I agree that torture should never be a part of war. Therefore, I am pleased to report that the Government has amended the Bill to specifically exclude offences related to torture from the measures in Part 1 of the Bill, including the ‘presumption against prosecution’.
While the Bill in its original form would not have prevented the prosecution of historical events where serious wrongdoing occurred, including torture, I am glad that the Government has acted to clarify the law and reaffirm our commitment to upholding the rule of law in conflict.
The UK has some of the most committed and professional service personnel anywhere in the world, who not only adhere to the rule of law, but also promote it through the conduct of their operations. The Overseas Operations Bill will protect our troops and ex-servicemen from vexatious claims and repeated investigations, while ensuring that allegations continue to be taken with the utmost seriousness, and the correct course of justice is maintained.