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United Kingdom: Ruling Opens the Door for Families of Deceased Troops to Sue the Military

(Aug. 26, 2008) A High Court ruling of April 11, 2008, on the conduct of inquests into the deaths of soldiers serving overseas has paved the way for families of British troops killed in action due to faulty equipment to sue the government. The ruling notes that the army has a broad duty of care for its troops that could extend outside military bases to patrols and that the Ministry of Defence has an “obligation to avoid or minimise risks to the lives of its troops, wherever they were serving, under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which safeguards the right to life.” The Ministry of Defence has stated that it would appeal this part of the judgment. (Families Can Sue MoD over Failings That Led to Deaths of Troops, THE TIMES (London), Apr. 12, 2008, available at