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Armed Forces: USA

Home Department written question – answered on 21st May 2008.

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Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions the Visiting Forces Act 1952 was invoked to prevent prosecution of US military personnel under UK law in each year since 1997.

Photo of Bob Ainsworth Bob Ainsworth The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

I have been asked to reply.

The Visiting Forces Act 1952 (the Act) was passed to incorporate the provisions of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement 1951 into United Kingdom law. The Act lays down a formula to decide whether the military authorities of the visiting force or the UK authorities should have the primary right to bring a prosecution. The provisions of the Act therefore do not prevent a prosecution under the UK law, but ensure that an individual only faces charges under one criminal jurisdiction.

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