Required Custodial Sentences

Part of Schedule 3 – in the House of Commons at 7:15 pm on 2 April 2001.

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Photo of Harry Cohen Harry Cohen Labour, Leyton and Wanstead 7:15, 2 April 2001

The basis of my argument is that cases involving serious offences should be tried under civil law and an independent judge. There are dangers in armed forces personnel trying such cases, even if they are not associated with the defendant's regiment. That is because they share a similar ethos with other commanding officers. It is important to have independent judges and public hearings. I know that most courts martial have public hearings, but they also have the ability to sit in camera. That could represent a serious abuse of a defendant's rights.