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The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) was set up by the Government in 2010 to investigate the large number of new claims that British military personnel unlawfully killed and abused Iraqis during the period from 2003 to 2009.

Its mandate now includes: allegations of criminality relating to the death or ill-treatment of Iraqis, whether in custody or not; deciding whether British soldiers should be referred to the Service Prosecuting Authority; and reporting on wider issues. The number of cases on its books has grown enormously.

It is now staffed by navy and ex-police investigators, following a ruling that its original army investigators were not sufficiently independent. Its investigative role is equivalent to that of the civilian police.

IHAT has been criticised for a lack of results, although the extent of the challenges facing it are recognised.

One result of these criticisms was the establishment of the Iraq Fatalities Investigations, adding to the large number of arenas investigating civil, criminal and human rights claims against British military personnel in Iraq.

There have recently been renewed calls to find ways to restrict claims against British military personnel. The Solicitors Regulation Authority has been investigating two firms of solicitors involved in such cases.

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