Categories

AfghanistanAOAV: all our reportsImpact on civiliansIraqMilitarism examinedVictim assistance

The Rise of ‘Lawfare’ in the UK examined: how Parliament turned the law into a battleground

1) Introduction
Following the United Kingdom’s (UK) engagement in military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, the UK Armed Forces began to face allegations of conducting extrajudicial killings and human rights abuses. The Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), established by the UK Government in 2010 to investigate offences in Iraq, received around 3,400 allegations by its conclusion in June 2017[1]. A smaller-scale inquiry called Operation Northmoor, launched by the UK Government in 2014 to investigate allegations of offences in Afghanistan, received 675 allegations by July 2017[2].

In reaction to the rise of legal challenges to the conduct of military action abroad, Members of Parliament (MPs) and Peers began to express concern that this could install a risk-averse culture within the UK Armed Forces that undermines its fighting capacity.

This threat came to be described as ‘lawfare’ a term first used in 2001 by then US Air Force Colonel Charles Dunlap who defined it as the “use of law as a weapon of war” used to strategically “handcuff the United States” in an effort to “exploit our values to defeat us”[3].

Over the last decade a concern with ‘lawfare’ grew particularly amongst members of the Conservative Party to the point that it became part of the Conservative Party’s 2015 Manifesto, which states that “we will ensure our Armed Forces overseas are not subject to persistent human rights claims that undermine their ability to do their job”[4].

In a step towards protecting the UK Armed Forces from legal challenges, on 4 October 2016, Secretary of Defence Michaell Fallon announced that in future conflicts the UK would derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Fallon stated that was would “protect our Armed Forces from many of the industrial scale claims we have seen post Iraq and Afghanistan” which he claimed was “damaging our troops, undermining military operations, and costing taxpayers’ millions”[5]. Prime Minister Theresa May triumphantly declared at the Conservative party conference the following day that “we will never again—in any future conflict—let those activist, left-wing human rights lawyers harangue and harass […] the men and women of Britain’s Armed Forces”[6].

2) The Ministry of Defence and ‘lawfare’
This section presents a collection of definitions of and observations on ‘lawfare’ in reports by the Ministry of Defence published between 2015 and 2020. These show that the Ministry of Defence largely shares the concerns expressed by MPs and Peers on the threat of lawfare. That said, one report from 2020 concedes that many of the legal claims for damages and non-compliance with the UK’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) were indeed valid.

Strategic Trends Programme: Future Operating Environment 2035 (2015)
This report defines ‘lawfare’ as the “strategy of using law, rather than traditional means, to achieve an operational objective” and poses that is “likely to be used more prominently by 2035”. It also suggests that the UK “may employ lawfare itself, and we will also need to understand how an adversary may use the law against us”. It speculates that adversaries may “sponsor legal actions as a way of challenging our Armed Forces using the legal process”[7].

Joint Concept Note 1/17 Future Force Concept (2017)
This report defines ‘lawfare’ as the “use of law, rather than traditional means, to achieve an operational objective”. It states that the use of ‘lawfare’ is likely to become more prominent, resulting in “greater domestic and international legal scrutiny of military operations”. It identified automized weaponry as a particular area at risk to ‘lawfare’, stating that the Ministry of Defence should “consider the moral and legal implications of enhanced automation”, particularly in regards to “systems supporting targeting and fires, if we are to avoid ceding significant advantage to future adversaries”[8].

Legal Protections for Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans serving in operations outside the United Kingdom (2019)
This report refers to ‘lawfare’ as the “judicialisation of war”. It states that the risks and impacts of ‘lawfare’ include: financial costs, stress and strain on veterans; weakened morale of serving personnel; damaged ability to recruit future personnel; and the risk of a “chilling effect” on operations in fear of future legal proceedings[9].

The Integrated Operating Concept (2020)
General Nick Carter, the Chief of the Defence Staff, gave a speech launching a report on The Integrated Operating Concept. In the speech, Carter stated that “Western states draw legitimacy from respect for the rules, conventions and protocols of war. Where we see morals, ethics and values as a centre of gravity, authoritarian rivals see them as an attractive target”. Now, however, these have become a “helpful tool” in the “inventory” of authoritarian rivals. Carter stated that lawfare “applies to the challenge we have encountered in recent campaigns”, and, as such, “we need to update our legal, ethical and moral framework to properly hold our forces to account if they break the law, while ensuring they have appropriate freedom of action to seize fleeting opportunities on the battlefield”[10].

