UK's Iraq Inquiry extends deadline for international lawyer submissions

In June the Iraq Inquiry issued an open invitation to international lawyers to give their analysis of the arguments relied upon by the UK Government as the legal basis for the military intervention in Iraq. The Inquiry decided to issue an open invitation, rather than writing to individual international lawyers, to avoid the risk that we might inadvertently fail to write to particular individuals, or the perception that we had focused on people who were thought to hold a particular view.

A number of international lawyers have already responded. Others have indicated that they would like to respond, but need a little more time to do so. We are therefore extending the deadline for submissions until 13 September.

A copy of the invitation originally circulated via the mailing list of the Oxford University Public Law Discussion Group, and published on the website of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law.

The UK Prime Minister announced on 15 June 2009 that an Inquiry would be conducted to identify lessons that can be learned from the Iraq conflict. The Iraq Inquiry was officially launched on 30 July 2009. At the launch the Chair of the Inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, set out the Inquiry's Terms of Reference:

"Our terms of reference are very broad, but the essential points, as set out by the Prime Minister and agreed by the House of Commons, are that this is an Inquiry by a committee of Privy Counsellors. It will consider the period from the summer of 2001 to the end of July 2009, embracing the run-up to the conflict in Iraq, the military action and its aftermath. We will therefore be considering the UK's involvement in Iraq, including the way decisions were made and actions taken, to establish, as accurately as possible, what happened and to identify the lessons that can be learned. Those lessons will help ensure that, if we face similar situations in future, the government of the day is best equipped to respond to those situations in the most effective manner in the best interests of the country."

The Inquiry committee members are Sir John Chilcot (Chairman), Sir Lawrence Freedman, Sir Martin Gilbert, Sir Roderic Lyne and Baroness Usha Prashar.

The Inquiry will take evidence over a number of months, with as many hearings as possible held in public. The first round of hearings began in autumn 2009 and continued into early 2010. After a break for the general election, the Inquiry resumed its public hearings in June for a period of five weeks. The Inquiry intends to deliver its report around the turn of the year. The Inquiry committee intends to include in the report all but the most sensitive information essential to our national security. The report will then be debated in Parliament.

Biographies of the Iraq Inquiry members

Sir John Chilcot (Chairman)
Sir Lawrence Freedman
Sir Martin Gilbert
Sir Roderic Lyne
Baroness Usha Prashar

Relevant documents

Letters and memos to and from the Inquiry


Statements from and to the Inquiry

Declassified Documents

Declassified Documents listed by Department


The following are protocols used in the inquiry for:

witnesses giving evidence to the Iraq Inquiry

hearing evidence by the Iraq Inquiry in public

sensitive information

This is the link to the Protocol [External website] agreed between the Iraq Inquiry and HM Government regarding Documents and other Written and Electronic Information referred to the Inquiry's Protocols above.

The Iraq Inquiry announces the names of witnesses seen in private
08 July 2010

The Iraq Inquiry has now heard from 35 witnesses in private. This means that by the end of the this round of public hearings, the Inquiry will have heard from more than 140 witnesses. Sir John Chilcot made clear at the start of the Inquiry that whilst the Committee is determined to hold as many of its proceedings in public as possible, there were circumstances where a private hearing would be necessary. These were laid out in the Inquiry’s protocols.

Iraq Inquiry Chairman Sir John Chilcot, said:

“These hearings have given the Inquiry valuable evidence which could have not be heard in public session without damaging national security or international relations. They have supplemented the Inquiry’s understanding as it takes forward its public work.”

Some witnesses gave evidence in private because the evidence concerned matters which, if revealed in public, could damage national security or other vital national interests. In some cases, sessions took place in private because of the personal circumstances of the witnesses, either because of the organisations for whom they worked, or because they were relatively junior officials at the time that they served in Iraq or were giving evidence as part of a group with other people who were junior officials at the time.

