Boris Johnson vowed to protect former servicemen from “vexatious claims” when he entered Downing Street in June 2019, then on Armistice Day in November, he further pledged to amend the Human Rights Act to safeguard veterans from legal actions.
Over 1,000 war crime accusations levelled against British soldiers in Iraq have been dismissed, with just one case still being considered.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Law in Action programme, Service Prosecution Authority director Andrew Cayley said it was “quite possible” there will ultimately be zero prosecutions.
Many of the 1,000 cases were brought by disgraced former lawyer Phil Shiner, through his firm Public Interest Lawyers, which passed on approximately 65 percent of the 3,392 allegations received by the Iraq Historic Allegations Team. His seemingly crusading efforts led to him being named human rights lawyer of the year in 2004 by human rights organisations Liberty and JUSTICE, for “his tremendous skill, tenacity and dedication to fighting for justice” – he went on to win the Law Society’s solicitor of the year award in 2007.
His legal actions were central to the claim UK soldiers had captured, tortured and murdered innocent Iraqi civilians after the Battle of Danny Boy near Amara in 2004 – however, in 2014, a report by the Al-Sweady Inquiry ruled the dead had been members of the Mahdi army militia, ambushed a British patrol and were killed in exchanges of gunfire. Shiner subsequently admitted paying an…