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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 July 2005, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Armed Forces Bill
This bill reviews discipline in the Armed Forces, replacing the three separate Service Discipline Acts with a single system of modern service law.

Responsible department: Ministry of Defence
Origin: Commons
Introduced: 30 Nov 2005
Second reading: 12 Dec 2005
Select Committee: 19 & 26 Jan, 1 & 16 Feb, 1, 2, 15, 20, 22, 28, 29 & 30 March 2006
Committee & report stages: 22 May 2006
Second reading: 14 June 2006
Committee stage: 24 July 2006
Report stage: 27 October 2006
Third Reading: 3 November 2006

ROYAL ASSENT: 8 November 2006
  • A single system of Service Law
  • A unified court martial system, including a joint service prosecuting authority
  • A new grievance procedure for members of the armed forces
  • A new system of statutory inquiries
  • Provisions to continue application of Service Law to civilians accompanying the armed forces overseas

    The government's Strategic Defence Review, published in July 1998, announced that there would be an "examination of the need for a single tri-Service Discipline Act".

    The government's main argument for introducing a single system of Service Law is that it would be more appropriate for modern operations in which the three services are increasingly deployed on joint operations and for which they train together.

    Existing attachment regulations do not apply to joint units, so the commanders of such units do not have disciplinary powers over all the troops under their command.

    The defence select committee heard evidence on the main proposals of the Bill at the end of 2004 and published a broadly supportive report on 14 March 2005.

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