The witnesses who gave evidence in private were:

Witnesses Role
The Hon Dominic Asquith CMG Director Iraq, 2004 to 2006

HM Ambassador to Iraq, 2006 to 2007
Major General Graham Binns CBE DSO MC General Office Commanding Multi National Division (South East), 2007 to 2008
Major General Adrian Bradshaw CB OBE Commander 7th Brigade 2003
Edward Chaplin CMG OBE HM Ambassador to Iraq, 2004 to 2005
Sir Richard Dearlove KCMG OBE Chief SIS, 2001 to 2004
Tim Dowse CMG Chief of Assessments Staff, 2003 to 2009
Sir William Ehrman KCMG Chairman, Joint Intelligence Committee, 2004 to 2005
Sir Jeremy Greenstock GCMG HM Ambassador to the United Nations, 1998 to July 2003

UK Special Representative for Iraq, 2003 to 2004
Martin Howard CB Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence, 2003 to 2004

Director General Operational Policy, 2004 to 2007
Lieutenant General Sir Graeme Lamb KBE CBE DSO General Officer Commanding Multi National Division (South East), 2003 to 2003

Senior British Military Representative – Iraq, 2006 to 2007
Major General Michael Laurie CBE Director General Intelligence Collection, 2002 to 2003
Ian Lee Director General Operational Policy, Ministry of Defence, 2002 to 2004
Sir David Manning GCMG CVO Foreign Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister, 2001 to 2003

HM Ambassador to Washington 2003 to 2007
Julian Miller CB Chief of Assessments Staff, 2001 to 2003
Christopher Prentice CMG HM Ambassador to Iraq, 2007 to 2009
Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE Chairman, Joint Intelligence Committee, 2003 to 2004

Chief of SIS, 2004 to 2009
Major Gen Jonathan Shaw CBE General Officer Commanding Multi National Division (South East) 2007
Sir Kevin Tebbit KCB CMG Permanent Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, 1998 - 2005
Major General Tim Tyler CB Deputy Commander Iraq Survey Group, 2004
Simon Webb CBE Policy Director, Ministry of Defence, 2001 to 2004
Ian Lee provided a statement to the Inquiry, this has been published.

The Committee heard from a further six members of the SIS.

The Inquiry held two hearings with the following DFID and FCO officials who served in Iraq:

Witnesses Role
Jonny Baxter Head of DFID Baghdad, 2007 to 2008
Lindy Cameron Head of DFID Baghdad, 2004 to 2005
Simon Collis Consul General Basra, 2004 to 2005
Tim Foy Head of DFID Baghdad, 2005 to 2006

Head of PRT Basra and reviewer of PRT 2006
Richard Jones Consul General Basra, 2007 to 2008
Kathleen Reid Head of DFID Basra, 2007 to 2008
James Tansley Consul General Basra, 2005 to 2006
Rob Tinline Head of PRT Basra, 2007 to 2008
John Tucknott Deputy Head of Mission Baghdad, 2007 to 2009
The protocol allows for junior officials to give their evidence in private. As the Inquiry wanted to hear from these junior witnesses alongside other more senior witnesses who served in Iraq at the same time, the Committee decided to hear from all of them in private. Most of the content of these evidence sessions did not require protection under the protocol. The Inquiry has therefore publish transcripts of these sessions.

Date Subject/Role Witnesses
22 June 2010 The view from Baghdad and Basra 2004 to 2006 Lindy Cameron
Simon Collis
Tim Foy
James Tansley
24 June 2010 The view from Baghdad and Basra 2007 to 2009 Jonny Baxter
Richard Jones
Kathleen Reid
Rob Tinline
John Tucknott
The Inquiry has published an updated ‘Protocol for witnesses giving evidence to the Iraq Inquiry’. This provides further detail on the conduct of private hearings but does not change the grounds upon which a witness might give evidence in private. The Inquiry is committed to being open and transparent and will publish as much of the evidence from these hearings as possible. The Protocol sets out the approach the Inquiry will take to considering how best to draw on and explain in public what was covered in private.


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