The ministry is currently holding consultations on a scheme to shield itself from lawsuits by personnel, instead redirecting claims to its own assessor. The immunity from persecution, currently in place for battlefield decisions, would be extended to all combat deaths or injuries. The ministry claimed that the proposals would lead to better compensation for soldiers.
"This means cases would not be heard by an independent judge, facts would not be independently investigated, responsibility would not be established and a state institution, if liable, would not be held to account… Soldiers and their families must not be shut out of our justice system. The Law Society will be responding to the MoD’s consultation to raise these and other concerns," Bourns said, as quoted by The Guardian newspaper.
The proposals came as the 2016 Chilcot Iraq Inquiry Report, which said that the UK decision to invade Iraq in 2003 had been based on flawed intelligence, also found that the military was slow in replacing inadequate vehicles and ensuring better protection against improvised explosive devices.
The United Kingdom was part of the US-led coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003, without a UN mandate, after accusing then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein of possessing weapons of mass destruction that were never found.