HC Deb 18 May 1998 vol 312 c260W
Mr. Colvin

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has for changes to the present system of military law and courts martial. [41813]

Dr. Reid

The court-martial system was reformed by a series of measures included in the Armed Forces Act 1996. These reforms were wide ranging and were designed to reinforce, the independence of the court-martial, principally by reducing the apparent influence of the chain of command, whilst preserving its necessary involvement.

We are satisfied that these recent changes to the court-martial system will ensure its continuing effectiveness into the next millennium. However, we are aware that we cannot afford to be complacent, so the system is kept under constant review to ensure it remains efficient procedurally as well as substantively. To this end, we are currently investigating ways of preventing backlogs within the system.