Court of Appeal victory paves way for Iraq inquiry

Human rights firm Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and Matrix Chambers’ Rabinder Singh QC have won a significant Court of Appeal victory which could lead to an inquiry into the Iraq War.

PIL was representing the families of four soldiers killed on duty in Iraq. The relatives are seeking a judicial review of the government’s refusal to hold an independent inquiry into the invasion of Iraq.

In December Mr Justice Collins refused permission to apply for judicial review, prompting the appeal.

This morning (26 July) the Master of the Rolls, Lord Justice Clarke, Queen’s Bench division president Lord Justice Judge and Lord Justice Dyson said that the families can seek permission to apply for judicial review, and that the Court of Appeal will hear the application.

The Master of the Rolls, giving the leading judgment, said: “We are conscious, as the judge expressed himself to be, of the importance of the issue and the great public concern that it has aroused.”

However the court added that it was reluctant to grant the appeal, saying: “Matters of this kind are essentially matters for the executive and Parliament. […] They are matters to be resolved by political debate and, as it might be put, at the bar of public opinion.”

The application for judicial review will be heard over three days in November.