Amendments proposed to the Armed Forces Bill - continued House of Commons

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Mr Don Touhig

NS2

To move the following Schedule:—

'Protection of children of service families

    (1) Section 17 of the Armed Forces Act 1991 (power to make service family child assessment orders) is amended as follows.

    (2) In subsection (1)(a) for "civilian in a corresponding position" substitute "civilian subject to service discipline".

    (3) In subsection (3) for "the officer having jurisdiction" substitute "a judge advocate".

    (4) In subsection (5)—

            (a)   for "the officer" substitute "the judge advocate";

            (b)   for "an officer" substitute "a judge advocate".

    (1) Section 18 of that Act (content, effect, variation and discharge of assessment orders) is amended as follows.

    (2) In subsection (2)(b) for "officer" substitute "judge advocate".

    (3) In subsection (6) for "officer" substitute "judge advocate".

    (4) In subsection (8)—

            (a)   for "or a civilian in a corresponding position who" substitute ", or a civilian subject to service discipline, commits an offence if he";

            (b)   omit the words "on him";

            (c)   omit the words from "shall be liable" to the end.

    (5) After that subsection insert—

          "(8A)   A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in rows 5 to 12 of the Table in section 163 of the Armed Forces Act 2006.

          (8B)   For the purposes of determining the Court Martial's powers when sentencing a civilian offender (within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 3 to the Armed Forces Act 2006) for an offence under this section, subsection (8A) has effect as if the reference to rows 5 to 12 were to rows 2 to 7.

          (8C)   For the purposes of determining the Court Martial's powers when sentencing an offender to whom Part 2 of that Schedule applies (ex-servicemen etc) for an offence under this section, subsection (8A) has effect as if the reference to rows 5 to 12 were to rows 5 to 10."

    (6) Omit subsection (9).

    (1) Section 19 of that Act (power to make orders for the emergency protection of children of service families) is amended as follows.

    (2) In subsection (1)(a) for "civilian in a corresponding position" substitute "civilian subject to service discipline".

    (3) In subsection (3) for "the officer having jurisdiction" substitute "a judge advocate".

    (4) In subsection (4) for "officer", in both places, substitute "judge advocate".

    (1) Section 20 of that Act (content and effect of protection orders) is amended as follows.

    (2) In subsection (4) for "officer" substitute "judge advocate".

    (3) In subsection (6)(b)(iii) for "the officer having jurisdiction" substitute "a judge advocate".

    (4) For subsections (9) and (10) substitute—

          "(9)   A person subject to service law, or a civilian subject to service discipline, commits an offence if he—

          (a) intentionally obstructs any person exercising the power under subsection (2)(b) above to remove, or prevent the removal of, a child; or

          (b) intentionally fails to comply with an exclusion requirement included in a protection order by virtue of section 20A below.

          (9A)   A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in rows 5 to 12 of the Table in section 163 of the Armed Forces Act 2006.

          (9B)   For the purposes of determining the Court Martial's powers when sentencing a civilian offender (within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 3 to the Armed Forces Act 2006) for an offence under this section, subsection (9A) has effect as if the reference to rows 5 to 12 were to rows 2 to 7.

          (9C)   For the purposes of determining the Court Martial's powers when sentencing an offender to whom Part 2 of that Schedule applies (ex-servicemen etc) for an offence under this section, subsection (9A) has effect as if the reference to rows 5 to 12 were to rows 5 to 10."

     After that section insert—

          "20A   Power to include exclusion requirement in protection order

          (1)   Where—

          (a) a judge advocate (on being satisfied as mentioned in section 19(3)(a), (b) or (c)) makes a protection order with respect to a child, and

          (b) conditions A, B and C are satisfied,

        the judge advocate may include an exclusion requirement in the protection order.

          (2)   An exclusion requirement is any one or more of the following—

          (a) a provision requiring a person who is subject to service law or is a civilian subject to service discipline to leave relevant premises in which he is living with the child;

          (b) a provision prohibiting a person who is subject to service law or is a civilian subject to service discipline from entering relevant premises in which the child lives;

          (c) a provision excluding such a person from a defined area in which relevant premises in which the child lives are situated.

