Hilary Meredith Solicitors has launched an e-petition to try and prevent the Government from widening the scope of combat immunity.
The firm says servicemen and women injured during combat will be shut out of the justice system under new Government plans to widen the scope of combat immunity to stop claims of negligence coming to court.
Under the proposals, combat immunity – which provides an exemption from legal liability for members of the armed forces and the Government – would apply to all claims brought by those in combat, even when failings occurred far from the battlefield.
Hilary Meredith, CEO at Hilary Meredith Solicitors said: “Soldiers and their families will be shut out from the justice system under these plans.
“The Government is attempting to push this legislation through parliament with very little debate. We are sleeping-walking in to a situation where combat immunity – which provides an exemption from legal liability for members of the armed forces and the government – would apply to all claims brought by those in combat, even when failings occurred far from the battlefield.”
Meredith added that in all her years of dealing with the MoD, they had never offered the right amount.
“We, as specialist military lawyers, have had to fight and squeeze to get the correct payment from them,” she said.
“How then will a bereaved widow or family or someone with life changing injuries know if the MoD has paid a sum in pension equivalent to what an experienced judge would award in compensation?
“The MoD has said there is no need for public scrutiny as they will impose a robust system. In effect, they want to police themselves but how can they be trusted or relied on when they have made so many dire mistakes in the past? Why is the MoD different to any other employer?”
The e-petition can be signed here.