COMMONS

UK Armed Forces Personnel and Legal Framework for Future Operations

Inquiry status: inquiry concluded.

This inquiry is the first of a series of inquiries which have evolved from our inquiry Towards the next Defence and Security Review. These inquiries will cover a number of significant strands which have emerged from our inquiry which the Committee believe would benefit from further Defence Committee consideration.

The Committee wishes to examine:

  • The legal protections and obligations applying to UK Armed Forces personnel (regular and reservist) when deployed in the UK or abroad in UK-only or coalition operations;
  • The effects of the developing concepts and doctrines of ‘lawfare’ and ‘universal jurisdiction’;
  • The judicial development of Duty of Care concepts and of domestic UK law and claims of negligence, on UK operational decision making processes and arrangements for recording decisions and events by operational commanders.

In this context, the Committee wishes to consider what changes may be necessary to the current MoD legal framework and processes to accommodate the particular position of UK Armed Forces at war and when deployed in conflict situations or in peacekeeping and the changing tactical forms of future conflicts. The Committee will make recommendations to inform the continued operation of the UK Armed Forces Covenant and the development of the next Strategic Defence and Security Review.

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