Research project

The Accountability Deficits of Major Western Powers: A Pilot Project on UK Military Accountability for International Crimes in Iraq

Principal Investigator
Carla Ferstman

About us

The Project is a collaboration between the University of Essex, School of Law and the Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University. 

The project is focused on assessing the ongoing and past efforts to secure accountability for UK military abuses in Iraq, taking into account the various processes that have been instituted in the UK (courts martial proceedings, the work of the Iraq Historical Allegations team and subsequent military investigations) as well as the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor’s preliminary examination into the situation in Iraq.

Soldier's boots in desert
Dr Carla Ferstman launches a new report

The report calls for investigation into alleged crimes by UK soldiers in Iraq. 

Read more

The research focuses on analysing:

  • the decision-making process and rationales given for closing domestic criminal investigations and not pursuing prosecutions;
  • Procedural aspects of the military investigations which remain open and their progress
  • rulings of UK civil courts with oversight over certain matters relevant to the investigations
  • lacunae in UK law

The research forms the basis for a report disseminated to key stakeholders in the UK and at the ICC.

Beyond the immediate objectives, the project fosters planned multi-country research focused on responses to alleged international crimes perpetrated by major Western powers during counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.

We seek to place the progress/deficits of accountability structures within the context of other truth-seeking and justice frameworks in order to increase understanding of the wider context.