HC Deb 08 June 1999 vol 332 c212W
Mr. Stinchcombe

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to review military discipline for 15 to 18 year olds. [85496]

Mr. Doug Henderson

The UK does not recruit any personnel under the age of 16—and then only when an individual has completed his or her compulsory secondary schooling.

Discipline procedures in all three of the Armed Forces are kept under review at all times and amended as necessary. Major changes which require amendments to primary legislation are normally affected by the quinquennial Armed Forces Acts, which continue in force the three Service Discipline Acts (SDAs)—the Army Act 1955, the Air Force Act 1955 and the Naval Discipline Act 1957—and which include any amendments to reflect changes to civilian law over the preceding five years. Where there is a need, however, changes can be made by other legislative means. It is my Department's policy to preserve consistency as far as appropriate, practical and sensible, between civilian and military law; this applies equally to measures concerning those under the age of 18.

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