The Attorney General of England, Lord Goldsmith, is facing accusations that he told the Army its soldiers were not bound by the Human Rights Act when arresting, detaining, and interrogating Iraqi prisoners. He told them to adopt a “pragmatic” approach and not be concerned about the “high standards” of the Human Rights Act.
It appears as early as March, 2003, the Red Cross had begun investigating complaints of possible war crimes by British soldiers such as beatings and hoodings of prisoners. A Colonel Mercer objected to these practices and was told that perhaps he should put himself up for the job of the next attorney general.
In my fantasy world, I somehow always regarded the British government as among the leading proponents and defenders of human rights. I find incredible the fact that America’s Attorney General and England’s Attorney General both were uninterested in the military abiding by international law. This must be a statement about the nature of legal education in the modern world. I would assume at some point budding lawyers are given a course which deals with such topics as the Nuremburg Trials or the Geneva Convention, in case they wind up serving in a government and have to advise political leaders about the laws of nations. Do you ever get the feeling that going to law school results in people learning how to make money, not how to be ethically correct?
Information from The Independent