Iraq War Illegal-Official

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by nigegilb, Jan 26, 2010.

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  1. Well blow me down with a feather. Trouble is War Crimes Court is only for those who lose, so Blair will carry on, but his reputation is hopefully destroyed.

    Foreign Office lawyer says Iraq war was illegal
    David Brown

    The most senior Foreign Office lawyer at the time of the invasion of Iraq said today that he had thought the war was illegal.

    Sir Michael Wood, the department's chief legal adviser, said in a written statement to the Iraq Inquiry: “I considered that the use of force against Iraq in March 2003 was contrary to international law.

    "In my opinion, that use of force had not been authorised by the Security Council, and had no legal basis in international law.”

    Both Sir Michael and his then deputy, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, were today giving oral testimony to Sir John Chilcot's panel of inquiry, although both also gave written statements to the panel.

    Ms Wilmshurst became the only British civil servant to quit over the war when she resigned days before the first attacks on Iraq, telling her superiors that an invasion without UN sanction would be a “crime of aggression”.

    Ms Wilmshurst is expected to claim that Sir Michael told the former attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, of his reservations days before the invasion began on March 20, 2003.

    Ms Wilmshurst’s resignation letter, dated March 18 2003, suggested that Lord Goldsmith changed his mind about the legality of the Iraq war shortly before its outbreak.

    She wrote to Sir Michael: “I regret that I cannot agree that it is lawful to use force against Iraq without a second Security Council resolution to revive the authorisation given in SCR (Security Council Resolution) 678.

    “I do not need to set out my reasoning; you are aware of it. My views accord with the advice that has been given consistently in this office, before and after the adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1441, and with what the Attorney General gave us to understand was his view prior to his letter of 7th of March.

    "The view expressed in that letter has of course changed again into what is now the official line.”

    This third paragraph was initially omitted when the letter was published by the Foreign Office in March 2005, leading to claims of a Government cover-up.

    The inquiry will also hear evidence today from David Brummell, who was legal secretary to the Law Officers from 2001 to 2004, and the former Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett. Lord Goldsmith will face questioning tomorrow over the claims that he changed his mind about the legality of the war.
  2. O' Yeah -- So now what happens? Nuremberg Trails MK.2 ?
    Western Powers will want to sweep the whole issue of legality under the carpet now, and of course with nobody to be held to account.
    That's life init.
  3. So, it has cost ?Multi Millions to come to that resounding end result, marvelous! now what happens?
  4. Sweet F.A.! :evil:

    No western [former] leader is going to be tried for war crimes, they will find a way to sweep it under that carpet that has a mountain under it. :x
  5. All the families of the guys killed in Iraq sue the govrnement for unlawful death of their loved ones?
  6. Grownup_Rafbrat

    Grownup_Rafbrat LE Book Reviewer Good Egg (charities)

    Bit like the Bloody Sunday Inquiry then. Millions and Millions of pounds and when it's all over no-one's opinion of what happened on the day will have changed.
  7. Don't bother! Teflon Tony is obviously above the law.
  8. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    The problem is, the war has NOT been found to be illegal. Two FCO lawyers, one of whom resigned in protest, have given opinions on the legality or otherwise on the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq and deposing of Saddam Hussein. That's all.

    As far as this Govt (and I suspect the next Govt - whoever forms it) is concerned, they had an opinion from the Attorney General - no matter that he had taken time to evolve it - that the invasion was legal. I very much doubt that Chilcott will change that.
  9. The Iraq war was illegal?

    Yet we still went. Such is life. What does resolving the issue of Legality do for the 170 odd families with a space at the Dinner table?

    Nada. Lets learn and move on. Oh, and no more wars without a free vote in the house, whip free and conscience led.

    Meanwhile, did anyone else see those pigs flying this morning?
  10. Mr Teflon Tony will get Widemouth to defend him... :policecap: .(all Alleged of course).... to tell the Judge, probably a pal of the Teflon's, that Tone has 'Got Religion', so it would be agin his 'Uming Rites' to punish him..... so like that geezer who dashed one out to another Geezer in the ATM queues... Teflon Tone will get off with just a warning....... because he is 'Most Religious' and Il Poppa in Rome can vouch for that....... It was that other naughty Geezer Cyclops McGollums wot told him to do it..... (alleged of course..) :lol:
  11. Nurse! He's doing it again!
  12. Spot on. UN Resolution 1441 was the 'legal' authority to go to war. Nothing has changed.

  13. "…serious consequences…" - NOT OK to go to war.

    "...all necessary means…" - OK to go war.

    Resulution 1441 did not state "...all necessary means…"
  14. Text of 1441 at

    On November 8, 2002, the Security Council passed Resolution 1441 by a unanimous 15-0 vote; Russia, China, France, and Arab countries such as Syria voted in favor, giving Resolution 1441 wider support than even the 1990 Gulf War resolution. Although the Iraqi parliament voted against honoring the UN resolution, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein over-ruled them.[citation needed]
    While some politicians have argued that the resolution could authorize war under certain circumstances, the representatives in the meeting were clear that this was not the case. The ambassador for the United States, John Negroponte, said:
    “ [T]his resolution contains no "hidden triggers" and no "automaticity" with respect to the use of force. If there is a further Iraqi breach, reported to the Council by UNMOVIC, the IAEA or a Member State, the matter will return to the Council for discussions as required in paragraph 12. . .If the Security Council fails to act decisively in the event of a further Iraqi violation, this resolution does not constrain any member state from acting to defend itself against the threat posed by Iraq, or to enforce relevant UN resolutions and protect world peace and security.[2] ”
    The ambassador for the United Kingdom, the co-sponsor of the resolution, said:
    “ We heard loud and clear during the negotiations the concerns about "automaticity" and "hidden triggers" -- the concern that on a decision so crucial we should not rush into military action; that on a decision so crucial any Iraqi violations should be discussed by the Council. Let me be equally clear in response... There is no "automaticity" in this resolution. If there is a further Iraqi breach of its disarmament obligations, the matter will return to the Council for discussion as required in paragraph 12. We would expect the Security Council then to meet its responsibilities.[3] ”
    The message was further confirmed by the ambassador for Syria:
    “ Syria voted in favour of the resolution, having received reassurances from its sponsors, the United States of America and the United Kingdom, and from France and Russia through high-level contacts, that it would not be used as a pretext for striking against Iraq and does not constitute a basis for any automatic strikes against Iraq. The resolution should not be interpreted, through certain paragraphs, as authorizing any State to use force. It reaffirms the central role of the Security Council in addressing all phases of the Iraqi issue.[4]