Will Canada Arrest Bush For War Crimes?
In Candada, a country Bush is due to visit next month, anti-Bush sentiment is widespread and vocal. Indeed, the Canadian prime minister has today expelled an MP from the ruling Liberal Party because of her outspoken criticism of US President George Bush. This included stamping on an effigy of Bush during a TV comedy show.
As Thomas Walkom at the Bellaciao collective suggests, Bush seems a perfect candidate for prosecution under Canada's Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act:
This act was passed in 2000 to bring Canada's ineffectual laws in line with the rules of the new International Criminal Court. While never tested, it lays out sweeping categories under which a foreign leader like Bush could face arrest.
In particular, it holds that anyone who commits a war crime, even outside Canada, may be prosecuted by our courts. What is a war crime? According to the statute, it is any conduct defined as such by "customary international law" or by conventions that Canada has adopted.
War crimes also specifically include any breach of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, such as torture, degradation, wilfully depriving prisoners of war of their rights "to a fair and regular trial," launching attacks "in the knowledge that such attacks will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians" and deportation of persons from an area under occupation.