Baha Mousa Law Lords Case

13 Jun 2007

In a landmark ruling today the House of Lords Appellate Committee pronounced that protection under UK Human Rights law extends to those held abroad in detention by British troops.

The ruling comes after the relatives of Baha Mousa, who died whilst in British custody in Iraq, appealed to the Law Lords against the government’s understanding that the UK Human Rights Act could not be used in the case of Mousa’s death. There is now a possibility that independent inquiries must take place wherever detainees suffer at the hands of British troops.

Welcoming the ruling, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington Diane Abbott said:

“I am very pleased at this important Law Lords ruling. It must be right that British human rights legislation covers British troops even when they are abroad. Not only is this correct in principle but ensuring that British troops comply to the highest human rights standards is in the interest of British troops and the British people.

Firstly, if British troops treat their own captives fairly and in accordance with the best human rights standards this helps to ensure that British captives are treated fairly by others. But secondly, if the British people are assured that our troops abroad are treating people properly then this helps community relations and community cohesion in this country.” 


Editor’s notes:

For information on the case see:

back ⇢