War Criminals To Face Justice
The Government is strengthening the law to allow UK courts to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes retrospectively back to January 1st 1991.
Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield successfully campaigned and lobbied Justice Secretary Jack Straw to make the change.
Raising the issue in the Commons in May, Mary said: "Thanks to a loophole in UK law, people accused of crimes against humanity cannot be tried for those crimes of which they were accused in England." She asked Mr Straw to close the "impunity gap" and "ensure that the UK does not become a safe haven for international criminals".
As a result of Mary's campaign Jack Straw has agreed to change the law and said "we are committed to ensuring those guilty of these crimes are punished appropriately to the full extent of the law in this country." The new laws will apply to all British nationals and residents.
Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield said: "This is a very important piece of legislation. I am overjoyed that the government has closed this legal loophole. In Rwanda in 2006 I met women whose families had been murdered in the genocide there. As soon as I realised there was a gap in UK law I knew I had to act. I thank the Justice Secretary for taking action and I pay tribute to the Aegis Trust who has worked tirelessly on this issue for many years."
The move was welcomed by justice campaigners such as the Aegis Trust, who were instrumental in securing the change to the law.