The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, will be treated fairly and with respect. For those who are injured in service, and for bereaved families, it is imperative that their claims are resolved in the accordance with the spirit of the Covenant.
Parties who engage in civil litigation in England & Wales tend to suffer pain far beyond that arising from the dispute itself, even if they ultimately win. The pain arises from the cost, delays, complex court rules and the stresses of adversarial civil litigation battles. There is no doubt that there are additional emotional strains for Service personnel claiming against the MOD.
In the foreword to the Government’s ‘Better combat compensation Consultation’, Sir Michael Fallon KCB MP [then Secretary of State for Defence] wrote:
“Service and ex-Service personnel who were wounded and the families of those who died, can be caught up in long and frustrating legal cases. The legal costs of such cases, which are borne by the taxpayer can far outstrip any damages which are eventually awarded.”
There is no doubt that the present system for litigating claims is sub-optimal in very many ways.
IE is committed to a revolution in access to efficient justice and dispute resolution. By insisting upon the highest standards in ethics and competence and aiming for excellence in every aspect of everything we do, IE already provides a better way for disputants who otherwise have precious little prospect of avoiding the pain of litigation through the Courts. IE resolves disputes in ways that further the spirit and objectives of the Armed Forces Covenant.
A Deputy High Court Judge will handle Military Claims from outset through to resolution: they assist the parties to crystalise the issues, target the best evidence and make high-quality decisions at all stages. IE avoids the pitfalls of traditional adversarial litigation but applies all the elements that made the British civil trial the world’s gold standard in justice and dispute resolution. Ultimately, a Deputy High Court Judge tells the parties what the outcome would be if it was decided in Court – this independent evaluation is available years before it might otherwise be via the Court process.
The Government now looks to ‘enhanced’ compensation schemes in the future. However, IE already provides this. Claimants achieve more than 100% of the damages they would receive at Court, precisely because efficiencies achieved through IE achieve savings in legal costs for the MOD.
IE has a track record of achieving the objective of mutually optimal resolutions.
IE is not binding: it enhances the rights of the Service personnel and their families, who are free to choose between trying IE or going to Court; in fact they are free to choose IE and, still go to Court if they believe they will do better there.
Types of Military Claims
• Military training accidents
• Military combat accidents
• Friendly fire incidents
• Inadequate/faulty equipment and machinery
• Sports injuries
• Non-freezing cold injuries/Cold Foot Injuries – NFCI
• Hearing loss
• Road Traffic Accidents
• Chemical accidents
• Fatal accidents
• Boxing injuries
• Parachuting accidents
• Exposure to harmful substances, such as asbestos