Bell v Secretary of State for Defence: CA 1986

The deceased was injured serving in the forces in Germany. His injury was worstened after negligent communications between army doctors. The defendant relied upon State Immunity to defend a claim, saying he had issued a certificate that he had died on active duty.
Held: The Secretary was entitled to issue the certificate of entitlement even though at the time no-one was entitled to receive an award, and the only effect was to achieve immunity from suit. However the action which caused the injury was the failure to communicate the deceased’s condition, which happened at the civilian hospital and not on Crown Land, and therefore the section did not give immunity.


[1986] QB 322, [1985] 3 All ER 661


Crown Proceedings Act 1947 10(1)(a)(b)


England and Wales


ApprovedAdams v War Office QBD 1955
The fact that the Secretary of State has issued a certificate under section 10(1)(b) is no guarantee that the person in respect of whose case it is issued will be awarded a pension. . .

Cited by:

CitedMatthews v Ministry of Defence HL 13-Feb-2003
The claimant sought damages against the Crown, having suffered asbestosis whilst in the armed forces. He challenged the denial to him of a right of action by the 1947 Act.
Held: Human rights law did not create civil rights, but rather voided . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Negligence, Constitutional, Armed Forces

Updated: 29 May 2022; Ref: scu.179733