Question 18

Where will the presumption measure apply?

The measure will apply where prosecutions for alleged offences meeting the criteria set out above are being considered by the Service Prosecuting Authority. It will also apply where the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales are considering prosecutions for alleged offences meeting these criteria.

We consider that the presumption should also apply where prosecutors in Scotland and Northern Ireland are considering prosecutions for alleged offences meeting the relevant criteria (i.e. it should apply in the highly unlikely scenario that a civilian prosecutor in one of these jurisdictions was considering a prosecution relating to historical military operations outside the UK).

We believe that providing legal protections to Armed Forces personnel and veterans is a reserved matter, as it relates to the actions of members of the UK Armed Forces while deployed outside the UK at the behest of the UK Government. Further, we consider that there is an overwhelming imperative to ensure that any legal protections we introduce should apply equally to current and former Armed Forces personnel across the UK – Armed Forces personnel and veterans living in Scotland and Northern Ireland should clearly not be disadvantaged compared to their counterparts in England and Wales.

However, we recognise that it is important to engage with the Devolved Administrations and prosecutors across the UK regarding the application of this measure; we intend to seek their views and will consider these carefully.

Question 18: Please give us your views on this.