Chris Busby: In The Ecologist last November I wrote about the Atom Bomb Test Veterans’ appeal in the Royal Courts of Justice. At issue was the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to grant war service pensions to men who attended atomic bomb tests in the 1950s. During three weeks in June 2016 I had represented some of these veterans, arguing before the Tribunal that their many illnesses and early deaths could have been caused by radioactive fallout that they might have inhaled or ingested. Provided we could establish a ‘reasonable doubt’ of causation, they or their widows would get their pensions. But – after considerable delay – the presiding judge, Sir Nicholas Blake, denied all the appeals. His decision was dated October 16th. But – remarkably – it was released nine weeks later. It was also mailed to just one person just when the Christmas post could be trusted to delay it still further. That’s the way to bury news. The Decision is disgraceful and unjust. It’s a depressing tale of evidence being mishandled by a High Court judge and by lawyers representing the Secretary of State for Defence (SSD). But, before I go further with that, let me flag up that we are appealing on several points of law. We have also made a formal complaint to the Bar Standards Board over the stratagems of the SSD’s representatives.
Counterpunch 16th Nov 2017 read more »