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Britain’s failure as a democracy is made all too evident by the country’s complicity in the pre-war sanctions levelled against the people of Iraq, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people, the Iraq war itself, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 655,000 people, as well as the untrammelled venality of Britain’s arms industry, the world’s second largest. Until now, these crimes have been carried out with impunity.

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Impunity, as defined by Diane F. Orentlicher, professor of law at American University, involves a ‘failure by States to meet their obligations to investigate violations; to take appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators, particularly in the area of justice, by ensuring that those suspected of criminal responsibility are prosecuted, tried, and duly punished; to provide victims with effective remedies and to ensure that they receive reparation for the injuries suffered; to ensure the inalienable right to know the truth about violations; and to take other necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of violations’.

 

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