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Ministry of Defence: Compensation

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 54689, tabled on 24 November 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his policy is on the issuing of compensation of ex gratia payments to civilians killed or injured by UK airstrikes.

Answered on

2 December 2016

The Ministry of Defence normally pays compensation only where it accepts that it is or might be held legally liable for the harm in question. These payments are distinguished from ex gratia payments, which require the consent of HM Treasury. In the special circumstances of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan HM Treasury authorised the Department to make ex gratia payments in theatre in appropriate circumstances to nationals of those countries who had suffered harm or damage as a result of UK military activities: information on such payments was published annually. No such authorisations are currently in force, and any proposal to make ex gratia compensation payments to civilians killed or injured by UK airstrikes would require HM Treasury approval on an exceptional basis. There are currently no such proposals.