The Scott inquiry, constitutional conventions and accountability in British government


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Abstract

The Scott inquiry into the sale of arms related and dual use goods to Iraq in contravention of a government policy of embargo resulted in perhaps the most significant insights into the operation of British government. It revealed a system of government in which departments appeared to pursue their own objectives under a cloak of secrecy leading to conflict and the collapse of a major trial in very public circumstances. While the inquiry has not led to any ministerial resignations it has increased overall concern about the effectiveness of existing constitutional conventions of accountability in British government.

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