The Al-Sweady Public Inquiry, chaired by former High Court judge Sir Thayne Forbes, was an inquiry into allegations that British soldiers mistreated and murdered Iraqi detainees in 2004. It was announced in November 2009, began full public hearings on 4 March 2013, and published its report on 17 December 2014. The report, together with transcripts of hearings and other background material, is available here on its archived web site.
Aspals Legal Pages is aimed primarily at military and international lawyers involved in court martial defence work in the UK. The principal webmaster is a former Army Legal Services Officer and the site hosts contributions from practising and non-practising lawyers. It includes digests of domestic court martial cases and international cases, and links to relevant legislation, news and articles about military law. There is also a password-restricted section accessible by those making a donation.
Baha Mousa was an Iraqi civilian who died in Iraq in September 2003 while in the custody of British soldiers. A public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Baha Mousa and the treatment of other Iraqi citizens who were detained with him in Basra was formally opened in July 2009 under the chairmanship of Sir William Gage. Documents on the site, now archived in the UK Government Web Archive, include transcripts of hearings, evidence, key documents, FAQs, press notices, and the inquiry’s report, published 8 September 2011. (The report is also available on the GOV.UK site.)
A review of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of four soldiers at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut, between 1995 and 2002 was carried out by Nicholas Blake QC (later Mr Justice Blake). The full text of his report, published 29 March 2006, is available here on the GOV.UK web site.
The First-tier Tribunal (War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation) hears appeals from ex-servicemen or women in England and Wales relating to the two schemes that provide compensation for injuries in the Armed Forces – the War Pensions Scheme and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. Formerly known as the Pensions Appeal Tribunal, it has formed the War Pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal since 3 November 2008. This section of the GOV.UK web site provides information on the appeal process, with links to legislation and procedural rules.
The Judge Advocate General (JAG) is the chief judge of the Court Martial, which tries Service men and women for serious criminal offences, and the Office of the Judge Advocate General (OJAG) is a part of the Judicial Office. This section within the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website (the Judicial Office’s site) provides what is described as an informal guide to the Service justice system, together with official guides to Court Martial practice, procedure and sentencing.
This section of the GOV.UK site provides a collection of byelaws regulating the use of land being used for military purposes. These can be viewed by selecting byelaws by region. The site covers the whole of the UK and includes (as well as current byelaws) lapsed, revoked and proposed new byelaws.
This section of the GOV.UK web site makes available for download selected publications within the Ministry of Defence’s Joint Service Publication (JSP) series, including the Manual of Service Law (JSP 830) and the Joint Service Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict (JSP 383). The Manual of Service Law provides a guide to the new legal regime introduced by the Armed Forces Act 2006 and replaced with effect from 31 October 2009 the Manual of Naval Law, the Manual of Military Law, and the Manual of Air Force Law.
Service Inquiries are internal inquiries by the Armed Forces into serious accidents and incidents. Their main purpose is to establish the facts and to make recommendations to prevent recurrence of anything that has gone wrong. The present single system of Service Inquiries was introduced in 2008 and replaced various other types of formal inquiry including Boards of Inquiry. The Ministry of Defence provides access here on the GOV.UK site to all published Service Inquiry (SI) reports. A number of Board of Inquiry (BOI) and Military Aircraft Accident Summary (MAAS) reports are also available.
The Pensions Appeal Tribunal Scotland hears appeals from ex-servicemen and women in Scotland who have had their claims for a war pension rejected by the Secretary of State for Defence. It deals with both the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and the War Pension Scheme. Besides legislation and information on the appeal process, the site has a set of Medical Appendices which provide basic information on a range of medical conditions.
Pension and compensation schemes for the UK armed forces and veterans communities are provided by Veterans UK, a part of the Ministry of Defence. This section of the GOV.UK web site has information, guidance and other material relating to various schemes including the Armed Forces Pension Schemes 1975, 2005 and 2015; the Reserve Forces Pension Scheme; and the Criminal Injuries Compensation (Overseas) Scheme.
The post of Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces replaced that of Service Complaints Commissioner on 1 January 2016. The site has information on the role of the Ombudsman, details of the complaint procedure, forms, guidance, and annual reports, including those of the Service Complaints Commissioner.
The Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) was formed on 1 January 2009 by a merger of the Army Prosecuting Authority, the Naval Prosecution Authority and the Royal Air Force Prosecution Authority. The role of the SPA is to review cases referred to it by the Service Police or Chain of Command and to prosecute appropriate cases at Court Martial or Service Civilian Court. The SPA will also act as respondent in the Summary Appeal Court and represent the Crown at the Court Martial Appeal Court. Site content includes a brief description of the military criminal justice system. There are also recent press releases, policy documents and annual reports.
The military law section of the World Legal Information Institute’s web site provides links to military law resources by country, commentaries, treaties, inter-governmental organisations and law journals. Some of the country sections are fuller than others.