A group of British QC's (Queen's counsel = barrister, person allowed to represent either side in courtroom) is thinking about taking the British Government to the international courts on the issue of the legality of the war.
It is related to their assertion that it is unacceptable for them to be encforcing law on the electorate whilst making decisions to ignore it at their whim.
Human rights lawyers petition international criminal court for Blair prosecution
The World Today - Wednesday, 3 March , 2004 12:32:25
Reporter: Kirsten Aiken
HAMISH ROBERTSON: Meanwhile a group of prominent human rights lawyers have petitioned the International Criminal Court in the Hague, asking it to consider prosecuting the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other senior members of the UK Government for war crimes in Iraq.
Kirsten Aiken reports from London.
KIRSTEN AIKEN: As Tony Blair labelled the most recent attacks in Iraq as cruel and divisive, the human rights lawyers who make up legal action against war, were putting their case against the Prime Minister.
Chairman Chris Coverdale says it's clear cut.
CHRIS COVERDALE: Tony Blair and the others engaged in conduct ancillary to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, which is a criminal offence in this country.
KIRSTEN AIKEN: The main thrust of the submission presented to the International Criminal Court is that Mr Blair and senior members of his Cabinet launched an attack knowing it would result in the deaths of civilians.
Michael Mansfield QC, argues the three reasons put forward to legally justify the war – weapons of mass destruction, regime change and Iraq's violations of United Nations resolutions – do not satisfy the UN charter.
MICHAEL MANSFIELD: It definitely required a second resolution, which of course Tony Blair, in the first place assured us all he would obtain. But when he didn't obtain it, we still went to war.
Now, I think that if a government – whichever government – flouts the rule of law in this way, in other words it feels it has a licence to do whatever it wants, then the whole object of the International Criminal Court to which we have become signatories, becomes irrelevant.
The point of the Court was in order to make people accountable, and that's what I think ordinary people desire at this time.
KIRSTEN AIKEN: It's true there's a growing push to prompt Tony Blair to release the legal opinion he used to send Britain to war. Downing Street says the release of such advice is unprecedented, and it won't. On that point, number 10 has won support from the bar council.
Chairman Stephen Irwin QC.
STEPEHEN IRWIN: If this Government or any government becomes afraid that advice given confidentially will be opened up later, then two things may happen: firstly, the next time they may not seek legal advice at all. Or, next time they may be tempted not to give all the facts.
HAMISH ROBERTSON: Michael Mansfield QC of Legal Action Against War.