On Friday 25 January 2019, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights and Leigh Day co-hosted a seminar to mark the first anniversary of the judgment in Alseran and Ors v MoD, in which each of the four test claimants were found to have suffered inhuman and degrading treatment and arbitrary detention in breach of Articles 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) while in British military custody in Iraq in 2003 and 2007.

In the first of two panel discussions, Revd Nicholas Mercer spoke of his experiences in Army Legal Services when British armed forces were first deployed in Iraq in 2003; Dr Melanie Jacques (Leigh Day) explained the current progress of the Iraqi Civilians Litigation, of which the Alseran case was the first test case; and Professor Dapo Akande (Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict) offered frameworks to explain the co-applicability of international humanitarian law and international human rights law when the latter applies extraterritorially in armed conflict. 

Listen to Session 1 - Alseran in Context


In the second panel, Dr Thomas Obel Hansen (University of Ulster) presented his co-authored research on the Ministry of Defence’s investigations into alleged violations of Articles 2 and 3 of the ECHR; while Dr Elizabeth Stubbins Bates (Merton College, Oxford) shared her research findings on the British Army’s belated reforms to its training in international humanitarian law, particularly on the treatment of prisoners of war and other detainees.

Listen to Session 2 - Recent Investigations & Prevention