NOT a discussion of sub-judice CM proceedings...

#1
...but should the Attorney-General be commenting on proceedings of courts-martial? I thought these were the domain of the Judge Advocate General? Such a figure is, of course, appointed by Her Majesty on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor. There appears to be no reporting chain encompassing the Attorney-General and I would question the political process behind this announcement.

Now...is this announcement perhaps connected with the lack of a link between the Iraq war and terrorist activities in the UK and the stiff upper lip refusal of HMG to bow the knee to terrorist scum?

Or am I merely a cynic?

Please note - this is not a discussion of sub judice proceedings but the surrounding protocol, and this is not an attempt to elicit or encourage discussion of any proceedings. I refer to the roles of the Attorney General and Judge Advocate General in Courts Martial.
 
#2
I refer to the roles of the Attorney General and Judge Advocate General in Courts Martial.
I'll let this one remain , as long as the discussion stays centred on that question. Sorry guys, but any deviation into talking about the specifics of the latest case or recent ones, will end with the thread locked and deleted.

I can't emphasise enough , that discussion on the particulars of a case, especially on this forum, with it's unique user base, could open us up to all sorts of problems.

Please do remember that.

Regards

PTP
 
#3
On the subject of courts-martial in general - it is tempting to think that "fcuk you lot, if I post this rant it might scupper the trial". The thought has (fleetingly) crossed my mind but I suspect it may also scupper this site, hence the moderation.

Now, does the Attorney General have a role in the courts-martial process? I understood from general information that the APA was seperate (but akin to) the CPS. The logical conclusion is that the JAG woks for Her Maj and not the amnesiac crony Goldsmith. Is this true?
 
#4
Hi PVR'd

Folowing JAG Michael Hunter's comments during the Fusilier CM, I have no doubt whatsoever, that a "I can believe he done it, he's always been a bad 'un" or similar type post will result in dramas all round. Not to mention the less moralistic parts of the media always circling, looking for a nice, fat and juicy quote.

It was a nightmare moderating and deleting during the Fusilier CM, and the decision was made then , no discussion on the facts or background of pending or sitting Court Martials.

Hopefully, people will understand why we have that rule.

PTP
 
#5
The Army Prosecuting Authority (established under the Armed Forces Act 1996) acts independently of the military chain of command and is subject to the general superintendence of the Attorney General.
 
#6
PTP

Do you have a link for the Fusilier CM? I read about the reporting restrictions - is this in the same vein?

ARRSE is firmly following in fine Parliamentary tradition by declining to discuss sub judice matters...unless you are Byers stalling for time or Doug Henderson covering for "William" Joyce :twisted:
 
#7
PartTimePongo said:
I refer to the roles of the Attorney General and Judge Advocate General in Courts Martial.
I'll let this one remain , as long as the discussion stays centred on that question. Sorry guys, but any deviation into talking about the specifics of the latest case or recent ones, will end with the thread locked and deleted.

I can't emphasise enough , that discussion on the particulars of a case, especially on this forum, with it's unique user base, could open us up to all sorts of problems.

Please do remember that.

Regards

PTP
What?

Isn't this EXACTLY the place we should be howling our indignation about the Courts Martial about to take place. Why can't we have a view/say on the matters being put before the courts?
Anyone is free to discuss anything in the public domain - just read the fcuking newspapers: are you saying that what is on the front page of today's Torygraph is sub-judice?

For what it's worth, I'm fcuking outraged! And, couldn't agree more with the ex-CDS fossils in the House of Lords who so recently spoke out about the demoralising effect all this will have on 'our boys'. Interesting that they spoke out when they did - did they know that this was about to hit the press? The point is well made that those stirring all this up know nothing about operations and the stressess and strains folk are under in wartime.

None of this would have happened if BLiar hadn't involved our servicemen in an illegal war in the first place. It is him that should be standing in the dock with his thumbs tied together.

God help us all. It must be time to mutiny.
 
#8
Queensman

How can you be outraged, when you have absolutely no idea what evidence will be put before the Court? You are surely not arguing that soldiers, as of right, should have immunity from prosecution for anything done on ops.
 
#9
Sometimes, being the cynic I am, I think that some Courts martial are timed to help a political party and to appease some sections of a community, but I'm sure I'd be wrong...don't you ?
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#10
Blimey ! 'Ware legal eagles.

