Appeal Court judges rule MoD duty of care extends to battlefield

At the Court of Appeal in London on Friday 19th October 2012, the judges  – Lord Neuberger , Lord Justice Moses and Lord Justice Rimer – ruled that the Ministry of Defence has a duty of care for its soldiers that extends to the battlefield.

What has been at issue is avoidable negligence and the issue of instructions which carry an avoidable risk of death or serious injury above normal battlefield risk.

Relatives of soldiers killed while on patrol in Iraq and Afghanistan in the notoriously unarmoured Snatch Landrovers are now free to sue the Ministry of Defence for breach of duty of care. This focuses on orders to soldiers to patrol in vehicles known to offer virtually no protection against roadside bombs and IEDs

The Ministry of Defence says: ‘We are considering the judgment by the Court of Appeal and as this is likely to be subject to further legal action it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.’

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