Publish or Be Damned

John Chilcot has not yet completed his report into the Iraq war. the reason for this really appalling delay is that Mr Chilcot is giving those that he may criticise in his report an opportunity to see a draft of his criticisms and answer them. This process is taking years. 

Work started on the report in 2009. The last witness gave evidence in 2011. To provide people with months or years to respond to proposed criticisms is quite out of keeping with the rules that apply in litigation.
A litigant may be faced with an extremely complicated defence or claim. The litigant has usually 28 days to respond to the document although this time can be extended by another 28 days or in exceptional cricumstances 56 days. I have yet to hear of a court that allowed years for such a response. Clearly to do so would be against all concepts of natural justice.

I cannot understand why Mr Chilcot is allowing people such inordinate lengths of time to respond. It makes no sense to me and I am used to dealing with highly complex litigation. I cannot imagine that Mr Chilcot’s work is much more complex that the kind of cases that the court deals with every day.

Mr Chilcot does not appear to me to be a veray parfit knight even those it appears that it may that that “he nevere yet no vileynye ne sayde In al his lyf unto no maner wight“.and wishes to continue thus in his report.


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