24 Nov 2006 All day Churchill Archives Centre


Debating the Evidence: Freedom of Information?

24 November 2006
Wolfson Hall, Churchill College, Storey's Way, Cambridge
Speakers include: Dr Hans Blix, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, The Rt. Hon. Tony Benn and Lord Wilson of Dinton

'Freedom of Information?' raises urgent topical questions about disclosure. Presentations by figures closely involved in recent events, including politicians, public servants, diplomats, historians, and diplomatic and foreign correspondents will address questions that focus especially on the invasion of Iraq. What are the tensions between the right to know and government responsibility? Is the public entitled to full disclosure? Does the government have a right to withhold information? Historians confront similar difficulties in writing contemporary history, when problems of restricted access can arise. How have attempts to tell the truth been limited or enabled as historians draw on archival resources? Events leading up to the Iraq war, and its legacy, raise related questions. How does the evidence for the existence of WMD play into larger questions of evidence and its interpretation? Does arms inspection offer a case-study in the uses and abuses of evidence? How does expert evidence play into political decisions, and how much do we know – or not know – about the circumstances surrounding the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath? What counts as evidence in the political domain will be the focus for this day of discussion on a subject of continuing public debate.
Convenors: Mary Jacobus (Director, CRASSH)
Allen Packwood (Director, Churchill Archives Centre)



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