Disclosure of information relating to the Attorney General's legal advice and the Kampala Amendments (2010) of the Statute of Rome

christopher lamb made this Freedom of Information request to Attorney General's Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Attorney General’s Office,

Under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, I seek;

i) confirmation that the UK's obligations, as a signatory state of the Statute of Rome (International Criminal Court), with respect to the Kampala Amendments for prosecuting acts of state aggression, which come into force in 2017, has strongly informed any recent legal advice having a bearing upon the initiation of military force- whether unilateral or in coalition with other state powers- against another sovereign state;

ii) disclosure of the latest legal assessments of how the UK would be affected, as a signatory of the Statute of Rome, under the Kampala Amendments, if its government decided to initiate military force, or join with other powers initiating military force, against another sovereign state outwith the conditions laid down by the above mentioned Amendments which determine the lawfulness or legality of such military force;

iii) disclosure of any recent legal advice recommending the use of the Kampala Amendments' opt out clause (Article 15) with respect to the exercise of military force which bears the risk of prosecution in the International Criminal Court as 'aggression'.

Yours faithfully,

christopher lamb

AGO Correspondence, Attorney General's Office

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lamb

 

Thank you for your FOI request to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO). 
The AGO will respond to you within 20 working days as required by the
FOIA.

 

Kind regards

 

 

FOI Officer

[Attorney General’s Office request email]

020 7271 2492

Attorney General’s Office

5-8 The Sanctuary

London

SW1P 3JS

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

christopher lamb

Dear AGO Correspondence,

I would like to point out that the statutory time limit for a reply has elapsed. I would be grateful for a prompt reply.

Yours sincerely,

christopher lamb

AGO Correspondence, Attorney General's Office

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lamb

 

Please find attached the interim response from the Attorney General's
Office to your recent FOI requests one dated 10th April 2017 - FOI|54|17,
and one dated 14th April 2017 - FOI60|17.

 

Kind regards

 

[1]cid:image003.png@01D28C4E.E426EE20

 

FOI Officer

[2][Attorney General’s Office request email]

020 7271 2492

Attorney General’s Office

5-8 The Sanctuary

London

SW1P 3JS

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

AGO Correspondence, Attorney General's Office

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lamb

 

Please find attached the Attorney General’s Office response to your recent
FOI requests.

 

Kind regards

 

 

[1]cid:image003.png@01D28C4E.E426EE20

 

FOI Officer

[2][Attorney General’s Office request email]

020 7271 2492

Attorney General’s Office

5-8 The Sanctuary

London

SW1P 3JS

 

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2. mailto:[Attorney General’s Office request email]

Dear Attorney General’s Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Attorney General’s Office's handling of my FOI request 'Disclosure of information relating to the Attorney General's legal advice and the Kampala Amendments (2010) of the Statute of Rome'.

My request for an internal review is premised on the following grounds;

