1.On 28 April 2016, the Defence Committee announced that a sub-Committee would hold an inquiry into the question of Ministry of Defence (MoD) support for former and serving personnel subject to judicial processes, in particular the work of the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT). IHAT was established in the last days of the Gordon Brown Government of 2010 to assess claims of abuse by Iraqi civilians against members of the UK’s armed forces who served there.
2.For the inquiry, the Chair of the sub-Committee was Johnny Mercer MP. The members of the sub-Committee were James Gray MP, Mrs Madeleine Moon MP and Rt Hon John Spellar MP. Additionally, Rt Hon Julian Lewis MP, Chair of the Committee and Douglas Chapman MP also attended one of evidence sessions.
3.We took oral evidence from Hilary Meredith, Solicitor; Lewis Cherry, Solicitor; Reverend Nicholas Mercer, a former army lawyer; Martin Jerrold, Group Managing Director, Red Snapper Group; Sir David Calvert-Smith; Rt Hon Jeremy Wright QC MP, Attorney General; Professor Richard Ekins, Project Director, Judicial Power Project; Mark Warwick, Director; and Commander Jack Hawkins RN, Deputy Head, Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT).
4.Our last session was with Rt Hon Sir Michael Fallon MP, Secretary of State for Defence; Air Marshal Sir Stuart Peach GBE KCB ADC DL, Chief of Defence Staff; and Peter Ryan, Director, Judicial Engagement Policy MoD. Initially we requested that the Minister for the Armed Forces represent the MoD. During the course of our inquiry, we decided that the Secretary of State would be better placed to represent the Ministry of Defence. We particularly thank the Secretary of State for appearing before the sub-Committee and taking a keen personal interest in our inquiry.
5.While the Report is published as the Report of the Defence Committee, it is primarily the work of the sub-Committee and reflects their views. It has not been amended by the main Committee.
9 February 2017