This is an Independent Inquiry investigating matters arising from the deployment of British armed forces to Afghanistan from mid-2010

Opening Statement by the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Haddon-Cave. Copyright © 2023 BBC. View transcript


On 15 December 2022 the Secretary of State for Defence announced the Government’s decision to formally establish an independent Inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 to investigate certain matters arising from the deployment of British armed forces to Afghanistan between mid-2010 and mid-2013.

The terms of reference were updated on 19 September 2023 to reflect the confirmation from the Secretary of State for Defence that United Kingdom Special Forces were involved in the matters which are being investigated.

The Inquiry is chaired by the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice Haddon-Cave

Under the terms of reference, the Inquiry is tasked with investigating:

  1. Whether the investigations carried out by the Royal Military Police were properly and effectively conducted (in particular, Operation Northmoor and Operation Cestro).
  2. Whether there is credible information that extra judicial killings (EJK) were carried out by UK Special Forces in Afghanistan during this period (and whether any matters should be passed to the Prosecuting Authorities to investigate).
  3. Whether the circumstances of any such EJK were covered up at any stage.
  4. What lessons are to be learned.

The full terms of reference can be found on our documents page.

On his appointment Lord Justice Haddon-Cave said:

“I am honoured to have been appointed to chair this Inquiry. It is important to establish the truth, or otherwise, of the grave allegations which are the focus of the Terms of Reference. They touch on the fine reputation of the military and the UK. The public, and all those who serve in the military, are entitled to expect a fair, fearless and thorough examination of the facts and clear answers to the questions raised. I will seek to achieve this within a reasonable timescale.”