MOD must apply some Human Rights standards to armed forces

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by thingy, Apr 11, 2008.

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  1. The High Court has just ruled against the Defence Secretary, Des Browne, by ruling the the provision of inadequate equipment to soldiers in the battlefield could constitute a violation of their human rights. The MOD's claim that human rights do not apply to service personnel on active service was rejected.

    The Minister has leave to appeal.

    More information here: BBC Online
     
  2. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    I worry that this ruling will bump in to the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    As I have posted on ARRSE you could have a situation where the Command will now have to way up the HRA against an action for fear of legal action.

    Until we have court cases and case law, and that means servicemen in the dock, we are going to have to play second guessing.

    These kind of things always pan out differently than everyone thinks.
     
  3. Re: MOD must apply some Human Rights standards to armed forc

    I don't see a problem with this. Next time some penny pinching cvnt at MOD tells the guys in armour to hand over their kevlar vests because he hasn't done his job and ordered enough to go round he will know he's going to end up with his arse in court… that will certainly concentrate the little chair polishing cvnts minds.
     
  4. The Civil Service can only buy what the politicians tell them to buy.....that's why you get Nimrod,Type 45s,CVE etc.You will never get a Civil Servant into court....he can do nothing without authority.....ultimately from the politicians via the heads of the Services
     
  5. Agree Guns, maybe I am a bit old and pessimistic but I cannot help feeling that this ruling will be used as a 'foot in the door' by those who would like to see our fighting ethos is destroyed a little more. I am sure if we listen closely we will be able to hear all the HR lawyers licking their lips in anticipation of the fat fees as they take the MOD to task!
     
  6. If our government funded troop properly this would never be an issue
     
  7. Re: MOD must apply some Human Rights standards to armed forc


    I was refering to the toadying asslick VSO's that rather than stand up for the guys in the field say "Yes Minister, of course we can do that, we're ready to go' and then start robbing peter to pay paul at the front.
     
  8. Re: MOD must apply some Human Rights standards to armed forc

    Surely, this will ALWAYS be an issue. Unless the equipment issued makes you invincible then it could always be deemed inadequate.

    As others have said, HR lawyers must be rubbing their hands and laughing their cocks off.
     
  9. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Re: MOD must apply some Human Rights standards to armed forc

    Isn't there such a thing as a reasonable test? In my field of engineering where liability could be an issue in the event of an accident arising from a design decision - if best practice had been followed during the design, then there's no case to answer, however, if best practice had been ignored then negligence could come into play. Applying this to the field may lead to some debate, but not as much as if there were a blanket assumption of safety. The recent dicussion on C130 fire suppressant foam is a good example - the Aussies and the Spetics both regard this as essential for safety, yet the UK doen't have it - is it because our C130s are fireproof or is it because we're cheap?
     
  10. Re: MOD must apply some Human Rights standards to armed forc

    What about the Human Rights of the enemy?

    We've already seen these laws being exploited by foreign terrorists in this country. There are no shortage of lawyers willing to defend these people at the publics expence.

    I can imagine these law firms rubbing their hands and touting for business amongst the enemy, the whole thing could easily turn into a disaster.

    Osama bin Laden and his friends must be laughing their heads off.
     
  11. If I am reading the responses correctly, many of you chaps actually believe that this will put the a**es of the Government and the MoD in the kicking line? Well think it through. The argument will go on the lines that the kit was provisioned, irrespective of its serviceability state after issue and the adequacy of quantity. So who’s fault is it then? The IPT Inventory Manager for not issuing it to every Unit that demanded it and part quantities for the ones that did? The Unit stacker/dusty for not making it available or not in an adequate material state to the "end user"? Or the commander in Theatre for tasking an operation, whatever the consequences of failing to do so, without the correct and serviceable kit?

    I had experience of this, many years ago, with Sea Survival Equipment. The SSE commodity manager (as the professionals know them) was unable to provide in sufficient quantities some particular stores in the time available. It was physically impossible to service sufficient repairable stock through the Base maintenance centre nor use qualified Contractors to meet the demanded required delivery date. The Unit made the very valid point that this was a safety of life matter and any injury or loss of life would be the CM's responsibility. The CM’s head of section made the counter point that it would be the Unit’s responsibility if the task was conducted without adequate SSE. The Unit correctly lodged an OPDEF; and, by whatever means, completed the task anyway without incident.

