Friday, April 11, 2008

Judge accuses Government of breaching soldiers’ human rights

A High Court judge has ruled that sending British soldiers on patrol or into battle with defective equipment is in breach of their human rights. In a test case over Scottish soldier Pte Jason Smith's death in Iraq, Mr Justice Collins said human rights laws could apply to troops serving abroad. He also ruled the families of those killed in conflict should get legal aid and access to military documents.

The government is appealing against the court's decision on human rights.

Cranmer deplores the fact that British servicemen and women were sent into a war zone without adequate equipment, and considers it a government’s moral obligation to ensure that such troops are properly and fully equipped, not least because they are risking and sometimes losing their lives in order to ensure that future generations enjoy the rights and liberties which our fathers and grandfathers fought two world wars to defend.

But Cranmer is with the Labour Government on this one (and you will not hear that very often; indeed, His Grace hopes never again).

Lawyers for the Ministry of Defence had argued it was impossible to give soldiers on active service the benefits of the Human Rights Act.

How can it be?

The Human Rights Acts has enshrined within it the right to life.

If a soldier is killed on active service, will his or her dependents have the right to sue the MoD for breach of this right?

And there is also freedom of expression, so solidiers can freely tell their colleagues what they think of their superiors and their military objectives. And freedom to practise their religion, so all the Muslims can demand Fridays off, the Jews Saturday, and the Christians Sunday. Fantastic - half a week of ceasefire while the MoD sorts out a human-rights-friendly rota. And the MoD must always ensure that Muslims and Jews are catered for while the Christians are tucking in to their bacon sandwiches. And let us not forget the ceasing of hostilities to accommodate prayer times, and parental rights to leave when babies are born, and the right to take time off if a relative is sick, and the right to take industrial action...

O yes, all of this is wholly compatible with military discipline and vital issues of national security.

Recourse to the courts each time ‘human rights’ are violated undermines Parliament and the political process; indeed, we are increasingly being ruled by judges instead of by our elected representatives.

Yet the Labour Government has only itself to blame for this, for it was they who enshrined the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law.

6 Comments:

Anonymous hear o israel said...

herisey your grace herisey !!

seek absolution immediately .

whilst war causes religious teaching a number of problems i appreciate what the service man and women do .

as for judges ruling us , i think its the much in flavour micromanagement politics .

my favourite MOD think tank output recently was the desire to make bullits more eco friendly , by reducing the lead content (i kid you not) and help reduce soil contamination.

i was wondering what other things were in the pipe line , foam filled cruise missiles ??, grenades that just give a stern warning??

i dont know as christian how war is to be sorted , i never doubt fighting hitler ot the argentinans in the falklands was a bad thing, but i can only hope the middle east sorts its self out soon.

11 April 2008 at 17:57  
Blogger Alfred the Ordinary said...

There are two separate issues here.

1) War is dangerous and all of us who signed up for service accept that (or should have done so). We accept that we put our lives on the line at times.

2) Service personel expect to be reasonably equipped, not to the level always that they would like. This equipment should provide a reasonable degree of protection. Snatch Land Rovers and the like, in an IED environment should never be used.

The MOD has failed to provide adequate protection for some of our troops when it was available. In this the MOD has been culpably negligent. If we had a parliament with any powers left then MPs would have taken the government to task over this disgrace and judges would have been left out of the matter.

11 April 2008 at 20:39  
Anonymous billy said...

If I was fighting in a situation to defend my home I would use whatever was available. If I was fighting a war in a foreign land that my government had sent me to I'd expect to be better equipped than just reasonably; I'd want the best available. We are dealing with lives here not pawns on a chess board.

11 April 2008 at 21:15  
Anonymous Bring it on said...

Your Grace has a valid point. And if the "October Surprise" manifests it's self in the way rumor is suggesting, UK Muslim nationals could find themselves in a bit of a pickle indeed if the usual conscript situation arises. Personally, I hope all Hell breaks lose because since falling down the rabbit hole, I am very sick and tired now of the Wonderland tea party.

11 April 2008 at 21:39  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

It is certainly true that our services when fighting wars should be adequately protected by the best equipment that is available.However i fail to see how "British troops ensuring that future generations enjoy the rights and liberties,which our fathers and grand-fathers fought two world wars to defend"will be achieved in afghanistan or iraq,since the enemy is already in our rear,and having a high old time ,living for free,breeding like it is going of fashion,and intent upon destroying whatever it is that our troops are fighting for,and where any terrorist threat is immediately signed on the dole,when in fact they should be back here ,defending us,allowing us the use of the weapons that we have bought with our tax money,so that we ,the English people may join in,and rid our country of the medieval scourge that threatens us.

12 April 2008 at 12:33  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

They should have no win no fee lawers serving with every regiment to ensure all soldiers have their human rights. They could sit in when the orders are given out to ensure there is no discrimination and thery could advise the men not to answer questions when they are asked by a senior officer in case they incriminate themselves.
They could check that all vehicles have their MOT cretificates. They would also check for tripping hazards under Health & Safety laws.

12 April 2008 at 16:34  

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