War on Justice? UK Gov’t Urged to Reconsider Bill That Could ‘Decriminalise Torture’ by British Army

UK

The proposed bill has drawn criticism from human rights groups, the Labour party and even MPs from the ruling Conservative party. Opponents of the bill say it would breach human rights laws and allow the British authorities to block an investigation if troops committed serious violations.

The government of Boris Johnson has been urged to rethink its plans to introduce a bill that critics say would “dicriminalise torture” by British servicemen. The proposed bill would create a statutory presumption against the prosecution of troops and veterans for alleged offences that were committed more than five years ago. The legislation also proposes to introduce time limits on the filing of civil suits in connection with the military’s overseas operations. It would apply to all armed forces personnel, including those who served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Commenting on the bill, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the following:

Human rights groups, MPs from the Labour party and even MPs from the ruling Conservative Party have criticised the government’s proposal. Senior Conservative MP David Davis said he is deeply troubled by the bill, which he says will “decriminalise torture”.

Amnesty International UK said the bill would cause “real and lasting damage” to the reputation of the UK armed forces, while the director of the Centre for Military Justice said the government’s proposal will breach Britain’s obligations under the European Convention on…

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