January 18, 2021Impunity Northern Ireland Use of Force Article 2 Human Rights Act Right to Life Accountability and Access to Justice
This Wednesday 20 January 2021, the House of Lords is due to conduct its second reading of the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill 2019-2021. Ahead of the debate, RSI has prepared and sent briefing materials to members of the House of Lords.
While RSI shares the concerns consistently raised during debates in the House of Commons regarding the criminal aspects of Part 1 of the Bill, RSI’s briefing focuses specifically on the restrictions that would be placed on civil claims by Part 2 of the Bill. These restrictions have received comparatively less attention, but have far-reaching and concerning consequences.
First, RSI addresses the proposed introduction of a six-year absolute longstop on civil claims, after which time the courts would no longer have any discretion to allow a claim to proceed regardless of the legitimacy of the delay. Second, RSI addresses the Bill’s introduction of an imbalance in the factors that a court must consider when determining whether to allow a claim to proceed out of time even within the aforementioned six-year period. The briefing explains how both of these proposals risk eroding access to justice for victims of human rights abuses and personal injury or wrongful death, risk undermining the accountability of the MOD, and ultimately risk placing the UK in breach of its obligations under international human rights law.
For more information, please see our attached briefing.
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