Government knew ‘no leg to stand on’ legally to go to war in Iraq (UK)Breaking News
During evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry into the war against Saddam, it emerged that Foreign Office lawyers were “unanimous” in their view that going to war without a United Nations mandate would be a “crime of aggression” likely to damage Britain’s standing in the world.
Sir Michael Wood, chief legal adviser at the Foreign Office, painted a vivid picture of how his team repeatedly intervened privately to correct ministers who were stating that a fresh UN resolution was not legally necessary, but their advice was ignored.
A secret letter was dramatically declassified midway through the hearings showed that Jack Straw, the then-foreign secretary, told his chief legal adviser that he was being “dogmatic” by warning that war would be illegal.
In what was described as a highly unusual move, Mr Straw wrote to Sir Michael, a renowned expert in international law, boasting that while home secretary he had ignored official legal advice “time and time again”.
The inquiry also heard that Lord Goldsmith, the then-Attorney General, changed his mind over the space of a week about the legality of the war after being ordered during a meeting chaired by Tony Blair to “reflect further”.
comments powered by Disqus
- Previously untouched 600BC palace discovered under shrine demolished by Isil in Mosul
- Slate reveals that despite our apology, nothing’s been done to help Guatemalans infected in an experiment worse than Tuskegee
- Russian government website notes that game maker has sent “Secret Hitler” to every US senator
- Scholars debate the future of NATO
- Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War
- James Oliver Horton remembered as a pioneer for African American research
- Theodore Lowi, Zealous Scholar of Presidents and Liberalism, Dies at 85
- What LT. Gen. H.R. McMaster will offer as new national security adviser
- Fareed Zakaria hails historian Nigel Hamilton’s series as the memoir FDR never had the opportunity to write
- French Historian Says He Was Threatened With Deportation at Houston Airport