Who guards the guardians? MoD support for former and serving personnel Contents


The inquiry

6.The eyes of the world follow the UK’s armed forces wherever they are deployed and their actions are subject to extensive scrutiny. The UK’s armed forces are rightly held in the highest esteem. The UK’s armed forces accept that the rule of the Law of Armed Conflict under which UK armed forces operate is clear and unambiguous. The rule of law is clear; the British military work hard to instil it in their people, and any failures to abide by the law must be prosecuted.

7.Scrutiny of the actions of armed forces is correct, and not uncommon. However the Attorney General told us that he was “not aware of anything comparable to IHAT” happening in other countries.1

8.There has for some time been increasing concern about the expanding series of legal inquiries into the conduct of British armed forces across several theatres of war. Of particular concern is the manner in which those inquires have been conducted. The evidence we have received, and representations to Committee members by individuals, have raised serious concerns about both the IHAT investigations and the level support which was provided by the MoD.

9.As a nation we expect our servicemen and women to conduct themselves at the highest levels of professionalism on operations. Where the rule of law is broken, justice must be done in military as in civilian life. Our inquiry has sought to test whether the professionalism demanded of the armed forces has been matched by the duty of care for them demanded of the Ministry of Defence during the IHAT investigations.

1 Q136

9 February 2017