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UK government manipulated legal justifications for Iraq war

[JURIST] According to a special report published in Wednesday's Guardian, British Attorney General Lord Goldsmith [official profile] warned the government less than two weeks before the 2003 invasion of Iraq that the military actions could be ruled illegal. Lord Goldsmith's warning led the government to assemble a team of lawyers to prepare for legal action in an international court should the UK be prosecuted. The Guardian also reports that the 2003 parliamentary statement on the legality of an invasion [text; JURIST report] presented to the House of Lords as Lord Goldsmith's official opinion was actually drawn up in the Prime Minister's office, not the attorney general's chambers. A year ago, two British papers reported that the US encouraged Lord Goldsmith to alter his legal advice [JURIST report] on the legality of the US-led invasion of Iraq. The Guardian has more.

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