PTP, I guess I'm free to post what I like ( especially as I rcvd my discharge Certificate this am - inevitably incorrect in two details ) and you as Guardian of ARRSE's broad Six are equally free to delete the post.......

FWIW,

John Reid responds to Attorney General's direction for trial by Courts-Martial of allegations arising from operations in Iraq.
19/07/2005


In response to the announcement by the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, John Reid, Secretary of State for Defence, said:


"I, along with the Chiefs of Staff, am very proud of the role British Armed Forces play in the world. They do an exceptional job in very difficult circumstances and operate to the very highest standards, as the British public rightly expects. This is precisely why, if there are allegations that UK armed forces personnel have failed to maintain these high standards, they should be properly investigated and, if appropriate, prosecutions should be brought.

"Today the independent Army Prosecuting Authority has brought charges under British military law that will be heard in a British Court-Martial. Anyone accused is innocent until proved guilty and it is for the Courts Martial to consider the evidence in any case and reach a verdict. Inhuman treatment of a person protected by the Geneva Conventions has been an offence under English law since 1957.

"It is vital now that justice is allowed to take its course, so you will understand that I cannot comment further on the details of this or any other individual case."




Remember me saying there would be an avalanche of bad news once the Election had been fought and won?.....grab your snow shovel.


Le Chevre
 
#11
Armourer - courts-martial have absolutely nothing to do with political agendas or otherwise. Believe me, the SIB answer to nothing and no-one and they're about to get an even higher buy-in at the top - and damn right too. They would laugh at the mere suggestion you are making in your post.

Queensman - the issue of whether our prsence in Iraq is illegal, unlawful or anything else has absolutely nothing to do with the charges that have been bought across the TELIC spread. We must be seen to be whiter than white, else we can't do our jobs. We are the best with good reason - a repuation like ours, if lost, would be irreplacable.

Don't give PTP a hard time over what is long established site policy, as he will be the one to carry the can...again. It's his risk, he's assessed it, his call.
 
#12
Darth_Doctrinus said:
Armourer - courts-martial have absolutely nothing to do with political agendas or otherwise. Believe me, the SIB answer to nothing and no-one and they're about to get an even higher buy-in at the top - and damn right too. They would laugh at the mere suggestion you are making in your post.
Believe me I know about the SIB and Courts Martial.

What I meant was that the announcement of the CM was opportune for the Gov't
 
#13
Darth, Armourer et al,

The SIB may well conduct investigations free from interference but the timing of CM is another matter and one in which they do not play a part. News management, "the grid" and the removal of the military from the higher echelons of the MOD's Media machine are all very political matters.

When examining any cases that may be appearing now or shortly one should be very careful to distinguish between the unchallengeable need to pursue those who commit acts that have always been seen as wrong (treatment of prisoners etc) and the issue of where one draws the line of responsibility - that will be the far greater issue and the one that we should all be watching. Take a canter back through military history and see what level of command was held to be responsible for war crimes in the past. Of course the cynic would argue that victor's justice plays a part here - responsibility in the German Armed Forces was considered at Nuremburg to run to the highest levels. For My Lai it stopped at platoon level. In current cases our own side are investigating and apparently drawing a line at unit level.

I respect the need to steer away from any direct comment on these cases but I do think that some of the wider issues can and should be discussed by those of us that will be affected by them. This can and does happen at places like the Staff College - but it should not be restricted to there when it affects all of us.
 
#14
I recall being told by 19 Mech in Basra in 2003 that a robust approach to the ROE was in force, and that any shooting would have to be investigated by a company level officer (although most COs kept that 'privelidge' for themselves in practice - fair one), and that SiB wouldn't get involved unless requested by the unit or HQ 19 Mech when the SO2 Legal did his routine review of the case papers.

So (and I'm not referring to this actual court case as such - this is more general) why is the CPS becoming involved now, when such cases were done and dusted in theatre at the time?
 
#15
This is in the public domain in the papers and BBC so I hope it can stay posted:

Rage over UK 'war crimes' trials

The Daily Telegraph headline, "Uproar over war crimes trials", chimes with several papers' anger over charges being brought against 11 UK soldiers.
The Times reports that senior retired commanders consider the charges to be politically motivated.

The Sun pictures one of the accused alongside Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, under a headline asking "Who's the criminal?"

"Our heroes thrown to the dogs," fumes the Daily Express on its front page.
 
#16
It's very easy to cloud the issue with media-driven conspiracy theories, but you haven't the faintest idea what the evidence is in this case and neither have the press. Wait out...
 
