Thank you for contacting me the Overseas Operations Bill and torture. I have read your email carefully and have noted the key points that you make.
This Government considers the conduct of Armed Forces personnel serving overseas to be of the utmost importance and we should be proud of the fact the UK has some of the most committed and professional service personnel anywhere in the world, who not only adhere to the rule of law but also promote it through the conduct of their operations.
The Overseas Operations Bill builds on a manifesto commitment to ensure that credible allegations continue to be investigated and prosecuted where appropriate, but also that our Armed Forces will be protected from those vexatious claims and repeated investigations that so many have suffered in recent years.
Regarding torture, which you mention, I am sure you will be delighted to hear that the Government has now tabled an amendment to the Bill which will specifically exclude offences related to torture from the measures in Part 1. Although the Bill in its original form would not have prevented the prosecution of historical events where serious wrongdoing occurred, including torture, clearly concerns have been raised about these provisions.
Therefore, I welcome the Government’s decision which reaffirms the UK's commitment to upholding the rule of law in international conflict and the principle that torture should never be a part of war.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking