We can end war if we obey the law

Chris Coverdale, a peace activist, identifies how taxpayers can compel Governments to uphold, obey and enforce international law and bring a permanent end to war and mass murder.


“War is essentially an evil thing.  Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.  To initiate a war of aggression therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

                                                                                                       Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946 


History demonstrates that tyrannies are best defeated by withholding tax. Magna Carta, the founding of the United States of America, the English, French and Russian revolutions, Indian independence and the abolition of the poll tax, all came about as a result of tax rebellion, the refusal of the people to pay taxes.  Without taxpayers’ money, Governments are powerless.  

Today, citizens have an historic opportunity to engage in lawful tax resistance. International and domestic law prohibits taxpayers from taking part in a war on the side of an aggressor State[1]. This means that every time a State violates the treaties and laws governing war and peace, its citizens are duty bound to disobey all orders of their Government, including orders to fight or take part in military activities and all orders to pay tax. If a Government breaks the laws of war and uses taxpayers money to fund acts of violence that cause harm to others, its citizens’ duty to pay tax is reversed and becomes a duty to refuse to pay tax.

[1] Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946, Section.52 International Criminal Court Act 2001, Article 25.3(c) Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 1998, S.15, 16 and 17 Terrorism Act 2000, Article 2 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism 1999.


“The very essence of the Charter is that individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual State.  He who violates the laws of war cannot obtain immunity while acting in pursuance of the authority of the State, if the State in authorising action moves outside its competence under international law…”

                                                                         Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946


It is a sad but incontrovertible fact that British Governments repeatedly violate the laws of war.  Although Britain has given binding promises to the international community never to wage aggressive war[2], never to threaten or use force[3], never to kill a person because of their nationality[4], never to fund the fatal use of firearms and explosives[5], never to intervene in other States’ affairs[6], to respect everyone’s right to life[7], to uphold the rule of law[8], to settle disputes peacefully[9] and co-operate in a spirit of brotherhood to maintain peace between nations[10], we have repeatedly broken these laws killing 10 – 12 million men women and children since 1945.


“ No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements are in violation of international law.” 

                                                                                   UN Declaration on Principles of International Law 1970


Contrary to the claims of successive Prime Ministers and Attorneys General, each of the wars we’ve fought since 2001 is unequivocally illegal.  Not only do they violate the Treaty for the Renunciation of War and the UN Charter, but by causing the deaths of 1.2m Afghani, Iraqi, Libyan and Syrian adults and 600,000 children, our Ministers, MPs and military commanders committed murder, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes against peace[11].


It is important to understand that just because a Prime Minister or an MP says a war is lawful, it doesn’t make it lawful. British politicians, lawyers and civil servants lie repeatedly about the illegality of war. So when Tony Blair, David Cameron, Theresa May or any of their colleagues claim that a war is legal and is authorised by the UN Security Council, don’t believe them. The Security Council is prohibited from using armed force. The acts of waging war, using weapons of mass destruction, invading and occupying another State, bombing residential areas, attacking terrorists and killing men women and children, are not only illegal, they are evil and in the words of the judges at Nuremburg they constitute ‘the supreme international crime’.


It may come as a shock to law-abiding taxpayers, but under the laws of war law everyone who has paid tax in Britain since October 7th 2001, when Tony Blair took us to war with Afghanistan, has committed an offence and is technically criminally liable in law for prosecution and punishment as an accessory to the war crimes of our political, civil and military leaders.

[2] The Treaty for the Renunciation of War 1928 [the Kellogg-Briand Pact]

[3] The UN Charter Articles 2.3, 2.4

[4] The Genocide Convention, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

[5] The Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism

[6] The UN Declaration on Principles of International Law 1970 [UNGAR 2625]

[7] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

[8] The UN Declaration on Principles of International Law

[9] The Kellogg-Briand Pact, the UN Charter, The UN Declaration on Principles of International Law

[10] The UN Charter, The UN Declaration on Principles of International Law

[11] Article 25.3 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Nuremburg Principles VI and VII,


The States Parties to this Convention, deeply concerned about the worldwide escalation of acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations have agreed as follows: Any person commits an offence if that person unlawfully and wilfully provides or collects funds in the knowledge that they are to be used to carry out an act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian.


Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism 1999 [summary]


Luckily international law recognises that citizens are frequently deceived by their Governments into believing that their own wars are legal wars of defence, while other nations’ wars are illegal wars of aggression. So legislators inserted a clause into the legislation that enables anyone, who unwittingly takes part in funding war or terrorism, to avoid prosecution as an accessory to the crimes provided they end their support for the war. For taxpayers this means withdrawing their consent to the illegal actions of their Government and withholding all money (taxes) from public authorities until their Government has ended its violations of war law.


Article 25.(3)(f)… However, a person who abandons the effort to commit the crime or otherwise prevents the completion of the crime shall not be liable for punishment under this Statute for the attempt to commit that crime if that person completely and voluntarily gave up the criminal purpose.


