Journal Article

The Chilcot Report: Some Thoughts on International Law and Legal Advice

James A. Green and Stephen Samuel

in Journal of Conflict and Security Law

Volume 22, issue 2, pages 333-352
Published in print July 2017 | ISSN: 1467-7954
Published online October 2016 | e-ISSN: 1467-7962 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jcsl/krw023
The Chilcot Report: Some Thoughts on International Law and Legal Advice

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Abstract

The Report of the Iraq (Chilcot) Inquiry was finally published, 7 years after the Inquiry’s creation, on 6 July 2016. The scope of the Inquiry’s work was vast and this was reflected in the enormous size of its final Report. The publication of the Report thus raises a multitude of questions requiring further analysis. In this short article, we aim to contribute some initial thoughts, immediately following the Report’s publication, in just two (interrelated) areas. First, we comment on the role of international law in the Chilcot Inquiry. To what extent was international law considered and how was it presented in the Report? We also ask whether the Report reaches any implicit substantive legal conclusions, despite formally refraining from determinations of law. Secondly, we review the Inquiry’s findings concerning international legal advice and legal advisers. In particular, we contribute some thoughts on the Report’s treatment of questions relating to the appropriate recipients of legal advice and its transparency, the timeliness of advice, the perception and treatment of law and legal advice by the government, and the independence and quality of that advice.

Journal Article.  8898 words. 

Subjects: Military and Defence Law ; Police and Security Services ; Terrorism and National Security Law ; Use of Force, War, Peace and Neutrality

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