Was the Iraq war illegal?

STV reports:

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg says that the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War has provided enough information to suggest that the war was illegal.

Speaking on Radio Tay on Friday morning at the same time Prime Minister Gordon Brown was facing questions at the inquiry in London, he said: “I’m not a lawyer, but my view is that now there is sufficient evidence to sustain the claim that this was illegal.”

“A Dutch inquiry into the Iraq war came to the conclusion that it was indeed illegal, and flew in the face of international law…

“It is not a court of law, the Chilcot Inquiry, it was explicitly set up not to determine whether it was illegal or not so that is going to have to happen elsewhere by the lawyers, by the court, but my view is that I have heard enough now to suggest that this wasn’t taken in line…and worse, more than that, there is clear evidence which has come out in the Chilcot Inquiry that the Attorney General who is supposed to be the guardian of the legality of doing things was flip flopping from one minute to the next, and there is overwhelming evidence and very serious allegations that he was pressured into keeping silent about his own reservations about the illegality of the war by Jack Straw, by Tony Blair and by others.

“That shows the extent that they were prepared to go to silence concerns about the illegality of the invasion.”

You can listen to the full set of questions and answers on the topic here.

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4 Comments

  • Andrew Suffield 6th Mar '10 - 11:51am

    Maybe it was. Some more interesting questions: what can be done about it? What court has the authority to hear this case and make a ruling? What possible consequences could there be? Does the law have any meaning, if there are none?

  • Almost every public international lawyer of any repute (including those that advised the Foreign Secretary in 1993) has said that the war was illegal. Lord Goldsmith knew the war was illegal, but was threatened by Cheney and his henchmen on his visit to Texas. Our own Ming Campbell has explained why the war was illegal better than anyone else: (1) there was no UN resolution that authorised force, either explicitly or by necessary implication; and (2) customary international law requires that force can only be used if every diplomatic avenue has been exhausted (every diplomatic avenue had not been exhausted, because the weapons inspectors had asked for more time to complete their job).

  • John Remington 27th Mar '10 - 4:34am

    We are not bound by international law, for good reason.

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