The Times - Army told to open up system of justice

The army system isn't perfect, but anyone who says that soldiers shouldn't be dealt with under military law is retarded because what you want is effectively the removal of military discipline.
The same discipline that allows men to tell other men to go forward at great risk to their own life's and kill people for an objective or plan of which highly likely they are not party to.

Something along the lines of selfless commitment, though it's not a great shock to find some on this website don't quite comprehend that what with the total of having served posters being about three.

That's not quite right.

No one is saying remove military discipline.

No one is saying do not indoctrinate people to pillow orders.

What is being said is have checks and balances in place to ensure that offenders are justly punished and the innocent are not.


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Yes I am as it goes, I've been in long enough to see both forms of punishment (the agai system and 'block justice') and have been involved in dishing out both.

The agai system works and offers protection for the individual giving the punishment as well as who is receiving (especially prevalent in the era of the bullying and race card)

If the system is abused than that is the quality of the individuals in your unit, not the system that has failed, in my battalion where versus performance our discipline problem is well known from even the highest towers I have never seen the agai system used unfairly against any soldier but have seen it get rid of some absolute dross.

It is often derided by people who don't understand how to implement it properly.
 
But the removal of crown immunity didn't seem to lead to the subsequent collapse of fighting power in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq or Afghanistan did it?

The checks and balances are flawed though. In the last month I have had a platoon commander laughing about his ability to get his platoon sergeant to Agai someone so that he is the reviewing officer and said guilty soldier has no come back-if the soldier was innocent or the boss just didn't like him, how is that fair?

It may seem trivial at that level, but I have come across a situation at unit level where a senior officer within the unit took a dislike to someone, bullied him, Agai'd him, and the reviewing officer was the CO-the senior officer's boss and close work colleague. There was no objectivity or external oversight.

Don't think I'm going soft-this is about doing what is best for the blokes and also protecting the moral component of fighting power. Yes, we need a distinct way of quickly administering military justice to ensure discipline, particularly on ops. But if soldiers aren't treated fairly, and society perceives this to be so, then it will undermine the operational effectiveness of the army.

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It isn't fair but it is also bollox, every soldier has a come back. They go to the service complaint website. And if not satisfied they keep going.

A CO will get rather p*ssed pretty quickly with his junior commanders if he his constantly having to investigate vendettas ^~
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
It isn't fair but it is also bollox, every soldier has a come back. They go to the service complaint website. And if not satisfied they keep going.

A CO will get rather p*ssed pretty quickly with his junior commanders if he his constantly having to investigate vendettas ^~

But it does happen, maybe not as often as people make out but the system does get abused by belters.
 
That Times report appears to be more about the complaints by a number of officers of being bullied (with consequent effects on their careers) than anything else. I should have thought that there were far more important issues in this area than that.
 
But it does happen, maybe not as often as people make out but the system does get abused by belters.

Show me an area of life that doesn't have belters where individuals don't abuse their authority.

The system is not perfect but it is unrecognisable from 30 years ago and will continue to evolve. Do we require 'root and branch' change because of vocal individuals who don't understand our raison d'être and don't particularly like u s and will use every mistake and miscarriage of justice as a stick to beat us with?
 
Interesting discussion. Most seem to agree that "the system" (courts martial, AGAI 67 and arguably AGAI 70) is fairer than what previously existed under AA55.

Personally I would not wish to see service justice taken away from the services. Without expressing a view on the case itself which is still sub judice, I was annoyed at some of the criticisms of the court martial system by politicians and media during the Sgt Nightingale furore. Even the Secretary of State seemed at one point to be taking a kick at the system. Almost incredibly, at least one MP appeared to be blaming the ECHR for that court martial coming down unduly hard in his opinion.

What some of us might be forgetting is that if the system is fairer than it was, it didn't become so entirely under its own steam. Concepts like the service test were internally generated, yes, but it happened partly in response to external pressure and the exposure of deficiencies via the ECHR.

Whether one agrees or not, I wouldn't get too angry about people wanting to discuss deficiencies with the present system and how it can be improved. At the end of the day, service justice powers do not have an independent life of their own but are conferred by Parliament and can be lost if not seen to be operated justly and fairly. Once again, in principle I am a supporter of a separate system of service justice and discipline.
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
Show me an area of life that doesn't have belters where individuals don't abuse their authority.

The system is not perfect but it is unrecognisable from 30 years ago and will continue to evolve. Do we require 'root and branch' change because of vocal individuals who don't understand our raison d'être and don't particularly like u s and will use every mistake and miscarriage of justice as a stick to beat us with?


