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 limits for serving or retired personnel to bring actions for personal injury or death relating to overseas operations. The bill would limit the court’s discretion on limitation periods and effectively mean that veterans could not bring a claim after a six-year time limit.

Liberal Democrat peers Lord Thomas of Gresford and Baroness Smith of Newnham have jointly tabled amendments to the bill which would remove the clauses on limitation.

Said Hilary Meredith, Chair at Hilary Meredith Solicitors and Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester:

“I support the amendments to this Bill – although it’s not the time limit on prosecutions that’s the biggest problem.

“There needs to be a robust system in place to identify and eradicate vexatious civil claims plus a proper, fair and timely system on investigation and conclusion of criminal investigations.”