Fight for your rights to army – workers in uniform can sue govt

Apologies for the awful title of this post. Forgive me, I beg of you – have pity.

Today the judiciary delivered another blow to the executive:

Human rights laws can be applied to British troops even in combat, a High Court judge has ruled.

The landmark judgement came in a test case relating to the death of Scottish soldier Pte Jason Smith in Iraq.

Mr Justice Collins said sending soldiers into action without proper kit could breach human rights. Ministers are appealing against the ruling.

The court also ruled families of those killed in conflict should get legal aid and access to military documents.

You might recall that Des Browne, “defence” secretary, has been trying to silence coroners’ criticisms of the government’s neglect of service-personnel.

One consequence of the dishonesty over going to war with Iraq (and Afghanistan!) was that there was insufficient preparation and soldiers were sent into battle without the right equipment.

The government is to appeal against the decision of Justice Collins – as you’d expect – and has argued that human rights cannot be granted in a warzone…

The best way of ensuring the safety of members of the armed forces would be to grant them the same rights as other workers – such as the right to unionise – and to bring them home from the Middle East immediately.

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