This is the Divisional Court consisting of Lord Justice Richards and Mr Justice Silber deciding the application for judicial review of the Secretary of State for Defence's refusal to hold a single public Inquiry into allegations of abuse by British servicemen in Iraq. I only need to show you paragraph 129, sir, to make this general point.
This is part of the reasoning why a public Inquiry was not ordered on the facts of that particular case: the court said this:
"Fourthly, if a public Inquiry were established now, there is relatively little that it could achieve pending the conclusion of the IHAP."
Which was the independent investigation into the events in Iraq.
" ... investigations and any ensuing prosecutions. It must not be forgotten that serious accusations of criminal misconduct have been made against British soldiers, both the Baha Mousa Inquiry and the Al-Sweady Inquiry followed the conclusion of relevant criminal proceedings. There would be an obvious risk of prejudice to criminal investigations and proceedings if an active public Inquiry ran in parallel with them.
"Moreover witnesses implicated in alleged abuse would be unlikely to give evidence to a public Inquiry unless they were first given immunity from prosecution."