What the Inquiry by the United Kingdom into its Decision to Intervene in Iraq Tells Us About International Legal Advice and Decision Making in Times of Crisis

14 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2017

See all articles by Stephen Bouwhuis

Stephen Bouwhuis

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - Department of the Attorney General

Date Written: January 31, 2017

Abstract

The inquiry by the United Kingdom into its decision to intervene in Iraq is one of the longest running and most comprehensive examinations of government decision-making. In particular, the inquiry examined in detail the processes through which legal advice was provided to and formed a part of the decision by the Government of the United Kingdom to intervene in Iraq.

Through this lens this paper examines what the inquiry illustrates about the general relevance of international law to the decision to intervene in Iraq and more broadly what it says about the role of international law in decision making more generally. In particular, the paper pertains to the practical and ethical aspects providing international legal advice to government as well as the nature of government legal practice more generally.

Keywords: Chilcot, Iraq, International Law, Government legal practice

Suggested Citation

Bouwhuis, Stephen, What the Inquiry by the United Kingdom into its Decision to Intervene in Iraq Tells Us About International Legal Advice and Decision Making in Times of Crisis (January 31, 2017). European Society of International Law (ESIL) 2016 Annual Conference (Riga), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2911979 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2911979

Stephen Bouwhuis (Contact Author)

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - Department of the Attorney General ( email )

Australia

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