Armed Forces Act 2011

Document Number:2011 CHAPTER 18
 
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An Act to continue the Armed Forces Act 2006; to amend that Act and other enactments relating to the armed forces and the Ministry of Defence Police; to amend the Visiting Forces Act 1952; to enable judge advocates to sit in civilian courts; to repeal the Naval Medical Compassionate Fund Act 1915; to make provision about the call out of reserve forces; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Duration of Armed Forces Act 2006

1 Duration of Armed Forces Act 2006

For section 382 of AFA 2006 (duration of armed forces legislation) substitute—

“382 Duration of this Act

(1) This Act expires at the end of one year beginning with the day on which the Armed Forces Act 2011 is passed (but this is subject to subsection (2)).

(2) Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide that, instead of expiring at the time it would otherwise expire, this Act shall expire at the end of a period of not more than one year from that time.

(3) Such an Order may not provide for the continuation of this Act beyond the end of the year 2016.

(4) No recommendation may be made to Her Majesty in Council to make an Order under subsection (2) unless a draft of the Order has been laid before, and approved by resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

Armed forces covenant report

2 Armed forces covenant report

After section 343 of AFA 2006 insert—

“Part 16 AArmed forces covenant report

343 AArmed forces covenant report

(1) The Secretary of State must in each calendar year—

(a) prepare an armed forces covenant report; and

(b) lay a copy of the report before Parliament.

(2) An armed forces covenant report is a report about effects of membership, or former membership, of the armed forces on service people, or particular descriptions of such people—

(a) in the fields of healthcare, education and housing;

(b) in the operation of inquests; and

(c) in such other fields as the Secretary of State may determine.

(3) In preparing an armed forces covenant report the Secretary of State must have regard in particular to—

(a) the unique obligations of, and sacrifices made by, the armed forces;

(b) the principle that it is desirable to remove disadvantages arising for service people from membership, or former membership, of the armed forces; and

(c) the principle that special provision for service people may be justified by the effects on such people of membership, or former membership, of the armed forces.

(4) For the purposes of preparing an armed forces covenant report, the Secretary of State must obtain the views of any relevant government department, and seek the views of any relevant devolved administration, in relation to the effects to be covered by the report.

(5) An armed forces covenant report must—

(a) set out in full or summarise the views of a relevant government department or relevant devolved administration obtained pursuant to subsection (4); and

(b) where the views of a relevant devolved administration have been sought but not obtained, state that fact.

(6) The Secretary of State may not include in an armed forces covenant report a summary under subsection (5)(a) unless the relevant government department or relevant devolved administration has approved the summary.

(7) An armed forces covenant report must state whether, in the Secretary of State’s opinion, any effects covered by the report are such that service people or particular descriptions of service people are at a disadvantage as regards the field or fields in question, when compared with other persons or such descriptions of other persons as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.

(8) Where the Secretary of State’s opinion is that service people or particular descriptions of service people are at a disadvantage as mentioned in subsection (7) , the report must set out the Secretary of State’s response to that.

(9) As regards effects covered by an armed forces covenant report—

(a) the Secretary of State must consider whether the making of special provision for service people or particular descriptions of service people would be justified; and

(b) where the Secretary of State considers that such provision would be justified, the report must contain a reference to that fact.

(10) In relation to any particular description of service people covered by a report, the reference in subsection (2)(a) to the fields of healthcare, education and housing is to such of those fields as the Secretary of State considers are ones in which people of that description are affected by membership or former membership of the armed forces.

343 BInterpretation of Part

(1) In section 343 A “service people” means—

(a) members of the regular forces and the reserve forces;

(b) members of British overseas territory forces who are subject to service law;

(c) former members of any of Her Majesty’s forces who are ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom; and

(d) relevant family members.

(2) In section 343 A “relevant government department”, in relation to an effect to be covered by an armed forces covenant report, means a department of the Government of the United Kingdom (apart from the Ministry of Defence) which the Secretary of State considers has functions relevant to that effect.

(3) In section 343 A “relevant devolved administration”, in relation to an effect to be covered by an armed forces covenant report, means whichever of the following the Secretary of State considers to have functions relevant to that effect—

(a) the Scottish Executive;

(b) the Northern Ireland departments;

(c) the Welsh Assembly Government.

(4) In this Part—

“British overseas territory force” means any of Her Majesty’s forces that is raised under the law of a British overseas territory;

“membership or former membership” of a force, in relation to a person, includes any service in that force that that person is undertaking, undertook or may be expected to be called on to undertake;

“relevant family members” means such descriptions of persons connected with service members, or with persons who were service members, as the Secretary of State considers should be covered by a report or part of a report;

“service member” means a person who falls within any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1).

(5) Any reference in this Part to membership or former membership of the armed forces is to be read, in relation to a person who is—

(a) a service member, or

(b) a relevant family member by reason of connection with a person who is or was a service member,

as a reference to the service member’s membership or former membership of a force mentioned in subsection (1).”

Service Police and Ministry of Defence Police

3 Provost Marshal’s duty in relation to independence of investigations

After section 115 of AFA 2006 insert—

“Provost Marshal’s duty in relation to independence of investigations

115 AProvost Marshal’s duty in relation to independence of investigations

(1) This section applies in relation to each service police force.

(2) The Provost Marshal of the force has a duty, owed to the Defence Council, to seek to ensure that all investigations carried out by the force are free from improper interference.

(3)“Improper interference” includes, in particular, any attempt by a person who is not a service policeman to direct an investigation which is being carried out by the force.”

4 Inspection of service police investigations

After section 321 of AFA 2006 insert—

“CHAPTER 4 AInspection of service police investigations

321 AInspection of service police investigations

(1) Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary (“the inspectors”) are to inspect, and report to the Secretary of State on, the independence and effectiveness of investigations carried out by each service police force.

(2) In this section “investigations” means investigations of matters where service offences have or may have been committed, and includes investigations outside the United Kingdom.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1) the inspectors may—

(a) undertake such number of inspections as they think appropriate;

(b) undertake inspections when they think it appropriate; and

(c) decide which aspects of, or matters related to, investigations by a service police force are to be the subject of a particular inspection;

but this is subject to subsection (4).

(4) The Secretary of State may at any time require the inspectors to inspect, and report to the Secretary of State on, any or all of the following—

(a) the independence of investigations carried out by a particular service police force;

(b) the effectiveness of such investigations;

(c) a particular aspect of, or matter related to, such investigations.

321 BInspectors’ reports to be laid before Parliament

(1) The Secretary of State must lay before Parliament each report made under section 321 A.

(2) The Secretary of State may exclude from a report laid before Parliament under this section any material whose publication, in the Secretary of State’s opinion—

(a) would be against the interests of national security; or

(b) might jeopardise the safety of any person.”

5 Provost Marshals: appointment

After section 365 of AFA 2006 insert—

“Provost Marshals

365 AProvost Marshals: appointment

(1) No appointment of a person to be Provost Marshal of a service police force may be made except by Her Majesty.

(2) To be eligible for appointment as a Provost Marshal, a person must be a provost officer.”

6 Ministry of Defence Police: performance regulations

In section 3 A of the Ministry of Defence Police Act 1987 (regulations relating...

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