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Select Committee Proceedings: 30th March 2006            

93

 

Armed Forces Bill, continued

 
 

Investigation of charges by commanding officer (No. 2)

 

Mr Gerald Howarth

 

Robert Key

 

Mr David Burrowes

 

Mr Simon Burns

 

Not called  NC17

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

An allegation that a person subject to military law (“the accused”) has committed

 

an offence against any provision of this Part of this Act shall be reported, in the

 

form of a charge, to his commanding officer.

 

(2)    

A commanding officer shall investigate a charge reported to him under subsection

 

(1) above.

 

(3)    

If, in the course of investigating a charge, the commanding officer considers it

 

appropriate to do so, he may amend the charge or substitute another charge for it

 

and treat the amended or substituted charge as if that charge had been reported to

 

him under subsection (1) above.

 

(4)    

If, in the course of investigating a charge, it appears to the commanding officer

 

that proceedings in respect of the matters to which the charge relates could be, and

 

in the interests of the better administration of justice should be, taken against the

 

accused otherwise than under this Act he may stay further proceedings with

 

respect to the charge.

 

(5)    

After investigating a charge the commanding officer may, subject to subsection

 

(6) below—­

 

(a)    

dismiss the charge;

 

(b)    

refer the charge to higher authority; or

 

(c)    

deal summarily with the charge,

 

(6)    

The commanding officer may not deal summarily with a charge if—

 

(a)    

the accused is an officer or warrant officer; or

 

(b)    

the charge is not capable of being dealt with summarily.’.

 


 

Investigation of charges by commanding officer (No. 3)

 

Mr Gerald Howarth

 

Robert Key

 

Mr David Burrowes

 

Mr Simon Burns

 

Not called  NC18

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

An allegation that a person subject to military law (“the accused”) has committed

 

an offence against any provision of this Part of this Act shall be reported, in the

 

form of a charge, to his commanding officer.

 

(2)    

A commanding officer shall investigate a charge reported to him under subsection

 

(1) above.

 

(3)    

If, in the course of investigating a charge, the commanding officer considers it

 

appropriate to do so, he may amend the charge or substitute another charge for it

 

and treat the amended or substituted charge as if that charge had been reported to

 

him under subsection (1) above.


 
 

Select Committee Proceedings: 30th March 2006            

94

 

Armed Forces Bill, continued

 
 

(4)    

If, in the course of investigating a charge, it appears to the commanding officer

 

that proceedings in respect of the matters to which the charge relates could be, and

 

in the interests of the better administration of justice should be, taken against the

 

accused otherwise than under this Act he may stay further proceedings with

 

respect to the charge.

 

(5)    

After investigating a charge the commanding officer may, after consulting with

 

the service prosecuting authority, subject to subsection (6) below—­

 

(a)    

dismiss the charge;

 

(b)    

refer the charge to higher authority; or

 

(c)    

deal summarily with the charge,

 

(6)    

The commanding officer may not deal summarily with a charge if—

 

(a)    

the accused is an officer or warrant officer; or

 

(b)    

the charge is not capable of being dealt with summarily.’.

 


 

Powers of higher authority

 

Mr Gerald Howarth

 

Robert Key

 

Mr David Burrowes

 

Mr Simon Burns

 

Not called  NC19

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

Where a charge is referred to higher authority, the higher authority shall refer the

 

case to the prosecuting authority unless he takes one of the steps mentioned in this

 

section in relation to the charge.

 

(2)    

The higher authority may refer the charge back to the commanding officer of the

 

accused with a direction to dismiss it or to stay all further proceedings in relation

 

to it, and the commanding officer shall deal with the charge accordingly.

 

(3)    

If the charge is against a non-commissioned officer or lower rank and is capable

 

of being dealt with summarily, the higher authority may refer it back to the

 

commanding officer of the accused to be so dealt with.

 

(4)    

If the charge is against an officer below the rank of [colonel] or a warrant officer

 

and is capable of being dealt with summarily, the higher authority may refer it to

 

the appropriate superior authority to be so dealt with.

 

(5)    

If the charge has been referred to the higher authority as a result of an election for

 

court-martial trial, and that election has not been withdrawn with leave, he may

 

not refer the charge back to the commanding officer of the accused, or (as the case

 

may be) to the appropriate superior authority, to be dealt with summarily.’.

 



 
 

Select Committee Proceedings: 30th March 2006            

95

 

Armed Forces Bill, continued

 
 

Review of sentence by Court Martial Appeal Court

 

Mr Gerald Howarth

 

Robert Key

 

Mr David Burrowes

 

Mr Simon Burns

 

Not called  NC20

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

Where a court martial has found the accused guilty of any offence, the accused

 

may, on any grounds, within 30 days of sentencing, present a petition to the Court

 

Martial Appeal Court against finding or sentence or both.

 

(2)    

On a reference under subsection (1), the Court Martial Appeal Court may—

 

(a)    

quash the sentence passed by the Court Martial; or

 

(b)    

pass in substitution for it any sentence which the Court Martial Appeal

 

Court thinks is appropriate and which is a sentence that the Court Martial

 

had the power to pass in respect of the offence; or

 

(c)    

order a new trial.’.

 


 

Review of sentence

 

Mr Gerald Howarth

 

Robert Key

 

Mr David Burrowes

 

Mr Simon Burns

 

Not called  NC21

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

Where a court martial has found the accused guilty of any offence, the accused

 

may, within 30 days of sentencing, present a petition to the Defence Council

 

against finding or sentence or both.

 

(2)    

The reviewing authority shall, in accordance with subsections (3) and (4) below,

 

review any finding of guilt made, and sentence passed, by a court martial.

 

(3)    

The review under this section shall (if it does not begin sooner) begin as soon as

 

is practicable after—

 

(a)    

in a case where a petition has been presented under this section, the

 

presentation of the petition;

 

(b)    

in any other case, the end of the period within which a petition under this

 

section may be presented.

 

(4)    

Where an application for leave to appeal to the Courts Martial Appeal Court

 

agains a finding or sentence has been made before the review under this section

 

of the finding or sentence has been completed—

 

(a)    

the reviewing authority shall complete the review as soon as is

 

practicable; but

 

(b)    

if leave to appeal is granted before the review has been completed, the

 

authority shall cease considering the review.

 

(5)    

For the purposes of this Act the reviewing authority is—

 

(a)    

the Defence Coucil; or


 
 

Select Committee Proceedings: 30th March 2006            

96

 

Armed Forces Bill, continued

 
 

(b)    

any officer to whom all or any of the powers of the Defence Council as

 

reviewing authority may be delegated by the Defence Council.’.

 


 

Powers of reviewing authority on review under section [Review of sentence]

 

Mr Gerald Howarth

 

Robert Key

 

Mr David Burrowes

 

Mr Simon Burns

 

Not called  NC22

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

On a review under section [Review of sentence] of this Act of a finding or

 

sentence of a court martial the reviewing authority has the following powers.

 

(2)    

Insofar as the review is of a finding of guilt, the authority may—

 

(a)    

quash that finding and, if the sentence relates only to that finding, quash

 

the sentence passed in consequence of that finding;

 

(b)    

substitute a finding mentioned in subsection (3) below if that finding

 

could have been validly made by the court martial and the authority is of

 

the opinion that the court martial must have been satisfied of facts which

 

would justify the making of that finding;

 

and, where another finding is so substituted, the authority may pass any such

 

sentence (not being, in the opinion of the authority, more severe than the sentence

 

originally passed) open to a court martial on making such a finding as appears

 

proper.

 

(3)    

The findings referred to in subsection (2) above are—

 

(a)    

any finding of guilt which could have been validly made by the court

 

martial on the charge before it;

 

(b)    

if the court martial recorded no finding on a charge alternative to a charge

 

on which the court made the finding being reviewed, a finding of guilt on

 

that alternative charge.

 

(4)    

Insofar as the review is of a sentence, the authority may quash the sentence or

 

substitute a sentence (not being, in the opinion of the authority, more severe than

 

the sentence originally passed) which was open to the court martial.

 

(5)    

In reviewing a sentence, the authority may—

 

(a)    

remit in whole or part any punishment awarded by the court;

 

(b)    

commute any such punishment for one or more punishments provided by

 

this Act,

 

being less than the punishment commuted.

 

(6)    

Where it appears to the reviewing authority that the court martial, in sentencing

 

the accused, exceeded or erroneously exercised its powers to take other offences

 

into consideration, the authority shall (whether or not substituting a different

 

sentence or remitting or commuting punishment) annul the taking into

 

consideration of the other offence or offences in question and any orders

 

dependent thereon; and where the authority does so the offence or offences shall

 

be treated for all purposes as not having been taken into consideration.

 

(7)    

Any substituted finding or sentence, or sentence having effect after the remission

 

or commutation of punishment—

 

(a)    

shall be treated for all purposes as having been made or passed by the

 

court;


 
 

Select Committee Proceedings: 30th March 2006            

97

 

Armed Forces Bill, continued

 
 

(b)    

shall be promulgated and shall have effect as from the date of

 

promulgation.’.

 


 

British Armed Forces Federation

 

Mr Kevan Jones

 

Withdrawn  NC23

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

There shall be a British Armed Forces Federation (in this section referred to as

 

“the Federation”).

 

(2)    

Membership of the Federation shall be open to all serving and retired members of

 

Her Majesty’s Armed Regular and Reserve Armed Forces.

 

(3)    

The Federation’s primary purpose shall be to­—

 

(a)    

foster and promote the professional,

 

(b)    

welfare, and

 

(c)    

other legitimate,

 

    

interests of its members.’.

 


 

Military Complaints Commissioner

 

Mr Kevan Jones

 

Not called  nc24

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

There shall be a Military Complaints Commissioner (in this section referred to as

 

“the Commissioner”).

