The families of soldiers killed during the Iraq War have said that they will take legal action if the long-awaited and extensively delayed Chilcot Inquiry is not published by the end of the year. Representatives for the group have said that they will seek a judicial review if the report is not forthcoming because the report, being compiled by Sir John Chilcot, has already been delayed by a period of several years and further delays would be unacceptable in the eyes of the group of families.
The Iraq Inquiry, which is commonly referred to as the Chilcot Inquiry after the man that is supposed to be heading up the investigation, was started in 2009 and aimed to look at the build-up to the Iraq conflict up to the period of July 2009, as well as actions taken during the conflict itself and the results and aftermath of the conflict and the decisions that led to it.
The initial investigation was completed in 2011, after two years, but the main problem that has led to several delays and extensions is the Maxwellisation process. This process dictates that anybody that comes under criticism from the report is supposed to have the opportunity to defend themselves and put their side of the story forward before the paper goes into publication.
Sir John has told the Prime Minister that the majority of responses have been received, and that some of these have opened new avenues of investigation, but that most of the work has now been completed. However, he would not be pushed into providing a date for publication, saying that it would only be possible to provide a timeframe for the report once they have gathered all responses and completed their investigation.
A member of the group that has said they will take legal action has said that they expect everything to be done properly and appropriately, but that six years is too long. The group is demanding that they see the report by the end of the year, or they will seek a judicial review, which looks into the official practices and procedures that were followed in order to determine whether there has been any wrongdoing or error.