As PICAT is a big project and growing fast we’ve decided to give the project its own website. You can find all the available PICAT documents, the activity of groups involved and the latest news via the menu at the top of this website. All new developments will be posted here as they happen.
The aim of this project is to bring the crimes constituted by Trident and its renewal before the domestic courts and to secure a judgement that will lead to the ending of these crimes through the disarming of the UK’s nuclear weapons system.
Groups around England and Wales (the Scottish process is different and is not covered in this briefing) will go to their local Magistrates’ court and ask it to start the process of a criminal prosecution against the Secretary of State for Defence (the corporate office not the individual incumbent) for being engaged in a conspiracy to commit a war crime.
The court will predictably deny the issue of a summons and may dismiss it out of hand; but whatever the decision is, groups should try to find out what the reasons for dismissal were and to get them in writing from the court.
In the best case scenario the Magistrate will treat the ‘laying of information’ with the respect and seriousness it deserves and will take the opportunity to write to the Attorney General (using a model letter provided). This is because such serious crimes have to have the consent of the Attorney General in order for proceedings to begin in the courts.
If the Attorney General (A-G) refuses his consent, or it is deemed to be vexatious litigation, or if there is any other attempt to prevent these crimes from being addressed seriously by the courts, the people involved in the project will consider approaching the International Criminal Court, which has international jurisdiction over these crimes. Also, we will lobby Parliament to demand an adequate explanation from the A-G for his refusal to consent. At the very least, attempts to bring the matter before the courts will inform more people about the illegality of weapons of mass destruction and help provide the public pressure needed to de-legitimise the UK’s nuclear weapons.
The people who initiated the project were Angie Zelter, George Farebrother (unfortunately now deceased) and Robbie Manson, a lawyer and author of ‘Pax Legalis’. Angie and Robbie are now co-ordinating the campaign and are being assisted by David Mackenzie and Kate Holcombe. Reports of each group’s progress should be sent to PICAT via Angie at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be put up on the website so we can all share information and be involved in discussing the ways forward.
Read full ‘Introduction to PICAT’ here.