Ministry of Defence should be subject to Corporate Manslaughter – initial reaction

The Ministry of Defence should be subject to corporate manslaughter charges and lose its crown immunity when there is a blatant disregard for life – according to a groundbreaking Defence Committee Report released this morning – Beyond Endurance? Military exercise and the duty of care.

The 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act, which is meant to cover all employees, also applies to the armed forces. However, the MoD has been exempt from criminal prosecution for serious breaches of the rules through a privilege called Crown immunity.

At Hilary Meredith Solicitors we have long campaigned for this to end.

Said CEO Hilary Meredith:

“For all the families who I have represented over the years and have lost loved ones in training accidents this is an acknowledgment of their losses and at last a recommendation for corporate responsibility to apply to the MoD.

“I think many members of the armed forces accept that if they are in wartime situation and they are either injured or killed then that’s part and parcel of their employment.  But if there are on manoeuvres or training they don’t expect to be injured or killed.”

A full response by Hilary Meredith and Philippa Tuckman – both of whom gave evidence at the Inquiry is to follow.