The supreme court's ruling will be greeted with dismay at the MoD | Joshua Rozenberg

The families of the soldiers killed in Iraq have won an important victory. But it is far from end of their fight for compensation

The supreme court’s ruling in what has become known as the Snatch Land Rover cases is an important victory for the families of British soldiers killed in Iraq. But it is far from being the end of their fight for compensation.

The families’ most important success was to establish that the human rights convention applies to soldiers serving on foreign battlefields. Article one of the convention requires the United Kingdom to secure the rights and freedoms of “everyone within their jurisdiction”.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had argued that Iraq was outside the jurisdiction of the UK government. But the human rights court has previously ruled that jurisdiction can exist whenever a state exercises authority and control over an individual.

In the light of that ruling, the supreme court overturned one of its own earlier decisions and previously ruled that the convention applied to members of the armed forces when they were serving outside the UK.

This is an important advance in the law but one that can be seen as …read more  

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