The Armed Forces and Legal Challenge
The House of Lords is holding a debate on Thursday, 7 November on "Protecting the armed forces from vulnerability to legal challenge". A useful House of Lords background note has been produced as background reading for this debate. The British Armed Forces Federation (BAFF) has also produced a draft initial response to the 'Fog of law' Policy Exchange paper by Laura Croft and Thomas Tugendhat. We will be monitoring the debate and will comment further in light of what is said.
In summary, we agree that human rights laws should not interfere with decisions taken into the battle; we have not actually heard of anyone who thinks that they should; but we share the concern about possible unintended consequences of recent court judgements. At the same time, in our opinion some recent concerns have been exaggerated and misleading. We understand the temptation to attribute every failure to "legal interference", but it is foolish to ignore the part played by public opinion, the media, and parliamentarians themselves in generating misunderstanding.
UPDATE: Read the debate here
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