Britain’s High Court on Monday rejected a bid by a former Iraqi general to file a case against former prime minister Tony Blair for a “crime of aggression” in joining the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Lawyers for former Iraqi army chief of staff, Abdul Rabbat, wanted to sue Mr. Blair and his foreign minister and attorney general at the time.
Britain’s House of Lords, the unelected upper house of parliament, ruled in 2006 that English law has no “crime of aggression” despite its existence in international law.
The High Court rejected Mr. Rabbat’s petition for a judicial review of a lower court’s decision last year.
It said there was no prospect of Britain’s highest court, the Supreme Court, ruling that the earlier decision “was wrong or the reasoning no longer applicable.”
“Having formed the view that there is no prospect of the Supreme Court overturning the decision [by the lower court], it is our duty to refuse permission to bring the proceedings for judicial review,” it said.
Lawyers for Mr. Rabbat had argued that in 2016 publication of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq war had given new grounds to prosecute Blair.
The inquiry concluded that Blair’s government had decided to invade Iraq before exhausting peaceful options, used intelligence presented with a “certainty that was not justified,” and undermined the authority of the United Nations.
Following its publication, Blair admitted “mistakes in planning and process” but said he would take the same decision again.