Democracy, Accountability, and Military Action

Nigel D. White

in Democracy goes to War

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780199218592
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191705595 | DOI:
 Democracy, Accountability, and Military Action

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Accountability is a central element of a democracy. In simple terms, it means that those in power and making decisions should have to account for those decisions to their peers, to the electorate, and, if a crime or violation of law has occurred, to the courts. Given the huge consequences for soldiers and their families, as well as for Britain and the countries and region being subjected to military intervention, decisions to go to war should be subject to scrutiny and review. This chapter considers the breadth of accountability in the British political and legal system, and makes references to other democracies as well as to the international mechanisms of accountability, bearing in mind that decisions to go to war bring the UK into these wider contexts. Indeed, breaches of wider legal orders may have consequences in terms of accountability for the decision-makers as well as soldiers within the British legal and political system.

Keywords: General Assembly; Parliament; prerogative reform; judicial review; British courts; European courts; international courts; security imperative

Chapter.  14607 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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