The Integrated Operating Concept itself states that the “triumph of the narrative increasingly determines defeat or victory and hence the importance of information operations. They can be used to support conventional military operations and those utilising proxies and deniable para-military forces, military coercion, offensive cyber operations, and of course lawfare”[11]. This passage is repeated verbatim in a report titled The Orchestration of Military Strategic Effects published by the Ministry of Defence in 2021[12].

Public consultation on Legal Protections for Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans serving in operations outside the United Kingdom: Ministry of Defence Analysis and Response (2020)
This report states that the respondents to the public survey criticised the Government’s “uncritical adoption of the lawfare narrative” and that its “use of this language reflected badly on the UK” given that the UK “claimed to support international humanitarian law and the rule of law”. Respondents also made “various negative comments” about the use of language such as “ambulance-chasing” lawyers, and accusations of malice and a desire for financial compensation on behalf of those bringing allegations.

The response of the Ministry of Defence to these criticisms states that “operations in Iraq and Afghanistan gave rise to an unprecedented number of legal claims for damages and non-compliance with the UK’s obligations under the ECHR”, yet, it concedes that “many of these were valid (and were dealt with appropriately)”. The Ministry of Defence furthermore claims that “our Service personnel and veterans have also had to endure vexatious claims—those that were fundamentally dishonest, or were brought in multiple jurisdictions, or were encouraged by unscrupulous lawyers”[13].

3) Parliament and ‘lawfare’
In sections three to nine, we provide an overview of how ‘lawfare’ has been debated by MPs and Peers from 2009 and 2021. From its first reference in December 2009 to the end of March 2021, ‘lawfare’ was mentioned a total of 79 times in Parliamentary debates. As figure 1 shows, ‘lawfare’ received above-average attention in debates held from January to February 2016, in May 2019, from September to November 2020, and in January 2021.

‘Lawfare’ has been raised in Parliamentary debates predominantly by Conservative MPs and Crossbench Peers. ‘Lawfare’ has mainly been debated in regards to the concern that ‘lawfare’ threatens the UK Armed Forces’ morale, operational effectiveness, enlistment efforts, legitimacy of the use of force, and moral authority. References to ‘lawfare’ have been made in regards to non-military matters, though this is very infrequent.

‘Lawfare’ has been described by MPs and Peers in highly threatening terms. This includes calling it “legal imperialism”, a “new vector of attack”, and resulting in the “legal encirclement of our Armed Forces”. ‘Lawfare’ has been given as a reason to derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and to criticise the Ministry of Defence’s own Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT).

MPs and Peers have described the lawyers who pursue ‘lawfare’ as illegitimate. This includes accusations that the lawyers are “chasing the money”, “ambulance-chasing scoundrels”, “leeches”, “bloodsuckers”, “bad and egregious”, “manipulate victims’ grief”, make “vexatious claims”, and are pursuing cases for their “own financial reasons”.

4) 2009 to 2015
From 2009 to 2015, ‘lawfare’ was largely discussed as a threat to the operational capacity of UK forces, given a fear of prosecution.

The first reference made in either the House of Commons or House of Lords to ‘lawfare’ was made on 16 December 2009 by Liam Fox (Con) during a debate in the House of Commons on the Nimrod Review[14], which investigated the loss of the RAF Nimrod MR2[15]. Fox expressed concern with how the Military Aviation Authority (MAA)—an organisation within the Ministry of Defence that regulates air safety—would be funded, why it would not have release-to-service responsibility, and the impact this would have on the safety of aircraft. Fox remarked “how do we avoid the risk of cutting corners and finding ourselves with the potential of another tragic event? In a culture […] of increasing legal liability, it is a worry to all of us in this House as well as to our Armed Forces that we seem now to be compounding warfare with lawfare”[16].

On 17 December 2014, a debate in the House of Commons was held on the Al-Sweady Inquiry, which investigated allegations that British forces had tortured and executed up to 20 Iraqi men in May 2004, and mistreated nine others between May and September 2004[17]. James Gray (Con) stated that “it is of course an absolute outrage that it has taken 10 stress-filled years to clear these young soldiers of the baseless slurs against them, but is there not a wider point to be made? Does the Secretary of State agree that allowing further claims and allegations of this kind […] might interfere with the perfectly legitimate conduct of warfare, and that there is a real risk that legitimate warfare will be replaced with ‘lawfare’?”[18].

