Batang Kali – the judgement

This has just appeared on the Bindmans web site: Sir John Thomas, President of the Queens Bench Division, and Mr Justice Treacy today gave judgment on a judicial review of the Government’s position on the killing of 24 civilians by British troops in 1948. The Court ruled that, given conflicts between European Human Rights Convention and UK law, there is no legal obligation to hold the public inquiry into the killings that the family members of those killed have campaigned for.  But the Court’s 176-paragraph judgement examines the current documentary evidence in forensic detail, concluding it “can no longer be permissible” for the “official account” of events given to Parliament to be maintained.  Ministers’ attempts to evade legal responsibility for the killings by arguing a Malayan Sultan commanded the troops involved are also firmly rejected: “given that what is in issue is the actions of the Scots Guards in shooting civilians, on ordinary principles those responsible for the command of the troops who did the shooting, ultimately the Army Council, have the responsibility for their actions.” On what those actions involved, the judgement continues:  “[t]here is no evidence, 63 years later, on which any of the 10 key facts relating […]
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