Philip Hammond, the defence secretary. Photograph: Alastair Grant/AP
The high court has called for a new approach to an inquiry into allegations that British troops committed "terrifying acts of brutality" following the invasion of Iraq .
The defence secretary, Philip Hammond, is investigating the claims of human rights violations through the Iraq historic allegations team (Ihat).
On Friday two judges in London rejected accusations from lawyers for 180 Iraqis that Ihat was not independent. But they concluded that the present investigation did not fulfil the UK's obligations under article 2 of the European convention on human rights, which covers the duty to investigate suspicious deaths, and said changes needed to be made.
Phil Shiner, of Public Interest Lawyers, which represent the Iraqis, said: "The court has expressed its very serious concerns about allegations in these cases of the most serious kind involving murder, manslaughter, the wilful infliction of serious bodily