On 29 March 2010, in a debate in the House of Commons on Afghanistan, Liam Fox (Con) stated that “the Government are likely to face a court case relating to the ability of UK forces to hand prisoners over to Afghan authorities. The case […] could have major implications for our commanders in Afghanistan as a result of international and European human rights law. It is bad enough that our troops have to deal with warfare; now they have to worry about ‘lawfare’ as well”[19].

On 10 November 2011, in a debate in the House of Commons on the UK Armed Forces, Dai Havard (Lab) expressed concern that the Armed Forces are “sometimes uncertain about their legal and moral status, and if we are not careful, that will cause difficulties for the operational capacity to do things on the ground. It is known in the trade to those of us who discuss these things as the ‘lawfare-warfare’ debate; is it legal, but is it also morally defensible?”[20].

That said, ‘lawfare’ was also briefly discussed in reference to matters unrelated to the Armed Forces. On 1 December 2010, in a debate in the House of Commons on libel law, David Davis (Con) called ‘lawfare’ the “deployment of judicial shock tactics against the most defenceless part of the opposition” and expressed concern that it can “chill free speech in science, medicine and many other areas”. Davis referred to a case regarding a cosmetic company that threatened a critic of one of its products with legal action. Fiona Mactaggart (Lab) also remarked that ‘lawfare’ “operates not merely in science”, and referred to a case of one of her constituents who has “been accused by a sect leader in the Sikh tradition of libel, and it has taken up four years of his life and thousands of pounds to defend his claim”[21].

5) January 2016
On 7 January 2016, a debate was held in the House of Commons on the Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report 2020[22]. ‘Lawfare’ was raised with regard to the concern that it may damage the morale of the UK Armed Forces.

James Gray (Con) remarked that Thomas Tugendhat (Con) had written a “magnificent paper”[23] on ‘lawfare’ which “lays out precisely how the law might interfere with operational effectiveness on the ground, and we have seen that issue become a great deal worse in recent years”. Gray claimed that “lawyers have been trawling around Iraq in particular, finding people who allege some form of abuse by our Armed Forces in Iraq 10 or 15 years ago”. Gray expressed concern that “it must be terribly worrying for large numbers of our veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan when they did things perfectly correctly under orders and behaved naturally, but some lawyers for their own financial reasons are seeking to investigate what they did”. As such, it may “have an effect on the operational capabilities of our forces today. Any soldier doing something might have to think, ‘what would happen if I got this wrong? What would happen if I breach some rule?’.”

Mark Lancaster (Con), the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, also praised Tom Tugendhat (Con) for raising “issues that are perhaps summed up as lawfare”, and remarked that the “Conservative party committed at the last general election to deal with this issue”. He claimed that a “lot of work has been going on in the Ministry of Defence over recent months to try and move that forward. I am not in a position right now to give further details, but that is being led by the Minister for the Armed Forces”[24].

On 27 January 2016, a debate was held in the House of Commons on the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT), a Ministry of Defence-funded organisation to review and investigate allegations of abuse of Iraqi civilians by the UK Armed Forces in Iraq from 2003 to July 2009. Again, ‘lawfare’ was raised (with specific reference to IHAT) with the concern that it may damage morale and impair in-combat decision-making of the Armed Forces if they are in fear of persecution for their actions.

Richard Benyon (Con) declared that “I secured this debate because something has happened to some of our veterans in recent years that I think needs the urgent attention of Government. Some call it lawfare”. Benyon remarked that it is “having a profound effect on the morale of our Armed Forces and on how we will be able to fight wars in the future [… .] Decisions often taken in the heat of battle and then judged years later by people for whom such circumstances are alien and with the mantle of hindsight”. Benyon added that he was worried that the “legal imperialism we have seen in recent years and the existence of organisations such as IHAT will put a dangerous caution in the minds of the sniper of the future”.

