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The Inquiry

The former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced on 15 June 2009 that an Inquiry would be conducted to identify lessons that could be learned from the Iraq conflict.

At the launch, the Chair of the Inquiry, Sir John Chilcot, outlined its scope:

"Our terms of reference are very broad, but the essential points, as set out by the Prime Minister and agreed by the House of Commons, are that 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, 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."

The Inquiry took oral evidence over a number of months, with as many hearings as possible held in public.  The first round began in autumn 2009 and continued into early 2010.  After a break for the general election, the Inquiry resumed its hearings from 18 January to 2 February 2011, with private hearings concluding by the end of May 2011.  Written evidence studied by the Inquiry included over 150,000 contemporaneous documents.

In the news archive, you will find announcements made by the Inquiry throughout its lifetime.