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Courts Martial

Volume 458: debated on Wednesday 14 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) correspondence and (b) instructions he issued to (i) the army prosecuting authority and (ii) unit commanders following receipt of the Attorney- General's letter on prosecutions of members of the armed forces dated 23 March 2005. (122278)

[holding answer 22 February 2007]: The Attorney-General and the Secretary of State have corresponded about issues relating to military justice.

The army prosecuting authority is an independent prosecuting authority under the general superintendence of the Attorney-General. It would have been inappropriate for there to have been correspondence between the Secretary of State and the APA concerning its responsibilities relating to particular cases referred to it under the Army Act 1955, and there has been none. Nor have any instructions been issued by or on behalf of the Secretary of State to the APA, to unit commanders, or to anyone else with responsibility for the investigation or prosecution of offences.