China should be worried about the Uyghur Tribunal

There have been harrowing stories of cruelty, torture and mistreatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang province in the news this week, coming from an official-sounding body called the Uyghur People’s Tribunal. But what is it, and what is its status? The answer may surprise you. Although its composition is highly eminent and its chairman the impeccably fair lawyer Geoffrey Nice QC, it has no official status whatsoever. True, it has formal sittings and apes much of legal procedure; true also that it will make formal findings on the question of what is going on in western China and whether it amounts to crimes against humanity or genocide. But these findings will