Civilian Trials (Armed Forces)
Ms Harriet Harman (Solicitor General, Law Officers' Department; Camberwell and Peckham, Labour)
The vast majority of offences committed by Army personnel are dealt with by courts martial, following investigation by the military police. In some cases both in the UK and abroad there is concurrent jurisdiction. Often, the most appropriate jurisdiction is for the case to proceed in the military system. When considering the appropriate jurisdiction for trial the various considerations will be taken into account such as where the offence was allegedly committed in operational circumstances; whether there are other charges which can only be preferred under military law; witness availability; whether the alleged victim is military or civilian; whether the soldiers committed offences with civilians who are not subject to military law.
This is not an exhaustive nor cumulative list but an example of the type of considerations that will apply in deciding when it would be appropriate to bring to trial a serving soldier in the civilian courts.