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Iraq and the law: what went wrong?

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  • Speaker: Rabinder Singh QC
  • Chair: Professor Christine Chinkin
  • Wednesday 14 November 2007

Rabinder Singh QC

Rabinder Singh QC, a barrister at Matrix Chambers and Visiting Professor of Law at the LSE, has been involved in some of the leading cases of the last five years raising legal issues arising out of the war against Iraq. In this lecture he will for the first time in a public forum give an account of that work, which includes: the legality of the UK's participation in the invasion in 2003; attempts to get a public inquiry into the circumstances leading to the invasion; the applicability of the Human Rights Act to British forces in Iraq; and the alleged torture and killing of Iraqi civilians (including Baha Mousa) by British forces. Singh will explore whether the concept of law can withstand the intense pressures which have been put upon it by these issues. He will ask whether we should not just give up on law and accept that force and realpolitik will prevail, or whether despite everything law still has a role to play.

Rabinder Singh QC is a barrister at Matrix Chambers. Specialising in Public Law, he has acted in many of the leading human rights cases in the UK and before the European Court of Human Rights. He is a Deputy High Court Judge and a Recorder of the Crown Court. He is a Visiting Professor of Law at LSE and is the Chair of the Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association. In 2006, he received the Liberty / JUSTICE Human Rights Lawyer of the Year Award.

Christine Chinkin is Professor of International Law at the LSE and a barrister at Matrix Chambers.

Podcast and Transcript

An audio recording of this event is available to download as: mp3 (18 mb; approx 81 minutes)

A transcript of the recording of this event is available to download as PDF