Friday, October 30, 2009

Inquiry announces Protocols

The Iraq Inquiry yesterday published a set of protocols, governing the conduct of the Inquiry:

Venue, initial dates and witness protocols for Iraq Inquiry public hearings announced

The initial public hearings for the Iraq Inquiry will begin on Tuesday 24th November 2009 at the QEII conference centre in central London. The hearings will run until 17th December, break for Christmas, then start again during the week of 4th January 2010. It is expected they will run until early February. The exact dates of the sessions, along with the identity of witnesses and arrangements for public and media access, will be published nearer the time.

The Inquiry has also released the protocols for witnesses. The three documents include details on what the Inquiry will expect from witnesses, what they can expect from the Inquiry, the rules on whether witnesses should appear in public or in private, and how sensitive information will be treated. Also released today is a protocol between the Inquiry and the government on the treatment of sensitive written and electronic information.

“These protocols make it clear that the Inquiry is absolutely committed to ensuring that its proceedings are as open as possible. They also show that it is determined to approach its task fairly but thoroughly,” said Inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot.

“They state that Ministers, senior military officers, members of the Senior Civil Service and their equivalents, and former holders of those posts, should all expect to give evidence in public. Only if there are genuine issues of national or personal security would such senior witnesses be justified in seeking to give some of their evidence in private.”

The protocols also explain to witnesses how they will be questioned and how they are expected to answer. The Privy Counsellors who make up the Inquiry committee will question the witnesses directly. Witnesses will be expected to answer questions themselves. No-one else will be allowed to speak for them. There will be no cross examination by lawyers acting on behalf of the Inquiry or of other parties.

  •  protocol for witnesses giving evidence to the Iraq Inquiry

  •  protocol for hearing evidence by the Iraq Inquiry in public, and for identifying witnesses
  •  protocol on sensitive information
The Cabinet Office, as the sponsoring department for the Iraq Inquiry, is simultaneously publishing a protocol for documents and other written and electronic information [External website]agreed between the Inquiry and Her Majesty’s Government. The protocol can be found on the (Cabinet Office website) [External website].

Thursday, October 29, 2009

BBC - Sir John sets the date

Page last updated at 00:25 GMT, Thursday, 29 October 2009

Iraq hearings 'must be in public'

Ministers, civil servants and senior military figures will be expected to give evidence to the Iraq war inquiry in public, its chairman has said.

Only "genuine" issues of national or personal security should prevent them from doing so, Sir John Chilcot said.

His remarks came as the inquiry said it would hold its first public hearings next month in London, although details of witnesses have yet to be released.

Opposition parties have insisted all proceedings should be in public.

Key witnesses

Gordon Brown has said it is up to Sir John to decide the format of the inquiry but has indicated he would be willing to appear in public.

The prime minister, his predecessor Tony Blair and Jack Straw, foreign secretary at the time of the 2003 invasion, are among those expected to be called to give evidence.

"Ministers, senior military officers, members of the senior civil service and their equivalents and former holders of those posts should all expect to give evidence in public," Sir John said.

"Only if there are genuine issues of national or personal security would such senior witnesses be justified in seeking to give some of their evidence in private."

The inquiry will hold its first public hearings on November 24 at the QEII conference centre in central London.

Earlier this month, the committee met the families of personnel killed in Iraq and serving officers.

Google reports Guardian report about announcement

This Google page entry appeared a while ago, but clicking the link offered no page.

The entry itself disappeared shortly afterwards.

Evidence must be given in public says Iraq war inquiry chairman - 42 minutes ago
Public hearings in the Iraq war inquiry will begin on 24 November at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre near the Houses of Parliament. ...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Specialists appointed by Chilcot

Inquiry appoints military and international law advisers

by Chris Ames

The Inquiry has announced that it has appointed two advisers to help it conduct its work. General Sir Roger Wheeler, the former Chief of the General Staff, will assist the committee on military matters, and Dame Rosalyn Higgins, the former President of the International Court of Justice, will advise on international law.

It says that Sir Roger and Dame Rosalyn will provide advice to the Committee in areas where their specialist professional knowledge is required fully to understand the issues involved. Their input will include contributing to the development of detailed lines of questioning ahead of the public hearings and the subsequent interpretation of evidence. The appointment of a heavyweight jurist suggests that the Inquiry is serious about coming to a judgement about the legality of the war.

"General Sir Roger Wheeler GCB CBE was Chief of the General Staff, the professional head of the Army, for three years from 1997-2000. Prior to that he was Commander in Chief Land Forces, including a period as Joint Commander of the United Kingdom's forces deployed on NATO operation in Bosnia. He assumed that appointment following three years as General Officer Commanding, and Director of Military Operations in Northern Ireland. His earlier career included a variety of command and key executive staff appointments in MOD, Germany, the Falkland Islands and Cyprus."

"Dame Rosalyn Higgins DBE QC was Professor of International Law at the University of London from 1981 to 1995. She became a QC in 1986, and was a member of the International Court of Justice from 1995 to 2009 including three years as President of the Court from February 2006 to February 2009."

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Veterans invited to participate in Iraq Inquiry

US State News

October 5, 2009 Monday 7:05 PM EST

462 words


LONDON, Oct. 5 -- The government of United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence issued the following news release:

Veterans and other participants in the UK involvement in Iraq are being asked for their input to the official inquiry into the conflict.

On 15 June 2009 the Prime Minister announced in Parliament that there would be an inquiry to examine and report on the British Government's policies and their implementation, from summer 2001 to 31 July 2009, relating to the Iraq conflict and its aftermath.

Chairman of the Iraq Inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, has today sent an open letter to participants in the Iraq campaign (Operation TELIC) offering them the opportunity to give their views to the inquiry committee by attending one of a series of roadshows.

In the letter Sir John Chilcot says:

"At the launch of the Iraq Inquiry on 30 July I said that one of the committee's first priorities was to hear from those affected by the Iraq conflict since 2003, including those who served in Iraq as part of Op TELIC.

"We have been pleased that some of you have already contacted the inquiry to let us know what you believe its priorities should be. This is to inform you that the committee will shortly be holding a series of open events across the country for TELIC veterans to participate in if they wish.

"The events will take place as follows:

Wednesday 14 October

Novotel St Pancras,

100-110 Euston Road, London NW1 2AJ

Between 1500 and 1700hrs

Friday 16 October

City Inn Hotel,

1 Auburn Street, 1 Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3DG

Between 1500 and 1700hrs

Friday 23 October

City Inn Hotel,

Temple Way, Bristol BS1 6BF

Between 1500 and 1700hrs

"There will also be events in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the details of which will be released shortly.

"I should emphasise that these events are by no means the only opportunity to give your views to the inquiry. We are happy to receive the thoughts of individuals who served during the campaign or from relevant groups or associations on behalf of their members. Please send any submissions to the Iraq Inquiry Secretariat [at the above address].

"The committee are grateful for your help in this aspect of the inquiry's work and look forward to receiving your views in person or in writing."

Should you wish to attend one of the events, please email the Inquiry Secretariat at with your name and the event you plan to attend so that they have an idea of numbers. It would also help them to know your role in the campaign, eg, Service, Reservist, civilian, etc.

The Ministry of Defence is co-operating fully with the inquiry. Serving Armed Forces and MOD personnel who wish to attend the roadshows are encouraged to do so.

For more information please contact: Sarabjit Jagirdar, Email:-

October 5, 2009