in Strasbourg said that Britain was the occupying force, and thus assumed the role of judicial sovereign government
Britain was an occupying power after the invasion of Iraq and failed to conduct effective investigations into the killing of civilians, the European Court of Human Rights ruled.
The decision of the Strasbourg Court could open the MoD to a deluge of requests and increase public pressure for more research on the behavior of troops in and around Basra after the 2003 invasion.
By extending liability beyond the boundaries of the UK and outside Europe, the decision will have far reaching implications for military operations worldwide.
The case was brought by lawyers from the firm based in Birmingham public on behalf of Iraqis who said their parents had been killed in different ways, raped, tortured or disappeared by British soldiers between 2003 and 2006.
In its ruling, the court stated: "Following the ouster of the Baathist regime and until the accession of the interim Iraqi government, the UK (with the United States) Iraq has resumed the exercise of some of the public powers normally exercised by a sovereign government.
"In particular, the United Kingdom have assumed responsibility and authority to maintain security in southeastern Iraq. In these exceptional circumstances of a jurisdictional link between the UK and people killed in security operations conducted by British soldiers during the period from May 2003 to June 2004.
"Because the commissioning parents were killed during security operations in the UK during this period, Britain was obliged to investigate their deaths."