a) your reply acknowledges but does not assess in detail the scale of, and reasons underlying, the public interest in disclosing this information, given the complete lack of transparency over the UK government's position toward the crime of aggression and the Kampala Amendments. I would argue that there is a very substantial public interest in the matters dealt with by my request which outweighs arguments to withhold the information.
It has taken over seventy years for a definition to be made in the Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to make it possible to prosecute acts of state aggression; a primary cause of war according to the Nuremberg Tribunals of 1946. Although helpless to prosecute it, state aggression is incorporated as a crime in the 1998 Statute of Rome. There can be no greater public interest than in war and peace and the legal prevention of aggression which causes war.
It is widely acknowledged by experts in international law that the only reason the 2003 invasion of Iraq- which the UK co-initiated- was not prosecuted as an act of state aggression was because the Statute of Rome had no working definition of 'aggression' to bring it to the ICC. There is a substantial public interest in ensuring that, if the crime of aggression is now defined and can be prosecuted in an international court, the UK government as a signatory party to the Statute of Rome and the ICC, must comply with it. These questions, not considered in your reply, must, in my view, outweigh the reasons you give for withholding the information.
b) Policy making over negotiating the Kampala Amendments substantively ended in 2010 with the subsequent period- up to this year- taken up with ratification of the Amendments and activation. Activation is due later this summer, one year after the 30th state- the Palestinian Authority- ratified. Therefore, the substance of policy making over the content of the Amendments is not current (as your reply tends to imply). It is seven years old.
c) It is notable that the UK has neither ratified the Kampala Amendments and appeared, throughout, pretty ambiguous in its position over whether it supports international efforts to draw up a definition for prosecuting acts of state aggression. There must be a strong public interest in clarifying the ambiguities as the issue of state acts of aggression and the Kampala Amendments themselves have never been publicly discussed and put before the UK electorate for their endorsement. This must be seen in the contexts that it has been almost a decade since work began on the Kampala Amendments and within that decade immense public interest (and outrage) has surrounded the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq- not least over the failure to prosecute it as an act of aggression..
d) There have already been scholarly reports on the historical negotiations forming the Kampala Amendments. These are available on line and include the setting out of individual state's negotiating positions. I do not see why you appear to argue that these negotiations have to remain secret. There is surely a strong public interest in knowing how different states reach their different views and negotiating positions on addressing and countering state aggression?. There is also a public interest in disclosing which states have been lukewarm or even hostile to the idea of prosecuting state aggression.

I look forward to the internal review.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Yours faithfully,

christopher lamb

AGO Correspondence, Attorney General's Office

Thank you for contacting the Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

Please note the Attorney General provides legal advice to the government and is unable to give legal advice, assistance or support to individuals. The Attorney General does not have investigatory powers.

We strive to answer all correspondence that falls within the remit of the AGO within 20 days. However, we are unable to reply to matters that do not fall within the responsibility of the department.

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You may wish to redirect your correspondence to another department that has responsibility for the issue you have raised.

More information about the role of the AGO can be found at our website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisati....

AGO Correspondence, Attorney General's Office

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lamb

 

Please find attached the Attorney General’s Office response to your
request for an internal review to our response to your earlier FOI
requests.

 

Kind regards

 

 

[1]cid:image003.png@01D28C4E.E426EE20

 

FOI Officer

[2][Attorney General’s Office request email]

020 7271 2492

Attorney General’s Office

5-8 The Sanctuary

London

SW1P 3JS

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

AGO Correspondence, Attorney General's Office

8 Atodiad

Dear Mr Lamb,

 

Further to your requests for information concerning the crime of
aggression and your complaint made the Information Commissioner’s Office
about the refusal of your information requests by the Attorney General’s
Office, please see the attached letter.

 

Whatdotheyknow website had suspended your given email address, explaining
the disparity in the dates of the letter.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[1]cid:image001.png@01D286B4.527C0360

 

FOI Officer

 

FOI Officer

Attorney General’s Office

5-8 The Sanctuary

London, SW1P 3JS

[2]www.gov.uk/ago

 

 

 

 

From: AGO Correspondence
Sent: 30 January 2018 11:39
To: '[FOI #400253 email]'
Cc: AGO Correspondence
Subject: AGO Response: ICO Investigation FOI|54|17 / FOI|60|17

 

Dear Mr Lamb,

 

Further to your requests for information concerning the crime of
aggression and your complaint made the Information Commissioner’s Office
about the refusal of your information requests by the Attorney General’s
Office, please see the attached letter.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[3]cid:image001.png@01D286B4.527C0360

 

FOI Officer

 

FOI Officer

Attorney General’s Office

5-8 The Sanctuary

London, SW1P 3JS

[4]www.gov.uk/ago

 

 

 

 

 

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If you are not an intended recipient, please advise the sender immediately by reply e-mail and delete this message and any attachments without retaining a copy.

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References

Visible links
2. http://www.gov.uk/ago
4. http://www.gov.uk/ago