The BBC is now reporting that “it is all up in the air” as to what to do with Gaddafi’s body. This confusion, and what is potentially at stake, should not be forgotten, particularly because it reflects on the question of whether to bring dictators to court to stand trial for their alleged crimes. Some argue that the trial is counter-productive in the sense that it allows the dictator to grandstand and rally his supporters in a way that threatens the political task of rebuilding peace. But the alternative – killing the dictator – is not without its political, as well as moral and legal, drawbacks. The BBC is also reporting that the UN human rights chief is calling for an investigation into the death of Gaddafi. Cameron would do well to back this as a way of minimising the damage he did last night.
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