What is protected under The European Convention on Human Rights?
The European Convention on Human Rights provides the armed forces with a range of legal protections including:
Right to life (Article 2)
Duty to protect
The MoD has a duty to take reasonable steps to protect soldiers from known risks, for instance by providing soldiers with adequate equipment. We’re bringing claims in relation to inadequate equipment (like the Snatch Land Rover claims).
Duty to investigate
All deaths must be investigated independently (by a Coroner’s inquest) and the family has a right to be involved. Our legal challenge in relation to the death of Private Jason Smith established rights to disclosure for families in inquest proceedings.
Freedom from inhuman or degrading treatment (Article 3)
The MoD cannot treat its soldiers in an inhuman or degrading way and must properly investigate allegations of such acts. This includes sexual assaults, bullying, harassment, initiation ceremonies or failing to care for soldiers suffering from trauma.
We’re currently representing a serious case of a young soldier who was sexually assaulted and bullied in barracks in Germany. In a different case we represented a soldier who was given a dishonourable discharge. He had been traumatised in combat and was convicted of an assault in the civilian courts. The MoD settled the case and changed the discharge to a medical discharge, which gave our client access to financial compensation, medical resources and avoided damage to his career.