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The revolutionary effect of equality and human rights law on the UK armed forces

Ball, Richard


Rick Ball
Senior Lecturer in Law


The UK armed forces have undergone an incremental transformation through the impact of civilian law since the 1960s. Gerry Rubin in a 2002 article for this journal analysed the impact of this civilian law on Military Law and described a course of civilianisation and juridification. However, the Human Rights Act 1998 and non-discrimination legislation, culminating in the recent Equality Act 2010, have had a combined effect that has been revolutionary taking the military further than Rubin’s civilianisation and juridification and down a process of democratisation. This article will examine the relationship between civilian and military societies, the effects of civilian law on the military and the impact of that civilian law on the civil-military relationship, including the introduction of the Armed Forces Covenant in 2011. Finally lessons for the armed forces from this military democratisation will be considered.


Ball, R. The revolutionary effect of equality and human rights law on the UK armed forces. Manuscript submitted for publication

Journal Article Type Article
Journal Modern Law Review
Print ISSN 0026-7961
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords UK armed forces, civil-military relations, human rights act 1998, equality act 2010, armed forces covenant 2011
Publisher URL


MLR Article (Revamp).docx (89 Kb)

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