I've written before about Christopher Greenwood QC, the professor of international law at the London School of Economics who helped draft the Attorney General's parliamentary statement of March 17 2003 affirming that invading Iraq was legal. Despite all the press coverage this week due to the publication of Lord Goldsmith's March 7 advice, Christopher Greenwood's name is conspicuously absent. Only in Scotland's Sunday Herald does he get a mention (but, bizarrely, it runs the same article twice, under two different headings and ascribed to two different journos ("Dull but impossible to call", by David Denver, and "A cunning measure to gain a measure?", by Tom Shields - neither headline suits the text.)
David Denver (or Tom Shields, or A N Other) writes:
The alternative [to a second resolution] was the “revival argument” which identified the resolutions passed against Iraq before and after the first Gulf war in 1990 – especially resolutions 687 and 678, which did include an explicit threat of military force – and argued that these would come into effect if Saddam failed to comply with the orders to disarm. Only two senior UK academic lawyers backed the merits of this argument – Christopher Greenwood, professor of international law at the London School of Economics (LSE), and Professor Malcolm Shaw of Leicester University.
I don't know about Malcolm Shaw, but Christopher Greenwood, back in October 2002, did not back the "revival argument" as it was presented on 17 March 2003, nor as he himself later presented it in The Times in October 2003, first in an article, then in a letter. Rather, in Oct '02 he argued that a second resolution wouldn't be needed provided the Security Council "determined" (e,g, through a Presidential Statement, "which would require a consensus in the Council") that Iraq was in breach of its ceasefire obligations under Unscr 687, and that therefore the clause in Unscr 678 about Member States being allowed to use all necessary means against Iraq to "restore international peace and security" was operative again. But Greenwood's original version of the revival argument still depended upon the say-so the Security Council, albeit only a "consensus" of the Council instead of the unanimity needed for a resolution. But by March '03, and then Oct '03, his new argument, the government's argument, was that the Security Council's consensus was not required - the US and UK could, without the Council's consent, by themselves revive Unscr 678's permission to attack Iraq, if they determined that Saddam was in breach of previous resolutions. Denver/Shields tried to interview Professor Greenwood but didn't get very far.
Two days before Blair left for the Azores [on March 15], the attorney general’s office contacted Greenwood. He told the Sunday Herald last week: ‘‘I was retained by the government as a barrister on March 13, 2003. But due to client confidentiality, I cannot obviously reveal what advice I offered.’’
Denver/Shields should have asked Greenwood about his written advice to parliament in October 2002, which isn't covered by client confidentiality, and why he now repudiated his then-view that it was for the Security Council to determine if "Iraq was in material breach of Resolution 687 (1991) and that breach entailed a threat to international peace and security, in which case action would be justified within the framework of Resolution 678 (1990)".