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Council says bring terrorists to justice through criminal tribunal, not war

Justice for the terrorists responsible for the attacks on the US should take place by means of an international criminal tribunal, not military force, according to Bishop William Morris, the Acting Chairman of the Australian Social Justice Council.

He said in a statement yesterday that it appears the culprits were non-state actors, and that the incidents were not an act of war.

For the use of force to be appropriate, we would need to have compelling proof of who was responsible for the attacks, and evidence that there was an immediate danger that such acts were likely to be repeated. This is yet to be demonstrated.

"This is a case of international criminal activity," he said. "The appropriate course of action is to bring the culprits to justice before an international criminal tribunal."

Bishop Morris said that the United Nations, rather than any other grouping of nation States, is the appropriate body to authorise action to this end.

"Australia should not be supporting any use of force that is not authorized by the United Nations Security Council," he said. "Anything else would be international vigilante action."

He supported the recent argument of the Bishops' Committee for Justice Development and Peace that "the promotion of international criminal justice in this age of globalisation is essential".