Brit Families Can Sue Over Soldier Deaths

Court: Troops protected by human rights law, even on battlefield
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 19, 2009 8:22 AM CDT
A British soldier holds a small child as an army piper performs during a handover ceremony in Basra, Iraq, March 31, 2009.   (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A British court has ruled that defense heads can be sued for neglecting soldiers’ human rights—meaning decisions made on the battlefield could be subject to litigation, the Times of London reports. The ruling stemmed from an inquest into the heatstroke death of a soldier due to what the coroner called a “failure to recognize and take appropriate steps to address the difficulty that he had in adjusting to the climate."

The former head of the Army said the ruling was “potentially very dangerous and could damage operational effectiveness because commanding officers will be concerned that they run the risk of being taken to court over decisions they have had to make.”