16 September, 2008

Duty of Care and the Armed Services

I always find this a difficult topic.

On the one hand, it is clearly right that an employer should owe a duty of care to the employee.

On the the other, it is equally clear that applying this to the heat of battle is stupid.

However, if the MoD give out faulty equipment (say, bullet proof vests) and if that vest fails and leads to the death of a soldier AND the MoD knew the vests were faulty, should the soldier be allowed to sue?

Under the SQ, they cannot. But to mitigate this, issues surrounding the armed forces are given special parliamentary time for discussion in a manner that even other arms of the state (the police, for instance) are not.

James Rowley, of Byrom Street Chambers, has written an interesting article on this subject. If you follow this link, and then scroll to the bottom of the page.

3 comments:

Law Minx said...

How sad. If the UK weren't engaged in fighting two utterly POINTLESS wars, chucking its weight about as if it were still a major force in those theatres in which it fights ( which it isnt)perhaps this discussion would never have arisen to begin with.....

Miss Middle of Manchester said...

Regardless of ones opinions on currant wars, I still think it's interesting in general - we can't have an army and never expect to use it!

Law Minx said...

I agree the discussion is worth having but perhaps its time the UK stopped chucking its weight about in the global theatre unless its prepared quite literally to put its money where its mouth is. Plainly, it isnt.... and that is the tragedy for the servicemen women and their families who are proud to serve their country in ways the rest of us balk from. Consequently they deserve an unquestioned and inordinately high service of the duty of care from this Government - well, I say Government if you can actually CALL Gordon Browns farce such a thing.
Its too bad that we have not learned the lessons of history with respect to the general treatment of the armed forces, which has always been shoddy. I really cant understand it.....