James Arbuthnot, the chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee, said that today's ruling will have a "very big effect" on the Ministry of Defence (MoD). He told BBC Radio 4's The World At One:
– James Arbuthnot MP
It's not just that the MoD is now going to owe a duty of care in relation to all the equipment procurement decisions it makes, but also in relation to everything that an officer or a soldier does actually in the course of battle.There will be a duty of care, for which they will have to be trained.
I think the MoD had rather relied until now on the idea that if you decide to be a soldier, then you take with that decision the risks that naturally come with it - you put yourself in harm's way with your eyes open.
That argument is really going to be much reduced in strength now ...