Welcome to the website of the UK's Iraq Inquiry
At its launch Sir John Chilcot, Chairman of the Inquiry, explained:
"This is an Inquiry by a committee of Privy Counsellors. It will consider the period from the summer of 2001 to the end of July 2009, embracing the run-up to the conflict in Iraq, the military action and its aftermath. We will therefore be considering the UK's involvement in Iraq, including the way decisions were made and actions taken, to establish, as accurately as possible, what happened and to identify the lessons that can be learned. Those lessons will help ensure that, if we face similar situations in future, the government of the day is best equipped to respond to those situations in the most effective manner in the best interests of the country."
When he announced in the House of Commons the setting-up of the Inquiry, Gordon Brown said, "Its scope is unprecedented."
Before the Inquiry publishes its final report the following must happen:
- The report text containing the Inquiry's conclusions (more than 1,000,000 words) needs to be completed and checked;
- Extracts from thousands of document will be proposed for declassification (this process is already under way);
- The 'Maxwellisation' process must be carried out (see Sir John's letter).
The Inquiry expects to begin 'Maxwellisation' in the summer of 2013. This is the process of notifying those whom the report will criticise and giving them an opportunity to make representations to the Inquiry. The Committee will consider these representations.
Unfortunately Sir Martin Gilbert was taken ill in March 2012. His continuing illness has meant that it has not so far been possible for him to return to the Inquiry.