Government rejects proposals to reform military exemptions in the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007

Response by Philippa Tuckman

The Government has today published its response to the Beyond Endurance? Military exercises and the duty of care report – rejecting proposals to reform the military exemptions in the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007.

Philippa Tuckman, partner at Hilary Meredith Solicitors Ltd, gave evidence to the Beyond Endurance Inquiry which earlier this year recommended that the MoD should be stripped of its historic immunity from prosecution when personnel are killed during training as a result of a serious failing in its duty of care.

Hilary Meredith Solicitors (Clare Stevens) also represented the father of Corporate James Dunsby at the Inquest into the death of his son and two other SAS trainees (Lance-Corporal Edward Maher and Lance-Corporal Craig Roberts) who died from heat exhaustion on an endurance march in the Welsh Brecon Beacons, resulting in the Parliamentary Inquiry.

Commenting on the Government’s decision to reject proposals to reform the military exemptions in the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007, Philippa Tuckman said:

“It is shocking that the MoD means to resist the extension of criminal responsibility including corporate manslaughter.

“How can servicemen and women trust that the MoD really wants to improve its safety record if it tries to avoid responsibility in this way?”

Added Philippa:

“The MoD claims it doesn’t need to be criminally liable because it is accountable to the public instead through the negligence claims of our clients. Can we therefore expect that the next time MoD decides to defend a compensation claim we make on behalf of the bereaved family it will be completely open with us to show how willing it is to be accountable?”