Military claims

The following PI & Clinical Negligence practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Military claims
  • Background
  • Possible avenues for injured service personnel
  • Civil claim in negligence, breach of statutory duty of under the European Convention on Human Rights
  • Armed Forces and Reserve Forces Compensation Scheme
  • Criminal injuries compensation (overseas) scheme
  • Accidents during military combat and operations—claims in negligence
  • Combat immunity and the ‘fair, just and reasonable’ test
  • General procurement and allocation of resources
  • Position after Smith v Ministry of Defence
  • More...

Military claims

STOP PRESS: The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Act 2021 came into force on 30 June 2021. The primary limitation periods for relevant claims are unchanged but the Act introduces an absolute limitation period of six years for overseas military operations claims where the action is brought on or after 30 June 2021. Courts are no longer able to use their discretion to extend time beyond this six-year period.

Background

It is helpful to put the law relating to military claims into historical context.

Until 1987, section 10 of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947 (CPA 1947) prevented military personnel from bringing actions against the Crown in respect of death or personal injury caused by other members of the British Armed Forces.

Sections 1 and 2 of the Crown Proceedings (Armed Forces) Act 1987 (CP(AF)A 1987) suspended CFA 1947, s 10, though the Secretary of State for Defence has the power to revive it when ‘necessary and expedient’. It is therefore worth bearing in mind that the Crown immunity formerly provided by CFA 1947, s 10 can be revived at some point in the future. The power might be invoked in future in times of full-scale war, although the immunity has not, of course, been revived during the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Possible avenues for injured service personnel

Civil claim in negligence, breach of statutory duty of under

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