          (3)   Condition A is that there is reasonable cause to believe that, if the person to whom the exclusion requirement would relate ("the relevant person") is excluded from relevant premises in which the child lives—

          (a) in the case of an order made on the ground mentioned in section 19(3)(a) or (b), the child will not be likely to suffer significant harm, even though not removed as mentioned in section 19(3)(a) or not remaining as mentioned in section 19(3)(b);

          (b) in the case of an order made on the ground mentioned in section 19(3)(c), the enquiries referred to there will cease to be frustrated.

          (4)   Condition B is that a person (other than the relevant person) living in the relevant premises in which the child lives, whether or not he is the child's parent—

          (a) is able and willing to give to the child the care which it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give him; and

          (b) consents to the inclusion of the exclusion requirement.

          (5)   Condition C is that the judge advocate is satisfied—

          (a) that, throughout the duration of the requirement, alternative accommodation which the judge advocate considers appropriate will be available to the relevant person; and

          (b) where the relevant person is subject to service law, that the relevant person's commanding officer also considers that that accommodation is appropriate.

          (6)   If, while a protection order containing an exclusion requirement is in force, the child has in pursuance of the order been removed from the relevant premises to which the requirement relates to other accommodation for a continuous period of more than 24 hours, the order shall cease to have effect so far as it imposes the exclusion requirement.

          (7)   In this section "relevant premises" means premises occupied as a residence by a person subject to service law or a civilian subject to service discipline.

          (8)   Who is the relevant person's "commanding officer" for the purposes of subsection (5)(b) shall be determined by or under regulations made by the Defence Council."

    (1) Section 21 of that Act (duration of protection orders) is amended as follows.

    (2) In subsection (1) for the words from "being" to the end substitute "which must be a period of not more than 28 days beginning with the date of the order."

    (3) In subsection (2)—

            (a)   for "the officer having jurisdiction" substitute "a judge advocate";

            (b)   in paragraph (a), for the words from "applicable" to "that officer" substitute "permitted by subsection (1) above";

            (c)   in the words after paragraph (b) for "that officer" substitute "the judge advocate".

    (4) In subsection (3) for "officer", in both places, substitute "judge advocate".

    (5) In subsection (5) for "an officer" substitute "a judge advocate".

    (1) Section 22 of that Act (review and discharge of protection orders) is amended as follows.

    (2) In subsection (2) for "superior officer" substitute "judge advocate".

    (3) In subsection (4)—

            (a)   for "superior officer" substitute "judge advocate";

            (b)   for the words from "consider whether" to the end of paragraph (b) substitute "consider whether, if the order were discharged and—

          (a) (where the power under section 20(2)(b)(i) has been exercised) if the child were returned by the responsible person, or

          (b) (where the power under section 20(2)(b)(ii) has been exercised) if the child were allowed to be removed from the place in which he was being accommodated immediately before the making of the order,".

    (4) In subsection (5) for "the officer having jurisdiction" substitute "a judge advocate".

    (5) After that subsection insert—

          "(5A)   On the application of the person to whom an exclusion requirement contained in a protection order relates, a judge advocate may, in such circumstances and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by regulations, vary the exclusion requirement or discharge the order so far as it imposes the exclusion requirement."

    (6) In subsection (7) for "officer" substitute "judge advocate".

     After that section insert—

          "22A   Removal and accommodation of children by service police in emergency

          (1)   Where a service policeman has reasonable cause to believe that a relevant child would otherwise be likely to suffer significant harm, he may, if authorised—

          (a) remove the child to suitable accommodation and keep him there; or

          (b) take such steps as are reasonable to ensure that the child's removal from any service hospital, or other place, in which he is then being accommodated is prevented.

          (2)   In this section, a child with respect to whom a service policeman has exercised the power under subsection (1) is referred to as having been taken into service police protection.

          (3)   As soon as is reasonably practicable after taking a child into service police protection, the service policeman concerned shall—

          (a) inform the appropriate service police officer of the steps that have been and are proposed to be taken under this Part of this Act with respect to the child and the reasons for taking them;

          (b) give details to the appropriate service police officer of the place at which the child is being accommodated;

          (c) inform the child (if he appears capable of understanding)—

          (i) of the steps that have been taken with respect to him under this section and of the reasons for taking them; and

          (ii) of the further steps that may be taken with respect to him under this Part of this Act;

          (d) take such steps as are reasonably practicable to discover the wishes and feelings of the child;

          (e) secure that the case is inquired into by the appropriate service police officer;

          (f) secure that the child is moved to accommodation approved for the purpose by the appropriate service police officer (unless that officer approves the child's remaining where he is currently being accommodated);

          (g) take such steps as are reasonably practicable to inform—

          (i) the child's parents,

          (ii) every person who is not a parent of the child but has parental responsibility for him, and

          (iii) any other person with whom the child was residing immediately before being taken into service police protection,

          of the steps that he has taken under this section with respect to the child, the reasons for taking them and the further steps that may be taken with respect to him under this Part of this Act.

