Revd Nicholas Mercer: The Overseas Operations Bill is currently on its way through Parliament. The government claims that the bill is to protect soldiers, but the reality is very different. First, the bill does not prevent troops being investigated. If an allegation of wrongdoing is made, then rightly it has to be investigated, and no time limit can be placed upon it. Secondly, the bill does not prevent soldiers being prosecuted either.

If the government won't prosecute, then the International Criminal Court will step in instead. Thirdly, the bill breaches international law by introducing a time limit for prosecuting those who torture others. And finally, it will leave soldiers with fewer legal rights than the civilians they defend. Soldiers now have just six years to bring a claim, while civilians have longer. This bill does nothing to protect soldiers and breaches international law. This is unacceptable and it's time to think again.
Institutions, Justice, Workplace

The Overseas Operations Bill ‘does nothing to protect soldiers and breaches international law’

Published on 11 Jan 2021

Revd Nicholas Mercer, a former Senior Military Legal Advisor, takes ‘A Minute of Your Time’ to explain why he believes The Overseas Operations Bill currently working its way through parliament runs roughshod over soldiers’ and civilians’ rights and should not pass.

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