Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Legally bad advise?

From Times Online

February 26, 2008

PM told to release Cabinet minutes on Iraq

David Byers

The Government was today ordered to release the minutes of Cabinet discussions where ministers discussed military action against Iraq.

Richard Thomas, the Information Commissioner, said the papers should be released under the Freedom of Information Act because of the "gravity and controversial nature" of the discussions. Ministers said that they had not yet decided whether to appeal against the decision.

It marks the latest stage of a battle over the March 2003 meetings, where ministers discussed the advice by Lord Goldsmith, then the Attorney-General, on the legality of the war in the run-up to the invasion which toppled Saddam Hussein's regime.

The Cabinet Office has refused to make the details public on the grounds that the papers were exempt because they related to the formulation of Government policy and ministerial communications.

However, Mr Thomas today ruled that, in this particular case, the public interest in disclosing the minutes outweighed the arguments...



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