Forces Personnel News

While the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill continues its progress through the UK Parliament, in Australia the publication of a report into alleged breaches of the Law of Armed Conflict by members of that country's Special Forces is now said to be imminent.

Read on for updates following release of IGADF (Brereton) Afghanistan Inquiry Report on 19 Nov 2020.

It now looks as if the Labour Party, which abstained from opposing the Overseas Operations Bill at Second Reading (and sacked three junior spokesmen for voting against the Bill at that stage), may vote against the Bill at Third Reading tomorrow 3 Nov 2020 if their tabled amendments are not successful.

A large number of cross-party amendments have been proposed by Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish National Party MPs - and by Conservatives. (BAFF members and registered supporters will already know that the federation has no party-political affiliation, and that BAFF never claims to speak for others beyond its own membership.)

The second reading of the Overseas Operations Bill in the House of Commons is on Wednesday, 23rd September. BAFF contributed to the MOD consultation prior to the drafting of the Bill, and we know that a number of our members have been following this closely.

BAFF's line since the Federation's earliest days has been that improvements were required in order to protect service personnel and veterans, but that no-one should expect impunity if there is credible evidence that they committed crimes. We also offered practical help by helping to arrange court martial representation, and basic professional legal advice for any serving or veteran BAFF member approached by ongoing investigations, even if only as a witness.