution, and indeed they were for 47 years. It seems a bit arbitrary to go back on that now.

Also arguably, I'm not necessarily against immunity for those following orders to pull the trigger, on condition that all the commissioned officers in the chain of command are eligible for prosecution.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 20th, 2019 at 02:43:21 PM EST
British soldiers may very well have believed that. No doubt so did the SS and the mooks who guarded death camps. And as the latter have learned, justice may come for you at any time.

In the UK's case, they're bound by international law to investigate and prosecute war crimes, and responsibility applies at all levels of the chain of command. The fact that someone else orders a soldier to pull the trigger doesn't absolve them of guilt - its just means you need to put more people in the dock.

by IdiotSavant on Wed May 22nd, 2019 at 02:55:28 AM EST
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