The British Military Defense is challenging an appeal court ruling which it claims would impact the ability of commanders in the field to function because soldiers might be able to sue in a court of law about their failures in leadership. The case stems from the case of Private Jason Smith who died of heatstroke in Iraq despite his repeated pleas of physically being unable to adjust to the climate. The military believes members of the armed forces are governed by military law while opponents argue an Englishman is still entitled to the rights of Englishmen regardless of being in the military. The appeal court ruled that British soldiers were subject to the jurisdiction of their nation’s laws regardless of where they were in the world.
Many problems emerge from the court decision. Is the British military responsible for all aspects of European Union law regardless of circumstances? Can soldiers challenge military decisions in a court of law? Do their rights extend to being off base while in another nation?