Since 2004 the Low Level Radiation Campaign has supported British veterans in their struggle for war service pensions. These are men who became ill after they attended atomic bomb tests in Australia and at Christmas Island in the 1950s. In the UK (unlike some Cold War allies) the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) denies pensions unless the men can prove they were exposed to very high radiation doses. During three weeks in June 2016 a dozen appeals against MoD's decisions were heard in the First-Tier Tribunal of the War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber, sitting in the Royal Courts of Justice in London.
LLRC's Dr. Chris Busby represented some of these veterans, arguing that their illnesses and deaths could have been caused by inhaling or ingesting radioactive fallout at the test sites. If he could establish a reasonable doubt of causation the vets or their widows would get their pensions.
After much delay all the appeals were denied. The Decision is disgraceful and unjust. It's a depressing tale of evidence being mishandled by the Judge - Sir Nicholas Blake - and by lawyers representing the Secretary of State for Defence (SSD). Three of the appellants have appealed on several points of law. We have also made a formal complaint to the Bar Standards Board over the tricks the SSD used to bury our case.
Only a few weeks after the Blake decision the widow of another veteran lodged a completely separate appeal.
She wants us to represent her.
More money will be needed.
The Decision, the Statements of Case, transcripts, pleadings, appeals, and evidence reports are here.
The Sellafield Defence and why giving small pensions to a few old men matters so much ... read on