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Former Law Lord Lord Steyn hit out last night (Wednesday 29 November) at the government’s record in Iraq and called for the restoration of the international rule of law.
Speaking at the annual Law Reform lecture held by the Bar Council’s Law Reform Committee, Steyn criticised the government’s foreign policies, and said that by combining forces with the US Tony Blair and his cabinet had played a part in “undermining the international rule of law”.
Steyn told the audience in the Inner Temple Hall: “In the cabinet of Prime Minister Blair two things are apparently forbidden. The first is to say that the Iraq war was a disaster. The second is to say that the world has been made a more dangerous place as a result of the foreign policy of President Bush and the Prime Minister. The pretences must at all costs be kept up. But the public does not believe these fairy tales.”
Steyn also said that “it was a black day for the rule of law” when the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, gave his “clear and positive opinion” that the invasion of Iraq by the UK and US would be legal.
Comparing Iraq to Vietnam, Steyn said that it was time for British troops to withdraw from the embattled state.
He concluded by saying: “We must move on from the tragedy of 9/11, we must move on from the total obsession with the war on terror, and we must try to restore the foundations of an international rule of law worthy of the name.”