Sunday, 24 January 2016

Crackdown on "spurious" claims against the government!

The Prime Minister is seeking a crackdown on what he describes as "spurious" military legal claims - BBC News 22nd January 2016.  Reportedly, the National Security Council has been tasked with drawing up plans to achieve this.  Ideas being mentioned include restricting "no win: no fee" (conditional fee agreements); restrictions on legal aid and even "suspending" human rights law in relation to British Forces operations abroad.  Despite all of this, the Iraq Historical Allegations Team (IHAT) process is to continue and has under investigation some 280 claims against UK veterans.  It may be that keeping the IHAT process running prevents involvement by the International Criminal Court (ICC).  Also, investigations against military personnel involved in the "troubles" of Northern Ireland are continuing - for example Telegraph 10th November 2015.

On 6th January, following an article by Colonel Richard Kemp in the Daily Mail, I posted in some detail about Prosecuting War Heroes
That post recognised the matters of serious concern raised by Col. Kemp's article.  An equally serious counter-concern is that the government must not become above the law and there is at least the appearance of it trying to achieve just that.  The aim of the Prime Minister seems to be to achieve a position where it will be extremely difficult for claims to be brought in relation to military matters no matter what the source of the claim.

Government has, for example, strenuously fought in the courts against claims brought by former British soldiers in relation to procurement of equipment where those decisions were taken in the safety of Whitehall - (post of 22nd June 2013).

The government appears to have an unacceptably unbalanced approach to this whole subject.

The Guardian - 23rd January - British soldiers should not be above the law

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