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Tri-Service Act

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to replace the Armed Forces Acts with a tri-service Act; and if he will make a statement on progress towards publication of a Bill in 2005. [117327]

The Strategic Defence Review indicated our intention to replace the Army and Air Force Acts 1955 and the Naval Discipline Act 1957 (the Service discipline acts) with a tri-Service Act. Work is proceeding on this project, which has the purpose of providing a legislative framework better capable of meeting the needs of armed forces that increasingly operate together.The next five-yearly Armed Forces Bill, which will be needed to extend the life of the Service discipline acts, is due in the 2005–06 session. However, it will be understood that no commitments can be given at this stage as to when the tri-Service legislation might be introduced, as this will be subject to the availability of Parliamentary time.