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Iraq war 'violated rule of law' says former Lord Chief Justice

Iraq war 'violated rule of law' says former Lord Chief Justice

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday November 19 2008

Lord Bingham, a former Lord Chief Justice, has criticised the advice of the former Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, to the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, justifying the invasion of Iraq on legal grounds.

Lord Bingham, in a speech at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law in London said that there was “no hard evidence” that Iraq had defied UN resolutions “in a manner justifying resort to force”. He added that the invasion was “a serious violation of international law,” given the sidestepping of the UN Security Council in the decision taken to launch offensive action.

“If I am right that the invasion of Iraq by the US, the UK and some other states was unauthorised by the Security Council there was, of course, a serious violation of international law and of the rule of law,” he said.

Parliament has since held two debates on a public inquiry into the government’s decision to go to war both of which have been voted down.

The comments by Lord Bingham will raise again the question of whether parliament will re-open this debate and vote in favour of a full inquiry into the circumstances leading to the war in Iraq, examining the extent to which the country had been misled by the former PM and his legal counsel.

Organisations and individuals concerned at the former government’s actions should support these renewed calls for a full public inquiry.

You can find out how your MP voted on an earlier call for an inquiry in March 2008 here.

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