 

(2)    

The Commissioner shall exercise his powers under this Act in such manner and

 

to such extent as appears to him to be best calculated to secure—

 

(a)    

the efficiency, effectiveness and independence of the military complaints

 

system; and

 

(b)    

the confidence of the public and of members of the Armed Forces in that

 

system.

 

(3)    

Any member of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, or member of the public shall be

 

entitled to make a complaint to the Military Complaints Commissioner.

 

(4)    

The Commissioner shall investigate—

 

(a)    

all non-combat Service deaths or serious injuries,

 

(b)    

all serious complaints,

 

(c)    

any complaint made to him that he determines requires investigation.

 

(5)    

If the complaint is a serious complaint, the Commissioner shall formally

 

investigate it in accordance with subsection (7).

 

(6)    

In the case of any other complaint, the Commissioner may as he thinks fit—

 

(a)    

formally investigate the complaint in accordance with subsection (7); or


 
 

Select Committee Proceedings: 30th March 2006            

98

 

Armed Forces Bill, continued

 
 

(b)    

refer the complaint to the appropriate Commanding Officers or Higher

 

Authority; or

 

(c)    

dismiss the complaint.

 

(7)    

Where the Commissioner conducts a formal investigation he shall—

 

(a)    

inform the Secretary of State,

 

(b)    

be given access to all documents and persons as he sees fit,

 

(c)    

make a report in accordance to the appropriate Commanding Officers or

 

Higher Authority.

 

(8)    

Where a Commanding Officer or Higher Authority receives a report from the

 

Commissioner under subsection (7) he must act on the information in that report.

 

(9)    

As soon as possible after the end of each financial year the Commissioner must

 

make a report to the Secretary of State on—

 

(a)    

the way in which he has discharged his functions during the year;

 

(b)    

what he has found in the course of exercising that function during the

 

year; and

 

(c)    

the matters he intends to consider or research during the next financial

 

year.

 

(10)    

The Secretary of State must lay a copy of any report under subsection (8) before

 

each House of Parliament.

 

(11)    

In this section, “serious complaint” means a complaint—

 

(a)    

alleging that the conduct complained of resulted in the death of, or

 

serious injury to, some person;

 

(b)    

bullying; or

 

(c)    

of such other description as may be prescribed.

 

(12)    

In this section,

 

“serious injury” means a fracture, damage to an internal organ or

 

impairment of physical or mental bodily function.

 

“bullying” means actions that cause undue distress, whether intentional or

 

unintentional.

 

“appropriate Commanding Officers” means—

 

(a)    

the Commanding Officer of the person making the complaint

 

when the Commissioner makes his report or referral,

 

(b)    

the Commanding Officer of any person referred to in the

 

complaint when the Commissioner makes his report or referral,

 

(c)    

the Commanding Officer of the person making the complaint

 

when the incident or incidents referred to in the complaint

 

occurred, and

 

(d)    

the Commanding Officer of any person referred to in the

 

complaint when the incident or incidents referred to in the

 

complaint occurred.

 

“Commanding Officer” has the meaning given in section 364.

 

“Higher Authority” has the meaning given in section 364.

 

(13)    

The Commissioner shall be appointed by Her Majesty.

 

(14)    

The person appointed as Commissioner shall not be a serving member of the

 

regular or reserve armed forces.

 

(15)    

The Commissioner may employ such persons as he thinks fit to enable him to

 

carry out his functions.’.

 



 
 

Select Committee Proceedings: 30th March 2006            

99

 

Armed Forces Bill, continued

 
 

Inspector General of Service Police

 

Mr Gerald Howarth

 

Roberth Key

 

Mr David Burrowes

 

Mr Simon Burns

 

Not moved  NC25

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The Secretary of State shall appoint an Inspector General of Service Police (the

 

“Inspector General”).

 

(2)    

A person may not be appointed Inspector General if—

 

(a)    

he is a member of the regular or reserve forces or has been within the six

 

months prior to appointment; or

 

(b)    

he is a civilian subject to service discipline or has been within six months

 

prior to appointment.

 

(3)    

A person may not be appointed Inspector General unless he has knowledge and

 

experience in relation to service policing issues and an understanding of their

 

relevance to the role of Her Majesty’s forces.

 

(4)    

The Insepector General shall be paid such salary and allowances as the Secretary

 

of State may determine.’.

 


 

Functions of the Inspector General

 

Mr Gerald Howarth

 

Roberth Key

 

Mr David Burrowes

 

Mr Simon Burns

 

Not called  NC26

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The Inspector General shall inspect and report to the Secretary of State on the

 

efficiency and effectiveness of every service police force.

 

(2)    

The Inspector General shall carry out such other duties for the purpose of

 

furthering service police efficiency and effectiveness as the Secretary of State

 

may from time to time direct.

 

(3)    

The Inspector General shall in each year submit to the Secretary of State a report

 

in such form as the Secretary of State may direct, and the Secretary of State shall

 

lay a copy of the report before the House on any of the first fifteen days on which

 

the House is sitting after the Secretary of State receives it.’.

 



 
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