Armed Forces Bill — Clause 7 — Serious Crimes to be Tried in Civilian Courts — 13 Jul 2021 at 17:15

The majority of MPs voted not to require allegations of murder, manslaughter, domestic violence, child abuse and rape by members of the armed services to generally be considered by civilian courts.

MPs were considering the Armed Forces Bill.[1][2][3]

The amendment rejected in this vote was

Amendment 1, page 4, line 27, at end insert—

  • ‘guidance under subsection (3)(a) must provide for charges of murder, manslaughter, domestic violence, child abuse and rape to require specific consent by the Attorney General to be tried in court martial when the offences are alleged to have been committed in the United Kingdom, and
  • (b) if the Attorney General has not granted such consent, guidance under (3)(a) shall provide that charges as set out in section 4A(a) to be tried in civilian court only.'

Had it not been rejected this amendment would have impacted Clause 7 of the Bill[2] which provided for a new chapter to the Armed Forces Act 2006. The new chapter set out requirements for The Director of Service Prosecutions and the Director of Public Prosecutions (or Lord Advocate in Scotland, or Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland) to agree a protocol regarding the exercise of concurrent jurisdiction in connection with offences which took place in the United Kingdom and could be pursued under civilian law.

The rejected amendment was accompanied by the following explanatory statement from its proposer:

  • This amendment would ensure that the most serious crimes—murder, manslaughter, domestic violence, child abuse and rape—are tried in the civilian courts when committed in the UK unless the Attorney General has specifically consented for such crimes to be tried under courts martial.

Those subject to service law are: members of the regular forces, at all times, and members of the reserve forces when they are on duty.[4]


Debate in Parliament |

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Party Summary

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.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Alba0 20100.0%
Alliance0 10100.0%
Con359 (+2 tell) 0099.2%
DUP0 80100.0%
Green0 10100.0%
Independent1 40100.0%
Lab0 196 (+2 tell)099.5%
LDem0 120100.0%
PC0 30100.0%
SDLP0 20100.0%
SNP0 450100.0%
Total:360 274099.4%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

Sort by: Name | Constituency | Party | Vote

no rebellions

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