Schedule 1 - Excluded offences for the purposes of section 6

Part of Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:30 am on 20th October 2020.

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Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence) 10:30 am, 20th October 2020

The reality is that the word “torture” and allegations of torture have been used as a vehicle to generate thousands of claims against our service personnel. There have been arguments around why we have not packed investigations and so on into the Bill, but the Bill is trying to deal with very specific problems, which are the ones we have faced over the last 15 or 20 years relating to claims of this nature. In the discharge of your military duties, you can expect to be accused of assault, unlawful killing, murder and torture when using violence. There is no scenario in which our people will be asked to operate in which they can legitimately commit sexual offences. This country has a strong commitment against the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war, and that is why it is in the Bill.