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."


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