Ruling on soldiers' right to life

Relatives of soldiers killed fighting in Iraq are likely to find out next year whether they can make damages claims against the Government, using human rights legislation.

Relatives fought for Supreme Court hearing

The families of soldiers who have been killed in battle fought to take the human rights' fight to the Supreme Court.

Sue Smith, 51, of Tamworth, Staffordshire, whose son Private Phillip Hewett, 21, was killed seven years ago, wept outside the Court of Appeal in October and described the Ministry of Defence's attitude as "despicable".

It is just so dismissive. It 'doesn't matter': they are Action Men; if you break them, just bury them. But they are not just Action Men. People need to make a stand.

– Sue Smith

Soldiers' human rights appeal given three-day hearing

The Court of Appeal ruled in October that soldiers' relatives could claim for damages for negligence, but appeal judges said that they could not make damages claims under human rights legislation.

Relatives' lawyers took the fight to the Supreme Court, which will analyse the issue next year.

The appeal will be heard in the week of Monday February 18 and the hearing is expected to last up to three days.

Seven justices will hear the appeal. Judgment is expected to be reserved.

– Supreme Court spokesman

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Judges to rule on soldiers' human rights

Supreme Court justices will decide whether relatives of soldiers killed fighting in Iraq can make damages claims against the Government.
Supreme Court justices will decide whether relatives of soldiers killed fighting in Iraq can make damages claims against the Government. Credit: PA

Relatives of soldiers killed fighting in Iraq are likely to find out next year whether they can make damages claims against the Government, using human rights legislation.

A Supreme Court spokesman today said a hearing was scheduled to start in February, where Supreme Court justices will hear arguments in the wake of rulings by the High Court and Court of Appeal.