Judicial review for Iraq invasion rejected

The Court of Appeal this morning (Tuesday 12 December) rejected an application to have the Government’s decision to invade Iraq examined by judicial review.

Sir Anthony Clarke, the Master of the Rolls, Queen’s Bench division president Lord Justice Judge, and Lord Justice Dyson ruled that there was no obligation on the Government to set up an inquiry into the invasion under the European Convention on Human Rights.

“Such an inquiry would inevitably involve, not only questions of international law, but also questions of policy, which are essentially matters for the executive and not the courts,” said the Master of the Rolls in his leading judgment.

The decision comes after months of campaigning by the families of two British soldiers, Trooper David Clarke and Fusilier Gordon Gentle, who were killed in Iraq.

The claimants’ case was fought by Public Interest Lawyers instructing Matrix Chambers’ Rabinder Singh QC.

The Treasury Solicitors’ Office instructed Brick Court Chambers’ Jonathan Sumption QC and 11 King’s Bench Walk’s Philip Sales QC on behalf of the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Defence, and the Attorney General, who were the named defendants.

The claimants will be applying for permission to appeal to the House of Lords.