Funding gap for UK troop inquests

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by oldbaldy, Jul 12, 2007.

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  1. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours
  2. Is anyone surprised?

    Who controlled the purse-strings for the last ten years?

    Who controls the purse-strings today?

    Soldiers are of no consequence or importance to the 'controller'.
  3. All the more reason why all service personnel need an independent advocate in the way of BAFF. This should never be happening importantly it should never have happened. This government seems to wish to treat service personnel like civilians when saving money but the reverse when paying the costs of its service personnel. This is a shameful way for this government to treat service personnel. If it wishes to pay low rates of pay for doing this most dangerous job with the high risk of losing life itself then it should support fully those who volunteer to do it. Its called a COVENANT which our politicians will not honour until they are on the floor in a half nelson. It was noticable that there is no intention in parliament to enshrine in law a covenant of service for our service personnel.
  4. This is an extract from a recent article in The Times which sums up this governments attitude to its service personnel. Why is it necessary for local officials to go public on this if government ministers really have a grip on this important welfare provision? They don't have a clue of how you should treat service personnel who are risking their lives every day and importantly their bereaved relatives afterwords.

    'In China under Mao Tse-tung the families of condemned men were forced to pay for the bullet that would kill their father or their son. I was reminded of that exquisite little cruelty by the government’s confession last Monday that the bereaved families of troops killed in Iraq have been forced to pay hundreds of pounds to get access to the official records of their children’s deaths.
    These documents are freely available to the army and to the coroner, but shocked and grieving families had to find the money. Apparently these large sums were to cover the cost of photocopying done by the coroner’s officials; one man had to pay £600. It is not enough, clearly, to sacrifice one’s husband or child: one has to pay to learn about their deaths. Harriet Harman said she was “surprised”.

    It would be nice to think that this was an unusual error — a bureaucratic blip — and that the armed forces and their families are normally treated with the respect and gratitude they deserve. Not so. In fact the way that servicemen and women are treated is almost an object lesson in how to mismanage and demoralise what was once one of the greatest military forces in the world. This has been obvious for a long time but we seem to have reached some sort of tipping point.'
  5. After this kick up the bum the government have now announced that money will be available and the Wiltshire County Council only need to ask. The question is why did they need to kick up such a fuss. Was it because they thought they were being ignored and funding would not be available without going public. I bet they asked but were given the run around.
  6. Heard a good one on radio news. Harriet Harman denies there is a backlog in the Coroner's courts in Oxfordshire dealing with inquests for soldiers killed in Iraq. Next item of news is the Coroner's report on the case involving the blue on blue with CR2's in 2003. No backlog of course, it normally takes 4 years to complete a Coroner's Court case....
  7. Does anyone know how long is the average wait for a coroners inquest UK wide is?
  8. Would be interesting to find out. If it's prolonged then there's no story. If it's fairly quick in most cases but takes longer for some cases then maybe there is a story.

    Having had a check of the web it seems there should only be an inquest if either a)cause of death is unsure after a post mortum or b)the reason why the person in question died is unclear

    In which case the blue on blue in the press today should have had an inquest to determine the reasons why the deaths occurred. However, this doesn't explain why these cases are taking so long to get into court and why so many cases are jammed up in the courts. Surely an obvious case of death by enemy action shouldn't take that long to deal with, or are this cases whipping through unreported by the national press?
  9. This is an area which i have had little experience but it would seem on the face of it that we need extra resources and special courts to deal with the needs of the military. Three or in some cases four years seems to be a long wait before families can get final closure?
  10. Just take six months for an inquest into a relative of mine who passed away due to 'Missadventure' in her local hospital.
  11. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    True, but if there is/was no problem why did the government previously say it would provide more funds?

    Incidentally, an inquest is required by law in various circumstances:

    Sudden death (?cause)
    Violent death
    Unnatural death
    Death in custody

    There are legal definitons of the above, but it's easy to see why inquests are invariably held on those killed on ops.
  12. Not suprised since some family's cant accept the verdict's and think of going on about big bad army hiding every thing, .....public inquiry's..dragging on, wasting money
  13. Hi jonwilly
    Thanks very much for that. I must say I have not heard of cases were none military cases are having to wait three or even four years for an inquest. With this governments track record of Targets, critical success factors and performance indicators there must be an average time for an inquest? Do I get the impression that like the wars little in the way of preparation was made to deal with military casualties and the consequences to NOK are now being clearly seen? Do we have an expert out there?
  14. Can anyone explain to me how we managed inquests on the 700,000 British servicemen killed in the First World War, 300,000 killled in the Second, 300 odd in Korea or for that matter the 250 or so killed in the Falklands?

    What's that?

    "We didn't have any because they were killed in action by the enemy".

    Oh I SEE!

    What on earth is the point of this whole futile exercise? Why does it require some suit in Oxfordshire to say that yes, after all our enquiries we can confirm what the MOD has told us, Trooper Bloggs died from a gunshot wound inflicted by persons unknown whilst engaged in Combat operations in Helmand province in Afghanistan? I could understand it while we were involved in Nothern Ireland but this is a bit different surely?
    I'm not normally in favour of making or re-writing laws on the hoof but the relevant legislation needs a tweak here I reckon. I can't see how this situation ( the legal requirement for an inquest) benefits anybody, least of all the famililes of the deceased who have to wait months to be told something that would previously have been explained in a letter from the CO? :?

    Surely, except in clearly exceptional circumstances, a Board of Inquiry could be covened "in Theatre", consisting of,say, a member of the Army Legal Services and selected Officers from the formation HQ which could examine promptly the circumstances of the death and publish their findings in pretty short order, and which would be sufficient for the families needs?
  15. But a lot of them haven't been killed by the 'enemy' have they?

    It is suggested that the two tank crewmen whose inquests were completed yesterday died as a result of an officer's negligence.

    There were serious questions about equipment shortages when the RMP massacre took place.

    Many more soldiers have been murdered by terrorists rather than killed in action.

    Some sort of inquiry is surely required when deaths occur in circumstances like these.