Gerald Howarth (Con) congratulated Benyon for bringing forward the debate and stated that this debate “demonstrates the strength of feeling in the House that our Armed Forces are not being well served by the campaign of what is known as lawfare, rather than warfare”. Howarth expressed his concern that “I fear that by putting our Armed Forces into harm’s way in this fashion, we are undermining their morale and thereby threatening the war-fighting capability of the next generation of those who will be called upon to serve their country”. He added that the-then Prime Minister, David Cameron, is “absolutely right to express his concern about this matter. The Government need to do more”[25].

6) February 2016
On 11 February 2016, a debate was held in the House of Lords on the Armed Forces Bill. ‘Lawfare’ was raised with the concern that it may damage the morale of the UK Armed Forces and was also cited as a reason to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Lord Boyce (CB) expressed concern that “absent from this Bill is any mention of lawfare”, which he called the “increasing legal encirclement of our Armed Forces”. Boyce referred to “growing concern within the Armed Forces regarding Crown immunity, or lack of it, in warfare situations—a concern fuelled by the large number of cases being investigated of alleged inappropriate behaviour in the field in Iraq or Afghanistan, or accusations of the use of allegedly inappropriate equipment which overlook the precept in war that you have to fight with what you have got”.

Lord Ramsbotham (CB) agreed with Boyce, and stated that “I hope very much that […] the opportunity can be taken to include in it the very real action that is needed to solve what my noble and gallant friend Lord Boyce described as the lawfare question, which is one that I know worries the minds of every serving member of the Armed Forces at present”.

Lord Bilimoria (CB) also raised the issue of ‘lawfare’, remarking that “we have heard of ‘lawfare’ [… .] IHAT has […] spent £57 million to find evidence of wrongdoing in only one case”. Bilimoria argued that this is “stopping the Armed Forces doing their job” and asked, “how long will it take to finalise the proposed new British Bill of Rights which it is hoped will replace the Human Rights Act and make Britain’s Supreme Court more powerful than the European court?”. Bilimoria further pressed that if “we can derogate from the ECHR as we did after 9/11, to protect ourselves from being sued if we are going to a theatre of operations where we think compensation could be applied? […] Why can we not? Why should we not?”[26].

7) May 2019
On 20 May 2019, a debate was held in the House of Commons on the immunity of soldiers. In contrast to the usual discussions of the effect ‘lawfare’ may have on the UK Armed Forces, criticism was directed towards the lawyers who pursue cases against the UK Armed Forces.

Robert Courts (Con) argued that the “abhorrence of lawfare […] extends also to lawyers”. Courts stated that “sometimes [lawyers] are put in the position of having to prosecute law, or defend law, that is wrong. When law is wrong, it is the job of Ministers to act and of Parliament to approve; the lawyers are put in the wrong position, and it is for us in this place to act. So it is in this case. The law needs adjustment to right this great wrong”. John Penrose (Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office) (Con) argued that legal teams give the “false narrative of hope […] to manipulate victims’ grief”.

Stephen Pound (Lab) delivered scathing criticism of lawyers pursuing ‘lawfare’, stating that “I have no case to make for lawfare or those ambulance-chasing scoundrels of lawyers who somehow manage to infest the lower reaches of the legal system like foul leeches, trying to take blood from our people”. He added that the lawyers come up with “trumped-up cases to embarrass, and in many cases threaten and terrify, people who had served with distinction and honour. I have no time for those leeches, those bloodsuckers, those ambulance-chasing scumbags”[27].

8) September to November 2020
From September to November 2020, the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel And Veterans) Bill was the subject of several debates in the House of Commons. The Bill, sponsored by the Ministry of Defence, entails three measures to protect personal serving in the UK Armed Forces from accusations of criminality. These include 1) the presumption against prosecution after five years (even if new evidence emerges), 2) the requirement that prosecutors give weight to operational conditions at the time, and 3) the need for the Attorney General (or the Advocate General in Northern Ireland) to approve any prosecution after five years[28]. The presumption against prosecution could effectively create impunity amongst the UK Armed Forces for serious crimes (such as torture)[29], thereby putting the UK at odds with the Geneva Conventions, the Convention Against Torture, and other tenets of customary international law. This would, in effect, create a statute of limitations[30].

Over the course of the debates in the House of Commons regarding this Bill, the standard critiques of ‘lawfare’ were expressed (largely pertaining to its threat to morale). There was also pushback against the Bill on the grounds that it would introduce immunity for members of the UK Armed Forces for conducting torture.

