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9 Mar 2006 : Column 1697W—continued

International Criminal Court

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether British military personnel against whom it has been decided in the United Kingdom that no action should be taken may be summoned to appear before the International Criminal Court. [55461]

John Reid: The International Criminal Court (ICC) only has jurisdiction over the offences specified in Article 5 of its Statute. The ICC does not replace national courts, as is made clear in paragraph 10 of the Preamble to the ICC Statute. This expressly provides that the Court 'shall be complementary to national criminal jurisdictions'. The Statute makes clear that only if a state is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out an investigation or prosecution will a case be admissible, and unless a case is admissible the Court cannot exercise its jurisdiction. The Statute (Article 17.2) requires the Court to determine 'unwillingness' in a particular case by considering,

The Statute (Article 17.3) requires the Court to determine 'inability' in a particular case by considering,

A decision to take no further action, whether in relation to investigation or proceedings, and whether taken by investigators, prosecutors or a court, does not in itself imply an unwillingness or inability genuinely to investigate or prosecute.

The Government do not envisage that circumstances will ever arise in which the ICC would conclude that the UK is unable or unwilling genuinely to investigate or prosecute, and accordingly does not envisage that the ICC will ever exercise jurisdiction over any member of the British armed forces. The ICC prosecutor has also
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recently decided that there is no reasonable basis to initiate an investigation into UK military operations in Iraq.

Land Mines

Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defencewhat research and development work is being undertaken by his Department on land mines; and if he will make a statement. [56452]

Mr. Ingram: Apart from some work to develop a more capable fuse for the UK's in-service anti-tank mine capability, research effort is focused on countering mines and improvised explosive devices. Studies are looking at future methods of providing a counter-mobility capability, but no detailed research into any particular solution is being conducted. The UK is a signatory to the Ottawa convention and has no anti-personnel land mine capability.

Mental Health Services

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what (a) mental health and (b) counselling services are available to service personnel in theatre; [55578]

(2) what (a) mental health and (b) counselling services his Department provides for service personnel returning from active duty. [55579]

Mr. Touhig: The medical component of most deployments will include mental health professionals. These specialist personnel offer a liaison service to unit medical officers and commanders and will see Service personnel with mental health problems. In theatre, referrals are always made via the Medical Officer.

For example, in Iraq, a mental health team is based at the UK Shaibah Logistics base, and is staffed by two community psychiatric nurses. A consultant Psychiatrist also visits the theatre regularly for Clinical Governance purposes and to provide advice on individual patients. Reserve Personnel have the same access to medical care and treatment as regular personnel while they are mobilised.

I will write to the hon. Member separately to provide greater detail on wider mental health support and counselling provided for personnel both during and after deployed operations.
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Military Code of Conduct

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Defencewhat guidance is provided to members of the British armed services on the action they should take if they witness criminal acts by members of (a) other national armed forces and (b) UN peacekeeping missions. [55686]

Mr. Ingram: Our armed forces are trained to respect their disciplinary code and to have respect for the law wherever they are serving. Queens regulations and the armed forces' Values and Standards" demand the highest standards of good order, conduct and discipline, and require that individuals carrying out their duties should strive to promote the excellence of their service and show an example to those who are subject to their command. Any incidences of wrongdoing or misconduct, including by other nations' armed forces, should not be condoned and should be reported to the chain of command.

Missile Defence

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning) of 15 February 2006, Official Report, column 2096W, on missile defence, when he expects to make a decision on whether the UK will pursue missile defence. [57258]

John Reid: There is no set timetable for making a decision on whether to acquire a territorial missile defence capability for the United Kingdom. Such a decision will be informed by the developing threat to the UK from ballistic missiles, other responses available to counter the threat, and the suitability of the relevant technology available to us, among other considerations. The UK already supports the NATO programme to acquire by 2010 a theatre missile defence capability to protect deployed forces.

Naval Procurement

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the oral Answer of 27 February 2006, Official Report, column 16, on naval procurement, if he will make it his policy to use steel made in the UK in the construction of vessels for the Royal Navy. [55792]

Mr. Ingram: A variety of different British and international standards of steel are used in UK warships. It is for the companies designing and building these ships to decide the source of the steel to be used. Ships in the current fleet, including for instance Type 23 frigates, have incorporated steel from both British and overseas steelmakers.

Overseas Deployments

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many residents of Leicester are serving with the armed forces in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan. [50221]

Mr. Touhig: Data on the residential location of armed forces personnel is not held centrally in databases of individual records and it is therefore not possible to give figures by place of residence.
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Planning Guidance (Airfields)

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely effects on airfields in East Anglia of the proposed change in the definition of brownfield in planning policy guidance note 3. [55780]

Mr. Touhig: The Department has assessed the proposed changes to the definition of brownfield land in the Consultation Paper on the new planning policy statement 3, which is proposed to replace planning policy guidance note 3.

No effects upon our airfields in East Anglia are anticipated as a result of the changed definition in the consultation document.


Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated market-to-market value is of (a) share options and (b) shares in QinetiQ issued at the time of the original public private partnership with Carlyle Group; and if he will make a statement. [51898]

John Reid: Details on the share capital of QinetiQ are set out in the QinetiQ IPO prospectus, a copy of which was placed in the Library of the House on 26 January. Immediately prior to the IPO, QinetiQ's share capital comprised a single class of ordinary shares, in addition to the special share. The IPO priced the ordinary shares at 200p each.

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