World Tribunal on Iraq

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The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) was a people's court consisting of intellectuals, human rights campaigners and non-governmental organizations, and was active from 2003 to 2005. Set up following the 2003 invasion of Iraq it sprung from the anti-war movement and is modelled on the Russell Tribunal of the American movement against the Vietnam War.

It was supported by Indian leftist author Arundhati Roy, by American international lawyer Richard Falk and United Nations Assistant General Secretary Denis Halliday, but it consciously avoided a hierarchical structure. The WTI routinely found that the coalition forces in Iraq are guilty of war crimes and violations of the Geneva Conventions. The Tribunal tended to receive less coverage in the United States and United Kingdom than in the Middle East and Europe, and was frequently described by supporters of the war as a "kangaroo court".[1] Its members were not popularly elected.


  • London, November 2003 - Inquiry into the alleged commission of war crimes by Coalition Forces during the military campaign and occupation.
  • Mumbai, January 2004 - World Court of Women on US War Crimes
  • Copenhagen, March 2004 - Public hearing on the legality of war, legality of putting Iraq's public enterprises and resources on sale, legality of keeping over 20,000 people under arrest in camps and prisons in the absence of any legal procedure.
  • Brussels, April 14–17, 2004 - the BRussels Tribunal hearings focused on the programs and policies of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), its role in the war against Iraq, and the role of the war against Iraq as part of the PNAC's program of military domination of the Earth [1]
  • New York, May 2004 - Session on the legality of the war – violation of international law and the UN – violation of the will of the peoples of the world as manifested on February 15, war crimes and crimes under occupation.
  • Japan, hearings throughout the year in various cities, two courts in July and December 2004 - International Criminal Tribunal on Iraq (ICTI)
  • Germany, series of hearings around Germany starting June 2004 - Focus on violations of international law and complicity of German government—covering sanctions, war and occupation.
  • Istanbul, June 2004 - Symposium on crimes committed against cultural heritage.
  • New York, August 2004 - Session investigating violations of international law and basic human rights by U.S. President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair administrations in launching the war against Iraq and instituting the occupation. Findings of other WTI sessions, military families and GI resisters.
  • Hiroshima, October 2004 - Session on depleted uranium and complicity of Japanese government.
  • Lisbon, Fall 2004 - Commission of inquiry to determine the responsibility of the Portuguese State and other entities/individuals in the preparation of the invasion, during the invasion and in the occupation of Iraq; to formulate the accusation of those who perpetrated crimes against the people of Iraq.
  • Stockholm, November 2004 - Session examinign the impact of occupation on Iraqi society, including the social, economic and cultural consequences.
  • Beirut, December 2004 - Arab Court on Iraq.
  • London, February 2004 - A Peoples' Inquiry into the occupation of Iraq by Coalition Forces
  • Rome, February 2005 - Session on Media Wrongs against Truth and Humanity: the politics of disinformation.
  • Genoa, January 2005 - Session on Media and Disinformation
  • Rome, December 2004 - Session on legality of war.
  • Istanbul, 20 March 2005 – Culminating session
The Istanbul session served as the culmination of the WTI process, taking into account the entirety of the above tribunal sessions. Based on this also, the session will take the further step of examining and exposing the implications of WTI findings.

See also[edit]


The most complete collection of the proceedings of the Tribunal has been collected in Sökmen, M. G. Roy, A., Falk, R. (eds.) 2008. World Tribunal on Iraq: Making the Case Against War. Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press.

See also: Borowiak, C. 2008. 'The World Tribunal on Iraq: Citizens’ Tribunals and the Struggle for Accountability'. New Political Science, 30:161-186. Cubukcu, A. 2011. ‘On Cosmopolitan Occupations. The Case of the World Tribunal on Iraq’, Interventions. International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, 13:422-442.


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