Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Iraq Inquiry Update

The first public hearings of the Iraq Inquiry will take place on Tuesday 24th November at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, opposite Westminster Abbey in London.

Hearings will continue until 17th December and resume after the Christmas break, during the week of 4th January 2010. They will continue until early February. This is a incredibly tight schedule, in line with Sir John Chilcot’s statement that hearings will not take place during the general election, but already suggest severe restrictions on the evidence that will be held in public.

Protocols relating to the conduct of the Inquiry have also been published its website. These include:

The Cabinet Office has also publishing a protocol on the treatment of sensitive written and electronic information. Chris Ames of Iraq Inquiry Digest has criticised this as "serious backtracking, both in terms of what information the Inquiry will be given and what it will be allowed to publish," in a piece in the Guardian.

For all the promises made by Chicott, this is starting to have all the hallmarks of another Butler Inquiry.

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