OPBP has recently made a submission to the UK Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights. The JCHR is scrutinising the Government’s proposed presumed derogation from the ECHR in times of armed conflict. The Government stated that this derogation was intended to protect its troops from vexatious legal claims arising out of military action.
Given that this raises questions of public interest and human rights law, OPBP was keen to offer its expertise. A group of OPBP researchers worked to produce a report which set out how civil procedure rules around the world, including the UK, dealt with the issue of vexatious or otherwise unfounded claims. It was OPBP’s submission that, given the wide range of measures currently available under English civil procedure law to limit such claims, and a number of techniques adopted in foreign jurisdictions which might inspire development of English procedural law to meet the challenge identified by the Government, derogation could not be “strictly required by the exigencies of the situation,” as required by Article 15 ECHR. We submitted our report and conclusions to the JCHR as written evidence on 30th March 2017, and are hopeful that they will assist the JCHR in its deliberations and scrutiny of the Government.