The government will today present new legislation to protect military personnel and veterans from prosecution for alleged historical offences in conflicts overseas.
The legislation proposes a five-year limit on criminal prosecutions from the date of an incident – unless there is compelling new evidence – and a six-year limit for any civil case involving personal injury or death.
The bill will also compel any future government to consider a derogation – effectively opting out – from the European Convention on Human Rights in any conflict overseas.
Separate plans are being announced for troops who served in Northern Ireland.
Commenting on the new legislation, Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors said:
“This is fantastic news and something we have been campaigning for since 2010.
“When I first met with service personnel and veterans hounded by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team and worried about future prosecutions relating to Northern Ireland, I brought this to the attention of Johnny Mercer and provided evidence at the Parliamentary Select Defence Committee
“Today’s announcement has been a long-time coming bit it is a very welcome development.
“I look forward to reading the details as it is also vitally important to maintain the rights of service personnel, veterans and families to pursue claims through the court system.”