Armed Forces Bill 2015–16: Briefing for Lords Stages

Published Monday, January 25, 2016

This briefing provides information in support of the House of Lords consideration of the Armed Forces Bill.

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This House of Lords Library briefing provides an overview of the main provisions of the Armed Forces Bill and a summary of the Bill’s stages in the House of Commons.

The Armed Forces Bill would renew the Armed Forces Act 2006 (itself renewed by the Armed Forces Act 2011) which provides the legal basis for the existence of the Armed Forces as disciplined bodies. This legislation would otherwise expire at the end of 2016. In addition, the Bill would update elements of the Armed Forces’ disciplinary system and extend the powers of Ministry of Defence firefighters.

The Bill contains provisions relating to the following matters, as summarised in the Explanatory Notes to the Bill:

  • Duration of the Armed Forces Act 2006
  • Testing for alcohol and drugs
  • Investigation and charging of service offences
  • Suspended sentences of service detention
  • Offenders assisting investigations and prosecutions
  • The Armed Forces Act 2006 outside the United Kingdom
  • Repeals relating to discharge for homosexual acts
  • War pensions committees
  • Ministry of Defence firefighters

Clauses concerned with repeals relating to discharge for homosexual acts and war pensions committees were added during the Bill’s passage through the House of Commons.

Readers may also be interested in the following briefing on the Bill as it was first introduced in the House of Commons in September 2015:

Lords Library notes LLN-2016-0005

Author: Thomas Brown

Topics: Administration of justice, Armed forces, Fire services

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.