          (4)   On completing any inquiry under subsection (3)(e) the officer conducting it shall release the child from service police protection unless he considers that there is still reasonable cause for believing that the child would be likely to suffer significant harm if released.

          (5)   No child may be kept in service police protection for more than 72 hours.

          (6)   While a child is being kept in service police protection—

          (a) the appropriate service police officer shall do what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting the child's welfare (having regard in particular to the length of the period during which the child will be kept in service police protection); but

          (b) neither he nor the service policeman who took the child into service police protection has any parental responsibility for him.

          (7)   Where a child has been taken into service police protection, the appropriate service police officer shall allow—

          (a) the child's parents,

          (b) any person who is not a parent of the child but has parental responsibility for him,

          (c) any person with whom the child was residing immediately before he was taken into service police protection,

          (d) any person in whose favour a contact order is in force with respect to the child, and

          (e) any person acting on behalf of any of those persons,

        to have such contact (if any) with the child as, in the opinion of the appropriate service police officer, is both reasonable and in the child's best interests.

          (8)   In this section—

            "authorised", in relation to a service policeman, means authorised, by an authorising service police officer and in accordance with regulations, to exercise the power under subsection (1) in the case in question;

            "an authorising service police officer", and "the appropriate service police officer" have the meanings given by regulations;

            "relevant child" means a child who falls within paragraph (a) or (b) of section 19(1) above;

            "service policeman" has the same meaning as in the Armed Forces Act 1996."

    (1) Section 23 of that Act (interpretation) is amended as follows.

    (2) In subsection (1)—

            (a)   in the definition of "accommodation", for the words from "means" to "relates," substitute ", in relation to a child to whom a protection order relates, means any service hospital or other suitable place the occupier of which is willing temporarily to receive the child,";

            (b)   for the definition of "civilian in a corresponding position" substitute—

            ""civilian subject to service discipline" has the same meaning as in the Armed Forces Act 2006;";

            (c)   after the definition of "contact order" insert—

            ""exclusion requirement" has the meaning given by section 20A above;";

            (d)   after the definition of "extension order" insert—

            ""harm" and "significant harm" have the same meanings as in the Children Act 1989;";

            (e)   for the definitions of "officer having jurisdiction" and "superior officer" substitute—

            ""judge advocate" has the same meaning as in the Armed Forces Act 2006;";

            (f)   in the definition of "regulations", after ""regulations"" insert "(except in section 20A(8))";

            (g)   for the definition of "service law" substitute—

            ""subject to service law" has the same meaning as in the Armed Forces Act 2006."

    (3) After that subsection insert—

          "(1A)   Section 163(2) and (3) of the Armed Forces Act 2006 apply in relation to section 18(8A) and 20(9A) of this Act."

    (4) Omit subsection (2).'.


ORDERS OF THE COMMITTEE [20th AND 22nd MARCH 2006]

That—

    (1)   the Bill be considered in the following order, namely, Clauses 1 to 53, Schedule 1, Clauses 54 to 112, Clauses 117 to 127, Clause 113, Schedule 2, Clauses 114 to 116, Clauses 128 to 163, Schedule 3, Clauses 164 to 168, Schedule 4, Clauses 169 to 180, Schedule 5, Clause 181, Schedule 6, Clauses 182 to 205, Schedule 7, Clauses 206 to 271, Schedule 8, Clauses 272 to 275, Schedule 9, Clauses 276 and 277, Schedule 10, Clauses 278 to 345, Schedule 11, Clauses 346 to 351, Schedule 12, Clauses 352 to 360, Schedule 13, Clauses 361 to 368, Schedules 14 and 15, Clauses 369 to 375, remaining proceedings on the Bill.


Ordered,—

That the Order of the Committee [20th March 2006] be amended in line 2, leave out '113, Schedule 2, Clauses 114' and insert '112, Clauses 117 to 127, Clause 113, Schedule 2, Clauses 114 to 116, Clauses 128'


 
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