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.
Our hope would be to improve protections while avoiding unintended consequences, such as increasing the possibility of British personnel being investigated or prosecuted in the International Criminal Court, or damaging the reputation of Her Majesty's Forces. There has been misinformation or misunderstanding around some of these issues.
Further detail will follow after the debate. A list of references and related news links accompanies this article.