§ Mr. Stinchcombe
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what advice he has taken on whether the limitation of the right of under 18-year-olds to leave the armed forces if they consider that they have made a mistaken decision to join is compatible with the Human Rights Act 1998. 
§ Dr. Moonie
All three services operate schemes which enable under 18-year-olds to leave the armed forces if they consider that they have made a mistaken decision to join. These schemes were not introduced as a consequence of the Human Rights Act 1998, and indeed the Royal Navy and Army schemes for 'unhappy under-18s' predate it. However, in common with other personnel policies, the schemes remain under review by the Ministry of Defence to ensure that they comply with extant legislation. The Ministry of Defence's position is that schemes do not in any way contravene the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998, given that under-18s, all of whom enter the amed forces voluntarily under their own informed will, have ample rights and opportunities to leave before reaching age 18.