#17
I would argue that the government should pretty under extremely close scrutiny over this. Whilst I am not questioning the integrity of the investigation, which I am sure was thorough and above board, I most certainly suspicious of the timing.

It seems odd that this is announced just as the government finds itself in troubled waters over the link between this countries intervention in Iraq and suicide bombings in the capital. Quite frankly, Tony Blair can deny the link until he is either blue in the face or the last person in the country. And if he does actually believe that, he is far bigger idiot than any of us previously thought. (Incidentally, whilst I do believe there is a very strong connection between Iraq and the suicide attacks, I do not condone the attacks - I served on Telic 1 and am going back out again for a short deployment within the month).

Additionally, it seems to me to be the highest form of hypocrisy for the government to behave in this manner when it is pretty obvious to anyone who is open minded that it is far from clear that the invasion of Iraq was a legal act. Once again, the Prime-minister would have us all believe this was a completely legal, above board action - 'period'. This is not the case and there is still much room for debate over the whole matter. Should it ever be proved to have been an illegal action, the Prime-minister ought, if there is any justice left in this country, find himself in the stand for war crimes.

It is also worth pointing out that no-one in the current government has served any time with the military whatever, much less operationally. There are those out there who will argue this is irrelevant. And whilst it is not, in itself, relevant to this case, I believe that if some government members actually had some military experience, they would not treat the military in the manner they have. They would be far more likely to understand the pressures involved in high tempo war fighting, peace enforcement, anti-terrorist operations. And would therefore, make less of a play about the whole thing. This is not to say they would not have bought charges, but would not have done so under such a fanfare. Whilst this is not directly relevant to the cases themselves, it is most certainly relevant to the way the forces perceive the government. In all honesty, this has, if it is possible, reduced the militarys already rock bottom confidence in this government, yet further. I would argue that the long term damage this lack of confidence in, this government specifically and MPs in general has done, and will continue to do, will be felt, by the military, the government and, ultimately the whole country, for many a long year yet.

Finally, as was so bluntly displayed in todays Currant Bun, on the one hand, you have a decorated officer with an impeccable service record whose alleged crime is negligent supervision of his men (I will not go into my thoughts on this now). On the other, you have an immigrant, extremely radical muslim cleric who has, at the very least, verbally supported suicide attacks as a legitimate weapon for Muslims to use against Jews and Christians, and whom, if media reports are correct, wishes to subvert this country, by whatever means neccesary, into a muslim state.

What is the connection? Well, if a serving officer can be investigated for not preventing his subordinates from killing apparently innocent Iraqi civilians, then surely an Imam who overtly encouraged people to kill others, by whatever means, ought to be investigated and if sufficient evidence were uncovered, prosecuted.

We all know that will not happen. For a start there will be plenty of do gooders on hand to claim it is an infringement of civil rights. (I wonder what would happen if a christian suddenly started encouraging his fellow christian to convert muslims into christians by whatever means possible and failing that, to kill them - discuss!) Secondly, the legal establishment are still of the flawed belief that the only racists in this country are 'white folk' and could not bring themselves to such an action.

To sum up - the timing of this whole affair is highly suspicious. Most especially given the governments well publicised record on political spin (burying bad news etc). On top of that, this government most certainly does not have the high moral ground here - a possibly illegal invasion, fairly obvious 'whitewash' investigations into the war and reasons for it, no WMD - and whatever else we don't yet know. No, they are not in a position to preach morally to anyone. Finally, a topsy turvy legal system where you can encourage murder and mayhem without recourse from the justice system - providing you are not a soldier! You couldn't make it up!

What a sad and sorry state this country is in. Governments can do no wrong (most especially Labour ones), people of a non anglo-saxon background are apparently all victims of racism, and are therefore forgiven for any wrongdoings commited. And anglo-saxons? Well, they are pretty screwed! At least that is how it appears to me.

The rantings of a racist, xenophobic psychopath? I am sure there are those out there who will think so. But I am neither a racist nor a xenophobe. But I am white and I do very often wonder why it has all gone so wrong and worry there is nothing any of us can do to make our country a better place to live. Cheesy? Perhaps, but it is how I feel. And even Cherie Blair can't have me up for that!
 
#18
El Gringo, well said sir.
 
#19
El Gringo, spot on there mate. The timing stinks, as does most of this goverments shananingans. Funny how stuff is suddenly coming out now the election is over....
 

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