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Armed Forces: Training

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 3rd February 2020.

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Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Labour, Caerphilly

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Defence Select Committee report, Session 2015-16, Beyond Endurance: Military Exercises and the Duty of Care (HC598), what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of the recommendation that the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 should be amended to provide appropriate legal restraints to the military.

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Labour, Caerphilly

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of Service law in holding people accountable for military training supervision.

Photo of Wayne David Wayne David Labour, Caerphilly

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of sanctions applied to (a) his Department, (b) the armed forces and (c) individuals for failings in the safe supervision of training events.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

I refer the hon. Member to the Government response to the Defence Committee's specific recommendations and conclusions

(https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmdfence/525/52504.htm#_idTextAnchor001), and specifically to answers 21 to 28 in the section titled "Accountability".

The exemptions to the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act 2007 relating to operations, "hazardous training in preparation for operations", and Specialist Military Units were addressed in answer 25 of the Government response. The rationale set out then remains valid but as the answer notes, the situation is kept under review.

The Ministry of Defence believes that the range of criminal, disciplinary and administrative powers available provides a sufficient means of holding individuals, the Armed Forces, and the Department accountable for training supervision, but this too remains under review and any necessary changes will be addressed in the next Armed Forces Bill.

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