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Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill Report published

3 December 2020

The Constitution Committee has published its 20th report of the session on the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill


The Bill concerns legal proceedings involving service personnel in relation to overseas operations. It contains a statutory presumption against prosecution after 5 years, restriction on time limits to bring actions and it imposes a duty on the Secretary of State to consider derogating from the European Convention of Human Rights in certain circumstances.


Key findings

  • The Committee questions whether one of the provisions in the Bill would have any substantive effect and whether others would make any difference to prosecutorial decisions.
  • The Committee recommends that the House seek the reasons for including most war crimes and crime against humanity in the presumption against prosecution.
  • The report also questions whether the restrictions on time limits in Part 2 of the Bill are compatible with the principle of access to justice.

Further information

Image: MoD