Legal issues behind MoD ruling

The Supreme Court justices analysed the cases against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on three central legal issues:

  • If British soldiers killed during military operations abroad were within the jurisdiction of the UK for the purposes of Article 1 - which protects the right to life - of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
  • Whether the MoD owed a duty to the deceased soldiers pursuant to Article 2 - which imposes a duty on authorities to protect the right to life by law - of the ECHR.
  • Whether complaints of negligence are covered by the doctrine of combat immunity and whether it would be fair to impose a duty of care on the MoD.

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Soldiers' families can sue MoD

The Supreme Court has ruled that relatives of three soldiers killed in Iraq can sue the MoD for damages. The families say it failed to provide them sufficient protection after they were killed by roadside bombs while in lightly armoured Land Rovers.