Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Legality of the Iraq War (Part V): UK Govt's Pre-War Legal Opinion Leaked

The Iraq War, and its legality (which I previously discussed here), continue to excite participants in the UK election campaign. Today, the long-sought legal opinion (or at least parts of it) from Lord Goldsmith, the UK Govt's chief legal advisor, was leaked to the press. (UPDATE: the UK administration has released the full opinion here.)

From this side of the pond, it doesn't look all that damaging. It reasonably suggests that the international legality of the Iraq War was plausible without a second Security Council Resolution but that seeking such a resolution was the most prudent course. Moreover, Lord Goldsmith further argues today that he received new facts of Iraqi breaches after he issued his preliminary memo. A court may have disagreed, but this advice was hardly irresponsible. (UPDATE: Some leading figures in the UK seem to feel differently, see this article in today's Guardian calling Tony Blair a war criminal (via normblog)). Still, I'm not a Brit and it will be interesting to see what role the "legality" of the Iraq War, as opposed to those generally dissatisfied over the war itself, will play in the UK elections, which will be held next week.


Post a Comment

<< Home