Investigations into unlawful killings by British soldiers dropped
More than 1,500 cases of unlawful killing, abuse during detention and accusations of assault were submitted to the Iraq Historic Allegations Team [Ihat], an independent agency within the British Ministry of Defence.
However, Ihat has decided not to proceed with 57 of the cases under investigation because it found that there was "no criminality established."
The military's service prosecuting authority also halted investigations into another case.
The decision comes days after British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to crack down on "spurious" legal claims made against troops who served in the Iraq war.
"I want our troops to know that when they get home from action overseas this government will protect them from being hounded by lawyers over claims that are totally without foundation," Cameron said in a statement issued on Friday.
I want our troops to know that when they get home from action overseas this government will protect them from being hounded by lawyers over claims that are totally without foundation
- British Prime Minister David Cameron
The Prime Minister accused lawyers of seeking financial gains in pursuing British soldiers for allegations of torture and killing of civilians during the Iraq war.
"It is clear that there is now an industry trying to profit from claims lodged against our brave servicemen and women who fought in Iraq," Cameron said.
"This is unacceptable and no way to treat the people who risk their lives to keep our country safe," he added.
Cameron has also ordered the government's National Security Council to work on proposals aimed at restricting lawyers from bringing forward cases against soldiers.
However, the army's former chief legal adviser in Iraq said the amount the British government had already paid out to settle claims indicates a number of cases brought forward had been warranted.
Nicholas Mercer said that hundreds of cases had already been settled "on merit", costing the British government millions of pounds.
"The government have paid out £20m for 326 cases to date. Anyone who has fought the MoD knows that they don't pay out for nothing," Mercer said.
"One of the allegations is that there was systemic abuse of Iraqi prisoners after they were captured," he added. "Clearly this isn't just one or two bad apples, as they have been characterised, this is on a fairly large and substantial scale."
The government have paid out £20m for 326 cases to date. Anyone who has fought the MoD knows that they don't pay out for nothing
- Nicholas Mercer, Former chief legal adviser to the British army in Iraq
Proposals suggested by Cameron include regulation that claimants must live in the UK for 12 months before bringing a case forward, and halting "no win, no fee" arrangements where lawyers are paid only if the claim is upheld.
The dropping of claims follows reports in late 2015 that British ministers were also drawing up plans to pull out of the European Convention for Human Rights before the armed forces were next sent into combat.
"We are absolutely determined to close down these outrageous legal challenges," a senior government figure said. "Detailed work has begun. It will take time but we are determined to tackle this."