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Ministry of Defence apologises and returns medals to former serviceman dismissed because of his sexual orientation

Related Member(s):
Aidan O’Neill QC (Scot) QC, Sarah Hannett
Related Practice Area(s):
Discrimination and Equality

A British Falklands war veteran has been given his medals back and received an apology from the Ministry of Defence after being forced out of the navy over his sexuality.

Joe Ousalice, 68, served in the Navy for nearly 18 years but was discharged in 1993 pursuant to the ban on LGBT people serving in the armed forces. He sought judicial review of the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to return his Long Service & Good Conduct Medal, and three Good Conduct badges, all removed from him prior to his dismissal. The Ministry of Defence has agreed to return the medals, has apologised to Joe, and has agreed to formulate a scheme applicable to others in his position.

Aidan O’Neill QC and Sarah Hannett acted for Joe Ousalice, instructed by Emma Norton at Liberty.

Liberty’s press release is here.

Press coverage is here and here.