Overseas Operations Bill – Commons rejects House of Lords longstop amendment

The House of Commons has voted against the amendment by the House of Lords to exclude service veterans from the six-year limitation on civil actions against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the Overseas Operations Bill. “The six-year longstop gives the MoD the power to manipulate the claims process and deny British troops justice in…

Overseas Operations Bill – Government defeated in House of Lords

The Government has been defeated in the House of Lords over key aspects of the Overseas Operations Bill. An amendment to the Overseas Operations Bill supported by Lord Stirrup passed by 300 to 225 last night, rejecting the proposed six-year time limit on civil claims being brought by current and former service personnel against the…

House of Lords makes significant changes to Overseas Operations Bill

The Government has been defeated in the House of Lords over key aspects of the Overseas Operations Bill. An amendment to the Overseas Operations Bill supported by Lord Stirrup passed by 300 to 225, rejecting the proposed six-year time limit on civil claims being brought by current and former service personnel against the MoD. Peers…

Peers table amendments to Overseas Operations Bill

Peers will make a late bid today to change legislation affecting military veterans’ rights to bring civil claims for injury suffered in service. The Overseas Operations Bill reaches its third reading in the House of Lords this afternoon. Throughout the passage of the bill, one of the most controversial aspects has been restrictions on time…

“Humbled and proud” Hilary Meredith collects Royal British Legion Centenary Award

Hilary Meredith, founder and chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors, has been honoured with a Membership Centenary Award by The Royal British Legion.The Royal British Legion’s Centenary Awards recognise members who have made an “outstanding contribution in their Legion work”.Hilary’s entire career, spanning three decades, has been devoted to serving members of the Legion and their…

Hilary Meredith backs call for Troops under investigation to receive more support

Armed Forces personnel who face investigations linked to overseas operations should have stronger legal rights to lawyers and mental health support, former military chiefs have told the Daily Telegraph. Marshal Lord Stirrup and Admiral Lord Boyce, both former heads of the Armed Forces, and General Lord Dannatt, a former head of the Army, have tabled…

Budget – Rishi Sunak’s £10 million mental health boost for veterans

Rishi Sunak has pledged an extra £10 million for veterans with mental health needs. The Chancellor called it “a crucial part of repaying the huge debt we all owe them”. It follows concerns about high levels of stress, anxiety and addiction among former troops and other military personnel who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and…

Newspaper readers raise £10 million for military veterans

A campaign by the Sun newspaper has raised £10 million for military veterans. In September, the newspaper launched a campaign to help the Royal British Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal which was in crisis because of the pandemic. A host of celebrities, including David Beckham, who took poppies to Chelsea Pensioners, backed the campaign. It is…

Gulf War veterans still need legal and medical help says Hilary Meredith

Veterans of the First Gulf War have urged those struggling with the horrors of conflict 30 years later to seek help for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).The First Gulf War ended on 28 February 1991, following the conclusion of Operation Desert Storm, as allied forces forced Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi troops to retreat from Kuwait.Forty-seven British personnel were among the fatalities,…

Armed Forces Bill – MoD light years away from being fit for purpose

The Armed Forces Bill received its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday, introduced by Veterans Minister, Johnny Mercer. This was a 5 year review opportunity to really make a difference but sadly fell short of the support desperately needed for armed forces veterans and families. I’m not sure why the military community…

Reaction to Second Reading of Armed Forces Bill

The Armed Forces Bill received its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday. The Bill will embed the Military Covenant – a pledge to ensure the Armed Forces community is treated fairly – into law by introducing a legal duty for relevant UK public bodies to have due regard to its principles. Commenting on…

MoD’s failings have left indelible mark on Army recruitment and morale

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has denied claims that the Army is “dangerously short” of deployable soldiers, following reports of a leaked sensitive document.The Daily Mail originally revealed on Friday that it had seen a defence report labelled the MOD’s ‘Infantry Battalion Soldier Strength Summary – January 2021’ and marked “Official: Sensitive”.According to the newspaper,…

The government’s contradictory stance on the Armed Forces Covenant

A new Bill is being brought forward that will see the Armed Forces Covenant enshrined in law. The Armed Forces Bill is being introduced to the House of Commons later today. It will embed the Covenant into law by introducing a legal duty for relevant UK public bodies to have due regard to the principles…

Overseas Operations Bill – Government snubs joint Committee on Human Rights

On 14 January 2021, the Government responded to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ report on the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill – and refused to accept that the introduction of an absolute 6-year time limit on civil claims will restrict access to justice for troops serving overseas. Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary…

Why time limits aren’t needed to protect our troops from prosecution

Sunday’s Sun Newspaper reports how 2,796 servicemen and women launched legal action against the MoD last year. The report highlights how the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, while attempting to protect British troops from legal witch-hunts, will put an unfair six-year time limit on claims against the MoD for injuries suffered overseas. Shadow…

War crime allegations against British troops were never supported by any credible evidence says Hilary Meredith as ICC closes probe

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is closing a preliminary probe into claims of killings and torture of Iraqi prisoners by British troops between 2003 and 2008 and will not open a full-scale investigation because UK authorities have investigated the allegations. Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors and Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs…

New research brings much needed attention to asbestos-related cancer in the Armed Forces

A new study carried out by researchers at the University of Sheffield and funded by national cancer charity, Mesothelioma UK, has detailed some of the experiences of, and support required for armed forces personnel and military veterans with asbestos-related cancer.The Military Experiences of Mesothelioma Study (MiMES) aims to explore the prevalence of asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma…