The Multiple Aspects of ‘Time' Rendering Justice for War Crimes in Iraq

International Criminal Law Review, Forthcoming

18 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2021

See all articles by Thomas Obel Hansen

Thomas Obel Hansen

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute; Charles III University of Madrid

Date Written: March 2, 2021


This Article takes the starting point in an examination of the case study of accountability for UK war crimes in Iraq, to engage recent developments in the transitional justice field. The article observes that while some passage of time in the context of war-related crimes tends to be a precondition for any kind of justice, the passage of time can easily end up complicating and obscuring the prospects for justice. The article demonstrates how accountability at the domestic level for these crimes has become increasingly implausible with time, partly due to the development of a prevailing narrative of ‘cycles’ of ineffective investigations (and re-investigations) that have become politically loaded and increasingly unpopular especially in what could be labelled the ‘pro-military establishment’.

Keywords: Transitional justice, war crimes Iraq, United Kingdom, military crimes, combat impunity

Suggested Citation

Hansen, Thomas Obel, The Multiple Aspects of ‘Time' Rendering Justice for War Crimes in Iraq (March 2, 2021). International Criminal Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Thomas Obel Hansen (Contact Author)

Ulster University - Transitional Justice Institute ( email )

Shore Road
Newtownabbey, County Antrim BT37 OQB
Northern Ireland

Charles III University of Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903

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