07 November, 2010

Chilcot Inquiry to publish submissions

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The blog of the European Journal of International Law (EJIL) informs that the Iraq Inquiry will publish some 35 submissions on international law.  Here is the item.   The submissions are to be included in the final report.  These will be of considerable interest but this inquiry is not a court and cannot give an authoritative opinion on any matter of law whether international or domestic.  The inquiry has revealed some interesting information but, no matter how interesting the submissions are, those seeking a statement that Lord Goldsmith's opinion was wrong are likely to be disappointed.  Also, at the end of the day, those British politicians who held office at the time will always be able to refer to the advice given by the Attorney-General.

None of this is to say that Chilcot will be unimportant.  There will be many findings of a non-legal nature.

Please see the earlier posts on this blog relating to the Chilcot Inquiry and, in particular, here.

The whole business of Britain's involvement in Iraq is not going away much as perhaps the new Coalition government might wish to see the back of these "legacy" issues.

The government has released the post mortem and toxicology reports relating to the death of Dr David Kelly - see Ministry of Justice.   The Hutton Inquiry concluded that Kelly committed suicide.  Subsequently, the Coroner closed the inquest on the basis that Hutton had done all that was needed.

There is also a developing case before the High Court in which some 222 Iraqis allege systemic abuse by British Forces when they were captives - see here.

Addendum 15th November:  See The Guardian 14th November which reported the views of Professor Philippe Sands about the Chilcot Inquiry.

Addendum 1st December 2010:  The Wikileaks story broke at the end of November when the contents of thousands of U.S. diplomatic messages got into the public domain.  See The Guardian.  It appears that the U.K. government gave assurances to the U.S. that American interests would be protected during the Chilcot Inquiry - here