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Families of British Forces Killed in Iraq Seek Hearings on Legality of War


Families of two British soldiers killed in Iraq went to court Monday in a bid to force the country's government to hold public hearings on the legality of the Iraq war.

Lawyers for the families say Britain is required under provisions in the European Convention of Human Rights to hold an inquiry.

The case opened today in Britain's Court of Appeal, one week after the government narrowly defeated a bid by opposition lawmakers to hold parliamentary hearings on the war.

Lawyers say the families specifically want to know why Attorney General Peter Goldsmith in March of 2003 authored a 13-page advisory questioning the legality of the war.

They note that 10 days later, he issued a brief statement unequivocally justifying the invasion.

Late last year, a High Court judge dismissed the families' demands for an inquiry, but the Court of Appeal later allowed them to challenge the ruling.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.