HC Deb 24 January 2000 vol 343 c52W
19. Fiona Mactaggart

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what action he has taken as a result of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on lesbians and gay men in the armed forces. [104553]

Mr. Hoon

I made a statement to the House on 12 January 2000,Official Report, columns 287–88, about implementation of the legal judgment of the European Court of Human Rights. Homosexuals are no longer excluded from service in the armed forces. All personnel, regardless of their sexual orientation, are subject to a new code of social conduct that sets out what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. The code is concerned with the effect of personal conduct and behaviour on operational effectiveness. I have placed a copy of the code in the Library of the House.

34. Dr. Harris

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress he is making in settling compensation claims for those service men and women discharged from the armed forces in breach of their rights under the European convention on human rights. [104570]

Mr. Spellar

In light of the ECHR's judgment on 27 September 1999, the Secretary of State for Defence authorised that settlement negotiations be entered into with those individuals discharged as a result of their homosexuality who had Employment Tribunal applications already in train and whose account is accepted as being substantially factually true. Over 60 offers of settlement have been made and, to date, three individuals have accepted those offers, and payments have been made.

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