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…

Road Safety Week 2020

Hilary Meredith Solicitors fully supports Road Safety Week, which runs from November 16th to November 22nd. Road Safety Week, organised by ‘Brake’, a road safety charity, is an annual event and the biggest road safety awareness event in the UK. During Road Safety Week, thousands of organisations, schools and communities take part, with road safety…

Remembrance Sunday events can go-ahead despite new Covid lockdown

Guidelines on how Remembrance Sunday activities can go ahead have been published as new Covid-19 restrictions come into force for England with a second lockdown. The government is advising local authorities in England and faith leaders that they can organise outdoor Remembrance Sunday events at a public war memorial or cenotaph, if they complete a Covid-19…

Who let the dogs out?

The year is 2020 and just when you thought this year couldn’t get any stranger the US Military have now gone and “released the hounds” (to quote Charles Montgomery “Monty” Burns) albeit these hounds are robots! https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1333295/us-air-force-robot-dogs-army-defend-military-bases Being a fan of both Sci-Fi and the ‘Terminator’ film franchise, I am well aware of the lessons…

New BBC drama, Danny Boy, tells heroic Brian Wood’s story

I’m very much looking forward to watching the upcoming BBC Two drama Danny Boy, which has recently begun filming. The feature-length programme is described by the BBC as a “compelling new drama” and will tell the real-life story of Iraq veteran Brian Wood who found himself falsely accused of war crimes by the Iraq Historic…

The money-saving inspired motive behind the Overseas Operations Bill

New figures obtained by shadow Defence Secretary John Healey, reported in The Mirror, show that for every claim of mistreatment by British soldiers in warzones there are 25 against the MoD for injury or negligence by the soldiers themselves. Ministers say the new Overseas Operations Bill will protect troops from vexatious claims and endless investigations….

Judge-led Inquiry into investigation of troops is a step in the right direction

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that the Ministry of Defence has ordered a judge-led Inquiry into investigations of our troops, which could block repeated inquiries into allegations. The Defence Secretary said the review into how allegations of wrongdoing are raised and investigated will help tackle the uncertainty faced by military personnel on future overseas operations….

Hilary Meredith highlights glaring omissions in Overseas Operations Bill in evidence to Scrutiny Committee

There are a range of glaring omissions in the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill while time limits in Section 2 of the Bill should be scapped entirely and veterans under criminal investigation should have access to an independent advocate – according to evidence provided to today’s Scrutiny Committee by lawyer Hilary Meredith. Addressing…

New three-year term for Hilary Meredith as Visiting Professor at University of Chester

Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors, has accepted a new three-year term as Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester.The University of Chester, founded in 1893, is one of the oldest higher education institutions in the country. In her role as Visiting Professor, Hilary will continue to support the…

Major Robert Campbell – cleared after 17 years – where’s the apology?

A British ex-soldier has been cleared over the death of an Iraqi teenager, after 17 years of investigations.Saeed Shabram’s family say he drowned after being forced into a river by UK soldiers in Basra in 2003. But a report published on Thursday By The Right Hon. Baroness Hallett D.B.E. said there was no reliable evidence that…

Overseas Operations Bill passes second reading

The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Commons. Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors and Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester says the Bill has a way to go before it reaches its final stages. “There is a…

Overseas Operations Bill – what next?

There has been much debate and comment over the government’s Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, including this article by well-respected legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg QC (hon). https://rozenberg.substack.com/p/a-clean-slate-after-five-years Much of the Overseas Operations Bill has been brought as a result of the panic caused by the IHAT investigation (described as a “poisoned well” by…

Help for Heroes and the devastating financial impact of Covid-19

I was sad to read about the devastating financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Help for Heroes. The armed forces charity this week announced the difficult decision to undergo a major restructure in order to protect their life-changing recovery services. Help for Heroes rely on public donations for 97% of income but this has…

Veterans for Britain appoints Hilary Meredith to its Board

Veterans for Britain has appointed Hilary Meredith to its Board.Hilary, founder and Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors and Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester, is a solicitor, lobbyist and campaigner with decades of experience representing UK service personnel, their families and military veterans.Hilary’s career in protecting the welfare of…

Hilary Meredith backs calls for overhaul of Inquest system

Hilary Meredith has backed calls for reforms to the Inquest system – specifically in relation to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).Justice’s latest report, When Things Go Wrong: the response of the justice system this week called for urgent reform to major inquests and inquiries, saying the current system often leaves bereaved families and survivors feeling…

75th Anniversary of VJ Day – paying tribute to our veterans

The Royal Family is today leading the UK’s commemorations of the 75th anniversary of VJ Day – the day World War Two ended with Japan’s surrender.The Prince of Wales will attend a memorial while the Duke of Cambridge will appear in a special TV programme.VJ Day – or Victory over Japan Day – on 15…