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< Back to question Is Tony Blair a war criminal? Show more Show less

The Chilcot Inquiry into former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's invasion of Iraq argues the invasion was unnecessary and against the UN's recommendations. Many argue this disregard for international law makes Tony Blair a war criminal, and he should be tried in an international court for war crimes.

Yes, Tony Blair is a war criminal Show more Show less

Tony Blair broke international law, leading to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. This shows that Tony Blair is a war criminal.
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Other world leaders have been tried for lesser crimes than Tony Blair

Blair's contemporaries, such as Colonel Gaddafi, were forced to confront their crimes in court. Blair should not be an exception.
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In comparison to other world leaders who have been accused of war crimes and prosecuted for the latter like the Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, it stays up to debate why leaders like Tony Blair who supposedly committed worse war crimes have not been persecuted.

The Argument

The authority to persecute individuals for war crimes lays with the International Criminal Court (ICC) that bases itself on the Rome Statute. The UK is a state party to the Rome Statute which means that the court has jurisdiction over UK nationals that commit any of the four core crimes in which war crimes are included. This means that the ICC could persecute Tony Blair on the basis of Article 8. It seems to surprise why this has not taken place, given that other leaders accused of having committed war crimes that are deemed less problematic have been convicted by the court. It is important to note, that in the case of Tony Blair the main difficulty is to prove to what extent he himself is individually responsible for specific acts that have been carried out. It is a lot easier for the ICC to convict a general who gave a concrete order for a certain operation which is deemed to be a war crime rather than the mere ordering of the war. Furthermore, the ICC is known for a tendency to focus on non-Western perpetuators. Anyhow, the initial breach of international law with regards to having acted without the United Security Council resolution cannot be tried by any court. These facts could thus suggest that there is a lack of personal consequences for Tony Blair and a certain degree of impunity in comparison to other world leaders that have been accused of war crimes.

Counter arguments

1) There is not enough evidence to individually prosecute Tony Blair for war crimes. 2) If one assumes that Blair was led by false intelligence, we cannot assume malicious intentions (lack of mens rea) which would make a legal case against him more difficult.


All world leaders should be equally tried for the war crimes they commit.


[P1] Every crime shall be brought to justice.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Not all crimes need to be brought to justice.


    This page was last edited on Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 14:16 UTC

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