In a debate held in September, Conservative MPs generally expressed concern with ‘lawfare’ and expressed support for the Bill. For instance, Ben Wallace (Secretary of State for Defence) (Con) stated “this House should reflect on how lawfare has ranged way out of control. All too often, the victims have been the very people who risked life and limb to keep us safe. The Bill is a measured step”. Stuart Anderson (Con) argued, “this lawfare culture is a disgrace to this country. It will damage the military and it must be stopped”. Similarly, Andrew Mitchell (Con) stated “we all want the lawfare […] which is so outrageous, stopped”.

Sarah Atherton (Con) pushed back against critics of the Bill who claim that it “will protect service personnel from wrongdoing”, claiming that “the Bill does nothing of the sort”. Atherton explained that there is “no debate in this House, nor should there ever be, about the fact that if service personnel commit a crime, they must be called to account. The Bill does not give service personnel de facto immunity from prosecution. There are still provisions to allow for prosecutions of historical cases where there is compelling evidence”.

Claudia Webbe (Lab) expressed concern with the Bill, claiming that “it is predicated on breaking international law” which “alienates [Britain] on the world stage and is driven by bluster, tub-thumping and a form of nationalism that endangers both our Armed Forces and civilians around the globe”. Webbe argued against the idea that “preventing acts of torture is not some burdensome red tape” and claimed that the Government “wish to provide a triple lock amnesty which would ensure that acts of torture cannot be prosecuted if they took place more than five years ago. The Bill would also enshrine direct political interference from the Attorney General in such cases”[31].

In a debate on the Bill in October, Johnny Mercer (Con) expressed support for the Bill on account of the fact that it “deals with lawfare and the vexatious claims that came out of Iraq and Afghanistan” and pushed back on the idea that it “disputes the seriousness of torture”. Rather, in his view, “all we are seeking to do is to restore the primacy of things like the Geneva convention and the law of armed conflict, and to protect our service men and women from the nature of lawfare that has been so pernicious over the years”[32].

In another debate on the Bill held in November, the usual critiques of the impact ‘lawfare’ has on morale were reiterated. For instance, Sarah Atherton (Con) argued that the Bill “is necessary” given that the UK Armed Forces “were hounded by lawyers, chasing the money and putting our troops through hell once again. So prolific was this hunt that it was given the name ‘lawfare’, and it is this lawfare that we seek to address”. Atherton expressed concern that “retention is a big challenge for the military, especially the Army”, and that “vexatious claims” had left “exemplary soldiers all feeling let down and betrayed”[33].

9) January 2021
On 20 January 2021, the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill was debated in the House of Lords. Peers issued the common critique of ‘lawfare’, that it risks damaging morale, curbing operational effectiveness, and delegitimizing the Armed Forces. For instance, Lord Houghton of Richmond (CB) stated that “one recent facet of this changing character has been the advent of lawfare. This represents a new vector of attack, where our enemies will exploit our vulnerabilities to delegitimise our use of force and the moral authority we hold”. Likewise, Lord Boyce (CB) stated that “this Bill is to be welcomed in principle as an attempt to mitigate the pernicious effect that ‘lawfare’ can have on the fighting efficiency and morale of our Armed Forces”. Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate (Con) argued that the “emergence of the so-called shocking ‘lawfare’, with bad and egregious lawyers trying to apply strict human rights law to conflict situations, has produced results which I do not believe are acceptable”.

Lord Thomas of Gresford (Lib), however, pushed back against this criticism, declaring “everything is wrong about this Bill. ‘We are against ‘lawfare’’, they say—legal constraints around armed conflict. What do they want, ‘unlawfare’?”. Thomas asked “is there a single noble and gallant Lord speaking today who will say that his decisions made in actual conflict were hampered by the Geneva conventions; that he would have acted differently if it were not for the law; that he would have tortured prisoners of war for information?”. He further questioned, “is it to be the policy of Her Majesty’s Government to abandon those international standards and to give effective immunity against anything to her Armed Forces in the field?”[34].

10) Conclusion
The Conservative and Unionist Party’s 2019 Manifesto stated that “we will introduce new legislation to tackle the vexatious legal claims that undermine our Armed Forces”[35]. The Government is now, in April 2021, in sight of achieving this objective. The Overseas Operations (Service Personnel And Veterans) Bill is moving closer to receiving Royal Assent, having passed the committee stage in the House of Lords, now being at the report stage. It if passes, the UK Armed Forces could become shielded from prosecution under UK law for serious crimes, such as torture, placing it at odds with international law including the Geneva Conventions.

