September 23, 2020Impunity International Security and Rule of Law Accountability and Access to Justice
On 23rd September 2020, the House of Commons gathered for their second reading of the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill. Ahead of this reading, RSI prepared and sent briefing materials to members of the House of Commons.
The briefing outlined a number of key legal and policy concerns with draft clause 11 and Part 1 of draft Schedule 2 of the Overseas Operations Bill. These provisions introduce an absolute six-year limitation period after which all civil (i.e. relating to death and/or personal injury) and human rights claims against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) or its responsible Minister arising from the UK’s overseas operations cannot proceed.
This is gravely concerning for two reasons. First, the provisions would result in the barring of many meritorious claims. Second, the provisions would promote a wider culture of impunity within the armed forces in the context of overseas operations. Both of these results risk placing the UK in violation of its international legal obligations. As a result, RSI proposes that the absolute limitation periods of six-years in draft clause 11 and Part 1 of draft Schedule 2 be removed from the Bill.
For more information on our brief, and a background to the bill, please see the attached document.
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