Charon QC blog: Coverage of Chilcot on legality of war


Lord Goldsmith got taxpayer help for Iraq war inquiry legal advice

Guardian: The former attorney general Lord Goldsmith has received legal advice from public funds to help him prepare his evidence tomorrow to the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war, the Guardian has learned.

His request for help emerged today after the inquiry heard damning evidence about how under strong pressure from ministers, notably the then foreign secretary Jack Straw, Goldsmith changed his mind about the legality of the war at the last minute, saying it was lawful after all.

Gilderdale case prompts fresh calls to clarify the law on assisted dying

Times: One devoted mother who helps her sick daughter to end her life with tablets and morphine walks free from court with a suspended sentence.

Another is jailed for murder, to serve a minimum of nine years, after injecting her brain-damaged son with a lethal dose of heroin.

The two contrasting cases have reignited the debate over “right to die” and whether those who assist a loved one to end their suffering should be subject to criminal law.

Homeowners in arrears to get greater protection

Times: Homeowners who fall into arrears on their mortgage repayments are set to benefit from greater protection under new proposals set out by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

The City regulator has released plans to limit excessive charges levied on customers for missing mortgage repayments and set out how lenders should handle borrowers in arrears after it discovered that lenders were too quick to repossess borrowers, particularly those who offer sub-prime and specialist loans

Wills & Co ceases trading amid FSA inquiry

Times: Wills & Co, the private client stockbroker, has ceased trading amid financial troubles and a Financial Services Authority (FSA) investigation.

The group, set up in 1883 as the financial services division of the Wills tobacco business, fell foul of the FSA last year after it was accused of mis-selling. The subsequent cost of putting its house in order — by hiring one of the “big four” accounting firms and in defending itself from more than 100 legacy complaints — has put pressure on its finances.

Wills’s 19,000 clients are gradually being passed to Pritchard Stockbrokers. All clients are being informed of any changes and the broker says that all investments are safe.

Hedge funds’ $1bn lawsuit says Porsche lied on VW ambition

Times: American hedge fund managers sued Porsche and two of its former top managers yesterday for more than $1 billion (£620 million), in what may be one of the biggest damages claims ever received by a German company.

Four fund managers — Elliott Associates, Glenhill Capital Management, Glenview Capital Management and Perry Capital — accused the sports car manufacturer, its former chief executive and its former chief financial officer of repeatedly lying about their intention to take over Volkswagen.

The fund managers claimed that they had lost more than $1 billion because they were shorting VW stock in October 2008 when Porsche surprised the stock market by revealing a 75 per cent stake in VW, sending the Beetle maker’s shares rocketing.

Victims’ families demand Edlington boys be named

Times: Pressure was growing on the Government last night to release the full findings of a confidential inquiry into the Edlington torture case.

The Conservatives stepped up demands for the publication of the 150-page report and the Liberal Democrats are considering tabling an amendment to a Bill that would require the findings of all serious case reviews to be made public.

As the families of the child victims called for their attackers — brothers aged 10 and 11 — to be stripped of their anonymity, the NSPCC, which believes that the serious case review report should remain out of the public eye, wrote to all MPs urging immediate action to restore public confidence in the review system.

Serious case reviews are held after a child known to the social services dies, suffers serious injury or is involved in a violent crime