Lawcast164: The legal basis for the Iraq War and Lord Goldsmith’s opinion with Carl Gardner
Today I am talking to Carl Gardner, a former government lawyer in Tony Blair’s administration and author of the Head of Legal blog, about the legality of the War in Iraq.
The legal analysis turns on United Nations Special Resolution 1441. Yesterday Sir Michael Wood, Legal Adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, was quite specific in his view that war would be unlawful without a second resolution. The Foreign secretary, Jack Straw, rejected Sir Michael’s advice. Elizabeth Wilmshurst, a deputy legal adviser at the FCO, was of the same view as Sir Michael Wood and, indeed resigned, so strong was her conviction that the war was unlawful.
Philippe Sands QC of Matrix Chambers and Professor of International Law at University College London has long been of the view that the war in Iraq was illegal and published a book to that effect some time ago. There are few supporters of the revivalist theory put forward by Lord Goldsmith at the Iraq Inquiry hearing today – but Carl Gardner is one lawyer who does. The podcast is a discussion between us rather than a traditional interview style podcast.