4 Matters not in the Bill |
18. There were a few matters that were raised with
us that are not in the Bill.
Veterans ID Card
19. We had a robust discussion during formal consideration
of the possibility of a veterans identity card, which would assist
former members of the Armed Forces in obtaining access to public
services and other benefits.
felt the matter of a veterans ID card could usefully be explored
Recruitment of Under-18s
20. The matter of the recruitment of minors to service
in the Armed Forces is a perennial issue for Armed Forces Bill
Committees. We have received a great deal of written evidence
on the matter, and raised concerns with the Deputy Chief of Defence
Staff, Lt Gen. Sir William Rollo, who clarified the MoD's position
regarding the discharge of unhappy minors.
We also discussed the matter at length in our formal consideration.
We do not
advocate any change to existing policy in relation to the recruitment
21. During our visit to the Military Court in Colchester
on February 14 we had the opportunity to meet the Judge Advocate
sitting that day, Judge Advocate Emma Peters. She raised with
us the matter of Service personnel being tried in civilian courts,
which she believed lacked the proper specialist knowledge and
experience to deal with them appropriately. It was the opinions
of the Judge Advocates that there was capacity within the Service
Justice system to undertake some of these cases instead. Her comments
reflected points raised in the written evidence from the Judge
Advocate General, His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett.
The MoD also provided us with further information on the Government's
position on this matter.
recommend that the MoD give consideration to the matter of Service
personnel being tried in civilian courts, in coordination with
the Director of Public Prosecutions and relevant Government departments
as appropriate. If there is capacity within the Service justice
system, there may be a benefit in transferring the handling of
some cases to the Military Courts where circumstances permit.
There may also be scope for the creation of a power in civilian
courts to remit cases to the Military Courts for sentence.
21 Annex,17 February 2011, cols 89-103 Back
Qq 238-240 Back
Annex, 17 February 2011, cols 103-115 Back
Ev 93, paras 5-7 Back
Ev 123 Back