As the UK works to shield itself from ‘lawfare’, it is worth noting that a report published by the Ministry of Defence in 2015 stated that the UK “may employ lawfare itself” in addition to the need to “understand how an adversary may use the law against us”.

By implication, this indicates that in future conflicts the UK may also decide to “sponsor legal actions as a way of challenging” the armed forces of UK’s adversaries[36].

Many UK senior military staff are fond of quoting Clausewitz and they often state that war is the continuation of politics by other means.  Perhaps that now applies to lawfare, too.


[1] UK Government. n/d. “Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT)”. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/iraq-historic-allegations-team-ihat.

[2] BBC. 2019. “Military prosecutions: ‘Unfair’ investigations to be barred”. 15 May 2019. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48276804.

[3] Lawfare. n/d. “About Lawfare: A Brief History of the Term and the Site”. Available at: https://www.lawfareblog.com/about-lawfare-brief-history-term-and-site.

[4] Conservative Party. 2015. The Conservative Party 2015 Manifesto. London: St. Ives PLC. Available at: https://issuu.com/conservativeparty/docs/ge_manifesto_low_res_bdecb3a47a0faf/75.

[5] Fallon, Michael. 2016. “Full text: Michael Fallon’s Tory party conference speech”. The Spectator, 4 October 2016. Available at: https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/full-text-michael-fallon-s-tory-party-conference-speech.

[6] May, Theresa. 2016. “Theresa May’s conference speech in full”. Financial Times, 5 October 2016. Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/ffb25e84-8af2-11e6-8aa5-f79f5696c731.

[7] Ministry of Defence. 2015. Strategic Trends Programme: Future Operating Environment 2035. London: Ministry of Defence. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/646821/20151203-FOE_35_final_v29_web.pdf.

[8] Ministry of Defence. 2017. Joint Concept Note 1/17 Future Force Concept. London: Ministry of Defence. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/643061/concepts_uk_future_force_concept_jcn_1_17.pdf.

[9] Ministry of Defence. 2019. Legal Protections for Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans serving in operations outside the United Kingdom. London: Ministry of Defence. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/919822/20190718-Ministry of Defence_consultation_document-FINAL.pdf.

[10] Ministry of Defence. 2020. “Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter launches the Integrated Operating Concept”. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/chief-of-the-defence-staff-general-sir-nick-carter-launches-the-integrated-operating-concept.

[11] Ministry of Defence. 2020. The Integrated Operating Concept. London: Ministry of Defence. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/ministers/parliamentary-under-secretary-of-state–141.

[12] Ministry of Defence. 2021. The Orchestration of Military Strategic Effects. London: Ministry of Defence. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/970529/20210316-OMSE_new_web-O.pdf.

[13] Ministry of Defence. 2020. Public consultation on Legal Protections for Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans serving in operations outside the United Kingdom: Ministry of Defence Analysis and Response. London: Ministry of Defence. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/918790/20200907-MOD_Analysis_and_Response-FINAL__accessible_.pdf.

[14] Haddon-Cave, Charles. 2009. The Nimrod Review: An independent review into the broader issues surrounding the loss of the RAF Nimrod MR2 Aircraft XV230 in Afghanistan in 2006. London: The Stationery Office Limited. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/229037/1025.pdf.

[15] On 2 September 2006, RAF Nimrod XV230 was on a routine mission in Afghanistan when it suffered a mid-air fire, which led to the total loss of the aircraft and the death of 14 crewmembers.

[16] Hansard. HC Debs. “Nimrod Review”. vol. 502 cols. 968–976, 16 December 2009. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2009-12-16/debates/09121662000002/NimrodReview.

[17] 2014. The Report of the Al-Sweady Inquiry. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/388292/Volume_1_Al_Sweady_Inquiry.pdf.

[18] Hansard. HC Debs. “Al-Sweady Inquiry Report”. vol. 589 cols. 1414, 17 December 2004. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2014-12-17/debates/14121731000002/Al-SweadyInquiryReport.

[19] Hansard. HC Debs. “Afghanistan”. vol. 508 cols. 491, 29 March 2010. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2010-03-29/debates/10032914000016/Afghanistan.

