Armed Forces Bill 2015

Bill to renew the Armed Forces Act 2006, update elements of the armed forces disciplinary system and make some further provisions.

The main measures in the Bill are:

  • renewing the Armed Forces Act 2006 for another year (plus future annual renewal by Order in Council, not beyond the end of 2021)
  • enabling commanding officers to require testing for drugs/alcohol after serious accidents, for personnel carrying out safety critical duties associated with the incident
  • simplifying the way people are charged for offences within the Service Justice System
  • allowing the Court Martial to suspended sentences of service detention for up to 24 months
  • providing the Director of Service Prosecutions with the power to offer immunity and other agreements to witnesses and defendants in return for their assistance with investigations
  • extending the Armed Forces Act 2006 to the whole of the UK, the Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories (with the option of extending it to the Channel Islands)
  • repealing redundant provisions in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, relating to homosexuality as a grounds for dismissal from the armed forces
  • expanding the remit of Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees
  • extending to MOD fire fighters statutory powers to act in an emergency to protect life or property, in line with those available to civilian fire and rescue authorities

The bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 16 September 2015. It was passed to the House of Lords on 11 January 2016.

The proceedings and evidence gathered by the Armed Forces Bill Select Committee can be found here.

The bill and the accompanying explanatory notes can be found here.


Published 17 September 2015
Last updated 18 January 2016 + show all updates
  1. Updated information about the Armed Forces Bill 2015.
  2. Added new page Memorandum to the Joint Committee on Human Rights on the Armed Forces Bill 2015 and added new page for Armed Forces Bill 2015 Quasi-Keeling Schedules.
  3. Added Armed Forces Bill 2015 pamphlet.
  4. First published.