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30 Jun 10. The Supreme Court has ruled that British troops are not protected by human rights laws on the battlefield. The family of Pte Jason Smith, who died of heatstroke in Iraq in June 2003, had argued that troops should receive such protection in conflict overseas. Commanders said it was impractical to allow troops in combat zones to be protected by human rights law. The Supreme Court has now quashed previous rulings that the legislation should apply to soldiers at all times. The President of the Supreme Court, Lord Phillips, said service personnel fighting abroad would not necessarily be covered by human rights law. He said: “The court has held that those who concluded the human rights convention shortly after the Second World War agreed to accept obligations in relation to the way in which they treated those within their own countries.
“Only in exceptional circumstances did they agree that the convention should impose obligations on them in relation to those outside their territorial jurisdiction. (Source: BBC)
22 Jun 10. Budget 2010: Chancellor’s Statement. The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented his ‘Emergency’ Budget on 22 Jun 10. In his Statement, the Chancellor forecast growth in the UK economy as: 1.2% in 2010; 2.3% in 2011; 2.8% in 2012; 2.9% in 2013; 2.7% in 2014 and 2.7% in 2015.
The Chancellor pointed out that the Budget figures imply that most Departments “will face an average real cut of around 25% over four years”. However, the Chancellor recognises “the particular pressures on our Education system and on Defence”. Final Departmental settlements are to be set in the Comprehensive Spending Review, which is to be presented on 20 Oct 10. Value Added Tax (VAT) is to rise from 17.5% to 20% on 4 Jan 11.
Comment: ‘Budget 2010’ (presented in the traditional red covers) is published as HC 61 for £45:00, but will only be of limited interest to the Defence community. Tables 2.2 and C13 in the Red Book indicate that the core Defence budget is currently 6.6% of Total Managed Expenditure: for 2008/09 (Outturn), 2009/10 (Estimate) and for 2010/11 (Planned). The Chancellor’s Statement is recorded in Hansard for 22 Jun 10. Detailed changes affecting the MoD await publication of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 09/25, 28 June 09)
23 Jun 10. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. UK deaths since the start of Operations on 7 Oct 01 have risen to 307, of whom 269 were killed as a result of hostile action. As confirmed by the MoD (23 Jun 10), the recent fatalities are:-
* A Marine from 40 Commando died on 20 Jun 10, from wounds sustained in an explosion near Patrol Base Ezeray on 12 Jun 10.
* A Marine from 40 Commando was fatally injured in an explosion at Patrol Base Airport Lounge
on 21 Jun 10.
* A Lance Corporal from 40 Commando was killed during a firefight in the Sangin District on 22 Jun 10.
* A Sergeant from 40 Commando was killed during a firefight in the Sangin District on 23 Jun 10.
* A Colour Sergeant and two Privates from 1st Bn The Mercian Regiment, together with a Lance Corporal from 1st Bn The Yorkshire Regiment, died