New leaked document shows UK AG reservation on Iraq war legality Bernard Hibbitts at 7:45 PM ET
[JURIST] A document leaked to the BBC has raised new questions about the nature of the legal advice UK Prime Minister Tony Blair received from his Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, on the eve of the Iraq war. The document [text], dated March 7, 2003, suggested that the "safest legal course would be to secure the adoption of a further [UN Security Council] resolution to authorise the use of force". No such resolution was forthcoming and the final advice given by Goldsmith did not contain the recommendation. Another document leaked earlier this week [JURIST report] to the Mail on Sunday newspaper showed that the Attorney General had multiple reservations about the legality of the war which were ultimately not conveyed in the one-page summary delivered to cabinet and later presented to Parliament. The Iraq legal advice has become an election issue as the Blair government is standing for re-election on May 5; in recent days UK Conservative leader has accused Blair outright of "lying" to the British public about the Iraq war. Lord Goldsmith, meanwhile, responded to the latest leak by saying [Goldsmith statement] that he had concluded at the time that the Iraq war was legal and stood by that advice. BBC News has more.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.