The Challenger claims are founded on common law negligence, on the basis that the Ministry of Defence failed to provide suitable identification and recognition equipment and that it failed to provide adequate pre-deployment training. All but one of the Snatch Land Rover claims were based on the contention that the Ministry of Defence had failed to take suitable measures to protect the lives of its servicemen, in circumstances where it ought reasonably to have done so, in the light of the real and immediate risk to life of soldiers required to undertake patrols in these lightly armoured vehicles, in breach of article 2 European Convention on Human Rights. One of these claims also included similar allegations founded in negligence.
In Smith & Ors v Ministry of Defence  UKSC 41 the claimants successfully resisted a preliminary strike out application by the Ministry of Defence. The Defence was based on a number of technical and public policy grounds including: (i) that the article 2 of the ECHR right to life did not apply to members of the armed forces serving abroad, (ii) that all the claims were barred by combat immunity and (iii) that in all the circumstances it was neither fair just nor reasonable for the MoD to owe a common law duty of care.
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