Claims by members of the armed services injured on active service abroad maybe more likely to succeed under human rights legislation,explains Dijen Basu

Up until now, the law has been thought to be that one soldier does not owe a fellow soldier a duty of care in tort when either are engaged with an enemy in the course of combat and that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is not under a duty to maintain a safe system of work for service personnel engaged with an enemy in the course of combat.

For the purposes of the combat immunity principle, “combat” has a wide meaning:

  • the presence of (or contact with) the enemy is not necessary. Combat includes all active operations against the enemy in which service personnel are exposed to attack or the threat of attack, including attack and resistance, advance and retreat, pursuit and avoidance, reconnaissance and engagement;