British Government Warned That Iraq War Would Be Illegal
Posted on Jan 26, 2010
Before the invasion of Iraq, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw’s top legal adviser warned that the use of force was “contrary to international law” and “would amount to the crime of aggression.”
According to testimony in the U.K.‘s Iraq inquiry, Straw allegedly rejected the advice as “dogmatic,” saying “international law was pretty vague.”
The secretary would go on to seek and win a more favorable second opinion from the country’s attorney general just days before invasion. —PZS
Asked by the inquiry about Mr Straw’s analysis of the legal position regarding the invasion of Iraq, Sir Michael told the inquiry: “Obviously there are some areas of international law that can be quite uncertain. This, however, turned exclusively on the interpretation of a specific text and it is one on which I think that international law was pretty clear.”
He told the inquiry his advice had never been rejected by a minister before or since.
U.S. Air Force / Staff Sgt. Nicole Ketchen
British troops stand in formation at Tallil Air Base, Iraq, less than a year after the March 2003 invasion.