Murphy's Law: Lawyers Seek To Control The Battlefield

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June 21, 2009: Recently, a British appeals court ruled that military commanders could be sued (usually by a family member) if someone died while in service, and the plaintiffs believed the death was the result of command error. The ruling is based on the fact that Britain, as a member of the European Union, is subject to the European Convention on Human Rights. This act includes a clause guaranteeing a right to life. As a result of this ruling, which the military may appeal to the House of Lords (the highest appeals body in Britain),  military commanders have been assured that the Ministry of Defence will go to court to shield them from legal proceedings. That, however, may not work. Thus a law may have to be passed to grant commanders immunity from such "wrongful death" suits. This would not be the first time this has happened. In the past, Britain has passed such laws to protect agents for Mi-6 (the British CIA) from such suits in British courts. These are the Mi-6 agents with the "license to kill," so to speak.

 


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