[20] Hansard. HC Debs. “Armed Forces Personnel”. vol. 535 cols. 491, 10 November 2011. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2011-11-10/debates/11111068000001/ArmedForcesPersonnel.

[21] Hansard. HC Debs. “Libel Law”. vol. 519 cols. 932–935, 1 December 2020. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2010-12-01/debates/10120164000002/LibelLaw.

[22] Ministry of Defence. 2020. Armed Forces Covenant annual report 2020. London: Ministry of Defence. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/943501/6.6856_MOD_Covenant-Annual-Report-2020_Full-Pages_A4_v16.1_web_3_.pdf.

[23] Tugendhat, Tom, and Laura Croft. 2013. The Fog of Law: An introduction to the legal erosion of British fighting power. London: Policy Exchange. Available at: https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/the-fog-of-law.pdf. In 2015, Tom Tugendhat wrote another report on ‘lawfare’ (Tugendhat, Tom et al. 2015. Clearing the Fog of Law: Saving our armed forces from defeat by judicial diktat. London: Policy Exchange. Available at: https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/clearing-the-fog-of-law.pdf).

[24] Hansard. HC Debs. “Armed Forces Covenant Annual Report”. vol. 604 cols. 178, 27 January 2016. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2016-01-07/debates/16010719000001/ArmedForcesCovenantAnnualReport.

[25] Hansard. HC Debs. “Iraq Historic Allegations Team”. vol. 605 cols. 187–199, 27 January 2016. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2016-01-27/debates/16012756000001/IraqHistoricAllegationsTeam.

[26] Hansard. HL Debs. “Armed Forces Bill” vol. 768 cols. 2378–2409, 11 February 2016. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2016-02-11/debates/16021145000725/ArmedForcesBill.

[27] Hansard. HC Debs. “Immunity For Soldiers”. vol. 660 cols. 239–250, 20 May 2019. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-05-20/debates/06752875-A995-4952-A1C8-89E342B72FA6/ImmunityForSoldiers.

[28] Clarke, Michael. 2020. “The UK’s Overseas Operations Bill: Good Questions, Wrong Answers”. RUSI, 7 October 2020. Available at: https://rusi.org/commentary/uks-overseas-operations-bill-good-questions-wrong-answers.

[29] Law Society. “Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill”. 5 March 2021. Available at: https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/topics/human-rights/overseas-operations-service-personnel-and-veterans-bill.

[30] Clarke, Michael. 2020. “The UK’s Overseas Operations Bill: Good Questions, Wrong Answers”. RUSI, 7 October 2020. Available at: https://rusi.org/commentary/uks-overseas-operations-bill-good-questions-wrong-answers.

[31] Hansard. HC Debs. “Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill”. vol. 680 cols. 984–1056, 23 September 2020. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-09-23/debates/BE01763F-2480-4C4B-9FAA-E36AC7158566/OverseasOperations(ServicePersonnelAndVeterans)Bill.

[32] Hansard. HC Debs. “Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill (Seventh Sitting)”. 20 October 2020. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-10-20/debates/a16c3d96-fbb4-4487-86a5-adcedb658b31/OverseasOperations(ServicePersonnelAndVeterans)Bill(SeventhSitting).

[33] Hansard. HC Debs. “Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill”. vol. 683 cols. 234–265, 3 November 2020. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-11-03/debates/FB4C7182-567C-49B9-A7DE-EFE9EC75B9B4/OverseasOperations(ServicePersonnelAndVeterans)Bill.

[34] Hansard. HL Debs. “Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill”. vol. 809 cols. 1170–1236, 20 January 2021. Available at:  https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords/2021-01-20/debates/3CCFD6D5-5182-484F-8F0C-28DB13339980/OverseasOperations(ServicePersonnelAndVeterans)Bill.

[35] Conservative Party. 2019. The Conservative and Unionist Party Manifesto 2019. London: Paragon CC. Available at: https://assets-global.website-files.com/5da42e2cae7ebd3f8bde353c/5dda924905da587992a064ba_Conservative%202019%20Manifesto.pdf.

[36] Ministry of Defence. 2015. Strategic Trends Programme: Future Operating Environment 2035. London: Ministry of Defence. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/646821/20151203-FOE_35_final_v29_web.pdf.