Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill — After Clause 7 — Investigation of allegations related to overseas operations — 21 Apr 2021 at 16:15
The majority of MPs voted not to require the Service Prosecuting Authority to review investigations into allegations related to overseas operations and to decide if to continue them.
The motion supported by a majority of MPs in this vote was:
- That this House disagrees with Lords amendment 2
Lords amendment 2 stated:
- Insert the following new Clause—
- “Investigation of allegations related to overseas operations
- (1) In deciding whether to commence criminal proceedings for allegations against a member of Her Majesty’s Forces arising out of overseas operations, the relevant prosecutor must take into account whether the investigation has been timely and comprehensively conducted.
- (2) Where an investigator of allegations arising out of overseas operations is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence of criminal conduct to continue the investigation, the investigator must within 21 days refer the investigation to the Service Prosecuting Authority with any initial findings and accompanying case papers.
- (3) An investigation may not proceed after the period of 6 months beginning with the day on which the allegation was first reported without the reference required in subsection (2).
- (4) On receiving a referral under subsection (2), the Service Prosecuting Authority must either—
- (a) order the investigation to cease if it considers it unlikely that charges will be brought, or
- (b) give appropriate advice and directions to the investigator about avenues of inquiry to pursue and not pursue, including—
- (i) possible defendants to consider,
- (ii) possible explanations to consider for the circumstances giving rise to the investigation, and
- (iii) overseas inquiries and seeking the help of overseas jurisdictions.
- (5) Where the investigation proceeds, the Service Prosecuting Authority must monitor and review its progress at intervals of three months and must on each review make a decision in the terms set out in subsection (4).
- (6) On the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator must send a final report with accompanying case papers to the Service Prosecuting Authority for the consideration of criminal proceedings.
- (7) After receipt of the final report, the facts and circumstances of the allegations may not be further investigated or reinvestigated without the direction of the Director of Service Prosecutions acting on the ground that there is new compelling evidence or information which might—
- (a) materially affect the previous decision, and
- (b) lead to a charge being made.
- (8) The Judge Advocate General may give Practice Directions as he or she deems appropriate for the investigation of allegations arising out of overseas operations.
- (9) For the purposes of this section—
- “case papers” includes summaries of interviews or other accounts given by the suspect, previous convictions and disciplinary record, available witness statements, scenes of crime photographs, CCTV recordings, medical and forensic science reports;
- “investigator” means a member of the service police or a civil police force.”
The explanatory notes to the amendments summarise the effect of the rejected new clause:
- "The new clause introduces a direct role for prosecutors in investigations, which includes:
- a. introducing a regular case review function for the Service Prosecuting Authority; and
- b. the requirement for the Director of Service Prosecutions to decide whether there should be a further investigation into an alleged offence following the completion of a service police “final report”, and on the grounds that there is new compelling evidence or information which might materially affect the previous decision and lead to a charge being made.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, Parliament.uk
-  Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, as amended on report, 13 April 2021, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, November 2020, Parliament.uk
-  Lords amendments to the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, 19 April 2021, Parliament.uk
-  Explanatory notes to the Lords amendments to the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill, 19 April 2021, Parliament.uk
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (Aye)||Minority (No)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||357 (+2 tell)||0||0||98.6%|
|Lab||0||194 (+2 tell)||0||98.5%|