UK soldiers’ families can sue over Iraq deaths

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 6:47pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 June, 2013, 7:10pm

Britain’s highest court says the families of several soldiers killed or injured in Iraq can sue the government for failing to protect them.

The cases are brought by relatives of soldiers including Corporal Stephen Allbutt, who died in a “friendly fire” incident involving two Challenger tanks in March 2003, and Private Phillip Hewett, killed in July 2005 when his Snatch Land Rover was blown up.

Relatives want to sue the government under human rights law, and for negligence. They say the Ministry of Defence failed to provide armoured vehicles or equipment that could have saved lives.

The government argued that the men were outside British jurisdiction and the deaths were covered by the principle of combat immunity.

But the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the claims can go ahead.