On 12 February the families of British soldiers who died in Iraq (founders of the Iraq War Family Group, IWFG) have launched a new fundraising to pay the team of lawyers that examines the Chilcot report. After collecting £ 150,000, the aim is now to raise £ 22,000 to add additional counsel and “consider some significant constitutional issues” in view of Brexit. So far, the legal team has confirmed that “the evidence supports the case that certain state officials may be liable for wrongdoing and, in particular, misfeasance in public office”.
The action of IWFG is a powerful example, both in terms of form and substance, of a functioning Rule of Law. In terms of substance, the action aims at establishing the historical truth through the application of the law before which all citizens are equal; in terms of form, family members are diligently and publicly following step by step, with the support that anyone is willing give, what is prescribed by the law, thereby showing that they are truly seeking justice instead of revenge.
Their legal initiative becomes even more crucial now that, as the Belfast Telegraph reports, “new plans would prevent service personnel from suing the Ministry of Defence for negligence, leaving decisions about compensation to an MoD-appointed assessor.” On February 14 a familiar of a fallen soldier said: “It is telling that the first step by the MoD in response to the highly critical Chilcot Report isn’t to introduce new measures to protect soldiers, but instead measures to remove their own duty to operate a safe system of work where our troops are deployed.”
For these reasons and for the efforts made throughout the years by Marco Pannella, the Radical Party and more recently by the Global Committee for the Rule of Law on this matter, I have made a £ 10 donation to the IWFG crowdfunding initiative and I urge everyone to do the same by visiting https://www.crowdjustice.org
GCRL Secretary General