Is the question of the legality of the war missing?

Here’s a point I hadn’t thought of ( there are some). The Chilcott inquiry isn’t competent to rule on the legality of the Iraq war, according to a set of unnamed judicial figures and other lawyers the Guardian’s legal affairs corr has talked to. This is sure to be hotly debated and Chilcott himself will have to give an answer in one of the early public sessions which start today.. Is there a hint here that one of the sources is no less than Lord Bingham, the retired senior law lord ( if he were still in harness he’d be the President of the new Supreme Court)? A big pillar of the establishment but no government lackey, he said last year that the invasion was “a serious violation of international law.” Chilcott’s defence must be that his requirement of full disclosure of all the documents and other evidence relating to legality – the head of the foreign office’s legal department resigned over it – will allow people to make up their own minds. But it’s an unsettling thought, I agree.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London