SOAS University of London

Legal Legacies of the 2003 Iraq War at SOAS with keynote by Philippe Sands QC

20 March 2018

To mark the 15th anniversary of the start of the 2003 Iraq War, SOAS University of London will next week host the Society of Legal Scholars Annual Seminar 2018, looking at the legal controversies generated by the war, including the Chilcot inquiry, war crimes by US forces and the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein.

Over 25 of the world’s leading legal experts, drawn from the US, Europe and the UK, will meet at SOAS to debate how international law was changed by the Iraq War.

Dr Kate Grady, a lecturer in law at SOAS who is leading the event, said: “The Iraq war provoked huge controversy at the time and continues to do so. Fifteen years on, with the Chilcot inquiry finally concluded, this is an ideal time to scrutinise the impact of that war on the world legal order.”

Speakers include:

- Professor Philippe Sands QC (Professor of Law at UCL, and Barrister, Matrix Chambers) speaking about the Chilcot inquiry

- Kirsty Brimelow QC (Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers and Chair, Bar Human Rights Committee) speaking about the protests in the lead up to the Iraq War and the right to protest

- Professor Beth Van Schaack (Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University and former Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the US Department of State) speaking about war crimes by US forces in Iraq

- Professor Kevin Heller (Associate Professor of Public International Law, University of Amsterdam) speaking about the trial and execution of Saddam Hussein

SOAS speakers also include Professor Nadje Al-Ali, Professor Matt Craven and  Dr Catriona Drew.

On 20 March 2003, combat forces from the UK, USA and other coalition nations invaded Iraq. This seminar seeks to explore the diverse legal legacies of the 2003 Iraq War. Taking place on 26-27 March, this two-day event is funded by the Society of Legal Scholars, and will be hosted jointly by the Centre for the Study of Colonialism, Empire and International law at SOAS University of London and the School of Law at the University of Sheffield.

For a full speaker list please visit the event pages. For further details or to arrange interviews with the speakers or for press passes please contact: