The MoD and the need for transparency

Since the repeal of S10 of the Crown Proceedings Act in 1987 and the effective removal of Crown Immunity, the MoD has struggled with public accountability having enjoyed total anonymity to scrutiny in the past.

In the 21st Century lack of accountability is no longer a realistic or healthy option yet I understand there is an undercurrent to reinstate Crown Immunity and MoD secrecy.

The case of Anne-Marie Ellement, who hanged herself after her rape complaint was dismissed is a an example of why we should insist on public accountability.

I am pleased to see that Madeline Moon MP and Select Defence member is supporting this.

Arguments that the MoD cannot operate effectively without immunity are totally flawed. The MoD can and does redact sensitive information where appropriate. In the theatre of conflict they enjoy a defence of combat immunity in a direct conflict situation with the enemy ie they cannot be sued on the battlefield.

There is also a move to encourage military inquests to be closed to the public so that families and their lawyers are denied answers to questions and a full investigation and closure into the deaths of their loved ones. This is an important legal process which should not be removed.

These recent cases only serve to highlight the need for total transparency and accountability.

by Hilary Meredith