Iraq War Families group attempting to crowdfund legal action

Campaigners say they are looking to take action against "any state officials who might have acted unlawfully"

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Image: Dan Kitwood / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Families of some of the British soldiers who died during the Iraq War have launched a crowdfunding campaign as part of their efforts to begin possible legal action following the publication of the Chilcot report.

Members of the Iraq War Families campaign group say they are looking to take action "against any state officials who might have acted unlawfully or in excess of their powers".

It comes after the long-awaited report into the UK's involvement in the Iraq War was published earlier this month.

The Chilcot report found that the decision to invade Iraq was made "before the peaceful option for disarmament had been exhausted".

The severity of the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction "were presented with a certainty that was not justified" by Tony Blair's government, the inquiry's chair John Chilcot said.

You can read more about the report here.

Responding to the report's publication, Tony Blair said: "The intelligence assessments made at the time of going to war turned out to be wrong - the aftermath turned out to be more hostile, protracted and bloody than ever we imagined."

Mr Blair added that he accepted "full responsibility" for the criticisms made by the Iraq Inquiry - even where he didn't agree with them.

However, families of the soldiers killed in the war have been calling for more action to be taken.

Explaining the reasons behind their crowdfunding campaign, organisers say: "There has been much speculation in the media that former Prime Minister Tony Blair and other state officials criticised by the Chilcot Report can and should be taken to court by the Families in private civil proceedings. Many reputable legal experts commenting in the media have endorsed this view.

"However, we cannot take any action before our legal team [...] has done a full and forensic legal analysis of the Report (2.6 million words over twelve volumes) and prepared a comprehensive opinion approved by expert Senior Counsel. There are no shortcuts," they add.

The group is looking for a minimum of £50,000 (around €60,000) - although is hoping to raise funds of £150,000 (€180,000) to fund the entire preliminary examination. 

They say there it is not possible to bring a case before the International Criminal Court, and the British government will "almost certainly" not bring any criminal proceedings. They suggest it is "down to us – and we hope you will help – to seek justice where there has been none." 

As of writing, the campaign has already raised more than £22,000 (€26,000).