The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court



Diverting tax to lawful purposes


If we are to end our Governments’ illegal wars and the mass murders that automatically ensue from the use of armed force and modern weapons, we must find lawful ways of diverting tax away from war and military activity while continuing to pay for essential services such as Health, Welfare and Education. We need cast-iron guarantees from our Parliaments and Governments that none of our money will be spent by public authorities on planning or waging illegal wars of aggression or causing the deaths of innocent men women and children.


Because we cannot trust political, civil or military leaders to use our money solely for lawful purposes, we must find another way to guarantee it. One way of making certain that tax is spent lawfully is to pay it into a Taxation Trust where it cannot be released to the Government until the lawfully binding terms and conditions of the trust are met in full.

Setting up Taxation Trusts


Taxpayers can guarantee that their money [taxes] will not fund war by setting up and operating local Taxation Trusts with binding terms and conditions that guarantee that members’ funds cannot be handed over to the Government or its agents until the fighting and killing has stopped, all military forces have been recalled and disbanded, war crimes trials of those responsible for fatalities have begun and preparations for the use of armed force have ended.  The benefit of Trusts such as these is that none of the money held in a trust can be paid to the beneficiaries – the Government or local councils, until the terms of the trust are met in full.


In the past tax resistors in Britain have been unsuccessful at withholding tax as a matter of conscience because the courts have held that there is no hypothecation of taxes and no-one other than the Government can decide how taxes are spent. This dubious legal reasoning which ignored customary international law was based on the assumption by judges that Governments were using money raised by taxation for LAWFUL purposes.  However this changed between 1998 and 2001 when it became a statutory crime in international and domestic law for a person to knowingly fund terrorism or war. Because there is nothing in the legislation that excludes tax from the crimes, and we all know that the UK Government spends tens of billions of pounds on ‘defence’ which in reality goes towards illegal acts of aggression, we have a binding duty in law to withhold all money from the Government until its violations of war and terrorism law have ended.  No longer is tax resistance solely a matter of conscience; it is now a matter of law.


Taxpayers often ask whether they can be prosecuted for diverting tax into a trust.  The answer is no, not if the trust is properly constituted and the Courts uphold and enforce the law.  As long as the public authority responsible for collecting the tax is a beneficiary of the trust, then once you have paid your money into the trust it is no longer yours and you have fulfilled your duty to pay tax. Because you can never get it back and the Government will get the money as soon as it acts in accord with the UN Charter and the UN Declaration on Principles of International Law, you have legally fulfilled your duty to pay tax and a court cannot find you guilty of evading tax.


If a judge or public official threatens to fine or imprison you for refusing to pay tax, remind them that because the Government is violating the laws of war it is just as much a crime for them to collect tax as it is for you to pay it. Unless they can prove that the money will not be used by Government for the purposes of terrorism or war they commit a crime, lose jurisdiction and in theory they can be arrested and prosecuted as an accessory to war crimes and terrorism.


“No longer is tax resistance solely a matter of conscience,

it is now a duty in law.”


Taxation Trusts encourage direct democracy


Taxation trusts are a simple lawful non-violent method of ending war and achieving direct democracy – government of the people by the people for the people. By setting up taxation trusts to act as intermediaries between taxpayers and Parliament we can halt the flow of funds that enable our warmonger leaders to ignore and override the laws that prohibit war and steer all our taxes towards lawful ends of which we approve, such as Health, Welfare and Education.


Instead of allowing our political, civil, judicial and military leaders to use our money to engage with impunity in mass murder and genocide, by retaining tax in trust until all our Governments’ plans and preparations for war have ended, we not only starve warmongers of the funds they need to wage war, but we can ensure that no public official ever again receives a penny of our money as salary until they can prove it will not be spent on illegal or criminal activities.


In future, if an MP or Minister uses taxpayers’ funds [tax] to buy or use weapons, to recruit or pay troops, to bomb or kill civilians, to wage wars of aggression or repay debts, our trustees are duty-bound to withhold our money from local and national Governments on our behalf.  Providing all our taxes are paid into Taxation Trusts such as these no taxpayer can ever again be prosecuted or punished for not paying tax and every taxpayer can be assured that they can never be held to account in court for aiding and abetting mass murder, crimes against humanity or genocide. Without our money to fund their wars, evil and criminal leaders can never again wage illegal wars and peace will prevail.


History proves that lawful tax resistance is the single most effective non-violent way of forcing governments to accept the people’s demands, but it only succeeds when thousands take part.  So we can each do our bit to stop the wars and end the killing by getting together with others, withdrawing our consent to war and illegal taxation and setting up local taxation trusts to withhold taxes until parliaments and governments uphold, obey and enforce the laws of war.



                                 AND JUDGES ENFORCE THE LAW,

                                    WE CAN END ALL WAR.


Chris Coverdale         ccovers@gmail.com         Make Wars History               2017              

[1] Nuremburg War Crimes Tribunal 1946, Section.52 International Criminal Court Act 2001, Article 25.3(c) Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court 1998, S.15, 16 and 17 Terrorism Act 2000, Article 2 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism 1999.

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