    I’ve moved around a bit since then but appearing in Court for Human Rights violation doesn’t exactly appeal to me. The authors and supporters of reducing the SSE maintenance facilities as a savings measure would, no doubt, read about it in the papers. Maybe I should have taken up law as I would now have the opportunity to become very rich.
     
  12. Re: MOD must apply some Human Rights standards to armed forc

    I support the limited human rights advocated in the High Court, namely where politicians commit service personnel to war other than a national emergency (viz national survival is directly at stake) but fail to furnish them with the equipment they need to perform the role assigned to them by their political masters, then those holding Ministerial rank must be accountable for deliberate or reasonably foreseeable consequences arising from their actions. We wouldn't consider it acceptable to send a fireman into a smoke filled room without breathing apparatus or our Foreign Secretary naked into the conference chamber (bar CND) so why is it deemed acceptable to send booties and pongos into a battlefield without suitable kit? The Iraq War was never a national emergency and HMG had plenty of notice of President Bush's intentions to invade and Blair's commitment to follow him in the name of realpolitik.

    Personally I think the best punishment would be to conscript their sons and daughters into the forces and dispatch them to serve in the conflict zones without the protection that their parent deemed unnecessary for other parents' children. :threaten:

    But then I am a civvy... :oops:

    End of rant.
     
  13. Re: MOD must apply some Human Rights standards to armed forc

    Not sure how the Army /Land forces work on pre- deployment to war
    zones but they must have some sort of prior warning and time to train/work up before getting on the transport.
    If by the given date the unit is not ready then the OC should report his deficiencies----ie is the unit ready in all respects to do the task given.

    Although IMHO the changing faces of fighting guerrilla warfare and the surprise attacks etc with various killing or maiming weapons and to be ready for all eventualities would basically be impossible .

    Possibly the risk assessment factor should be looked at more closely apart from the issue of available personal safety /protective equipment. Suitability of transport and fighting vehicles in that theatre for personnell protection and fighting abilty.

    The US forces are possibly the best and most up to date with equipment and even they are still getting casualties .

    So I think it all boils down to the fact that if you fight wars be prepared
    for losses --equipment non availability ,not updated ,lost ,unsuitable etc isn't really the main problem.

    The main problem is enemy action

    :nemo: :nemo:
     
  14. Exactly Greenie. Its the enemy we should be taking to court for putting our guys in danger!
     
  15. "I don't see a problem with this. Next time some penny pinching cvnt at MOD tells the guys in armour to hand over their kevlar vests because he hasn't done his job and ordered enough to go round he will know he's going to end up with his arse in court… that will certainly concentrate the little chair polishing cvnts minds. "

    Had you ever worked in MB you'd know that those sort of people don't exist - you'd be amazed at how frank the conversations are about how we cannot do things. Given that the military are in the positions to organise all the deployments and the like, you can rest assured that they know what they're doing.
     
  16. So in theory is it possible for someone who was down south in 82 on a T42,
    to sue the MOD because the planned phalanx were cut to save money because they didn't provide proper gear? or someone serving currently sueing MOD because they aren't being protected properly as we have no fleet air defence aircraft.

    just a thought like
     
  17. Re: MOD must apply some Human Rights standards to armed forc

    chockhead819. That’s an interesting point. A similar argument could also be made for the toxic fumes and acrid smoke from the cable insulation and soft furnishings in the ships that were hit.

    You will find that the Civil Servant who you perceive to have not done his job had not chosen to do so and was not in MB. He is given a budget to work within and probably did bid for more and was refused. Neither will he have forced the bloke in the Field to hand his kit to another bloke. As I recall, that was a decision (and I can’t fault it in principle) in Theatre. Available kit was limited and a bloke tasked to Armour had his kit reassigned to un-armoured Infantry. It would seem that there was sufficient kit at the time but it wasn’t in the right location. The limiting factor is the size of (or lack of) the Defence Budget. The grown-ups bid for it and get what they are given. It then falls to the kids in the play pen to juggle with it in the hope that no balls are dropped. Inevitably, balls do get dropped and translate to the contents of a body bag or a shattered life.

    I make the point again; s**t drops. Those in the Dock will be the poor buggers trying to manage with what they have rather than those at the top who allocated it.
     

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