§ Lord Clement-Jones
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What the impact will be of Matthews-v-The Ministry of Defence judgmentgiven by the House of Lords on 13 February on those who contracted serious illness before 1987 in government service; and whether they have any plans to alter the impact of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947 in light of the Matthews case. [HL29541
§ Lord Bach:
The judgment handed down by the House of Lords on 13 February in respect of the case of Matthews-v-The Ministry of Defence confirms that service personnel who suffer illness or injury prior to 15 May 1987 are prevented by law from receiving compensation from the Ministry of Defence by virtue of Section 10 of the Crown Proceedings Act 1947.
The Government have no plans to introduce legislation to allow service personnel suffering illness 121WA or injury before 15 May 1987 to receive common law compensation. When Parliament debated the repeal of Section 10, the question of retrospection was considered. The view then, as it is now, was that there was no logical point at which to draw a line, short of covering all types of injury going back to 1947, and this would create more examples of unfairness and injustice.