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20 June 2013

Soldiers abroad protected by human rights law, says UK supreme court

The families of British soldiers killed in Iraq due to poorly armoured vehicles will be able to bring claims against the government on human rights grounds, the UK's highest court has judged.

By James Barnes

Soldiers protected by human rights when abroad

The landmark decision is expected to have major implications on the way the Ministry of Defence cares for troops and how it approaches future military campaigns, reports the Guardian.
Cases were brought by the families of three men who died as a result of roadside bombs between 2005 and 2007. Other claims were also brought by the families of those killed and injured in a Challenger tank as a result of a friendly fire incident.

Human rights

Individual claims can now be brought to trial, which are expected to be based on both negligence and human rights issues.
Solicitor Jocelyn Cockburn – of London-based Hodge Jones & Allen – represented the mother of one of the deceased soldiers and described the decision as ‘fantastic’. She added: ‘What has been established is that soldiers do have human rights and remain within the jurisdiction of the UK when abroad. Whether there has been a breach of those rights is a different question.'

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