No, I don't think we require a complete change of the system, however I'm sure a way could be found to help reduce the number of people who abuse it.

If people are seen to get away with abusing the system then others will likely follow their suit and the cycle will continue.

I have a sneaking suspicion that there are more than a few people who perhaps turn a blind eye as they'd rather a pte gets punished for something he didn't do than risk either exposing the failings of their subordinates or the system.
 

The_Snail

ADC
RIP
Interesting discussion. Most seem to agree that "the system" (courts martial, AGAI 67 and arguably AGAI 70) is fairer than what previously existed under AA55.

Personally I would not wish to see service justice taken away from the services. Without expressing a view on the case itself which is still sub judice, I was annoyed at some of the criticisms of the court martial system by politicians and media during the Sgt Nightingale furore. Even the Secretary of State seemed at one point to be taking a kick at the system. Almost incredibly, at least one MP appeared to be blaming the ECHR for that court martial coming down unduly hard in his opinion.

What some of us might be forgetting is that if the system is fairer than it was, it didn't become so entirely under its own steam. Concepts like the service test were internally generated, yes, but it happened partly in response to external pressure and the exposure of deficiencies via the ECHR.

Whether one agrees or not, I wouldn't get too angry about people wanting to discuss deficiencies with the present system and how it can be improved. At the end of the day, service justice powers do not have an independent life of their own but are conferred by Parliament and can be lost if not seen to be operated justly and fairly. Once again, in principle I am a supporter of a separate system of service justice and discipline.

As am I. Do the crime, pay the time though.

Everyone knows about my brother. He won.
 
Hackle

I don't disagree after all we are beholden to our masters (UK PLC), however, there is a world of difference between outsiders with insider knowledge and understanding and outsiders who have their own personal agenda/vendetta.

We will evolve and we will be 'pointed' in the right direction when we don't, however, I will always maintain that a unique military law and discipline system is required in an effective military force and if we don't robustly fight our corner we will become just another branch of the civil service.

Until we are required to do the nasty stuff without question an then it will be all rather too late :)
 

CRmeansCeilingReached

ADC
Moderator
No, I don't think we require a complete change of the system, however I'm sure a way could be found to help reduce the number of people who abuse it.

If people are seen to get away with abusing the system then others will likely follow their suit and the cycle will continue.


I have a sneaking suspicion that there are more than a few people who perhaps turn a blind eye as they'd rather a pte gets punished for something he didn't do than risk either exposing the failings of their subordinates or the system.

I believe that the Service Complaint system is pivotal. Unless people have faith in the complaints procedure, they will not bother to contest abuses of the disciplinary or AGAI systems. Unfortunately, the complaints procedure is widely regarded as a bit of a joke. No matter how high one goes, "the system" will look to protect itself first, not the soldier.

Perhaps if complaints were dealt with in a fair, timely fashion then people might make more complaints about things like the abuse of disciplinary / admin procedures. But "even more complaints" is hardly what the Army wants.

So commanders can, if they wish, continue to **** up soldiers' lives with almost complete impunity. They are safe in the knowledge that, even if the affected individual complains and takes it to the highest level, the system will default to protecting the commander - and taking an inordinately long time to come to a ruling.

Seven years is the worst timescale I have heard for resolution of a service complaint; can anyone beat that?
 
Show me an area of life that doesn't have belters where individuals don't abuse their authority.

The system is not perfect but it is unrecognisable from 30 years ago and will continue to evolve. Do we require 'root and branch' change because of vocal individuals who don't understand our raison d'être and don't particularly like u s and will use every mistake and miscarriage of justice as a stick to beat us with?

Why should we be allowed to make avoidable mistakes and miscarriages of justice and not be held accountable like everybody else in society, 'heat of the moment' operational decisions excepted?


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Z

Zarathustra

Guest
I believe that the Service Complaint system is pivotal. Unless people have faith in the complaints procedure, they will not bother to contest abuses of the disciplinary or AGAI systems. Unfortunately, the complaints procedure is widely regarded as a bit of a joke. No matter how high one goes, "the system" will look to protect itself first, not the soldier.

Perhaps if complaints were dealt with in a fair, timely fashion then people might make more complaints about things like the abuse of disciplinary / admin procedures. But "even more complaints" is hardly what the Army wants.

So commanders can, if they wish, continue to **** up soldiers' lives with almost complete impunity. They are safe in the knowledge that, even if the affected individual complains and takes it to the highest level, the system will default to protecting the commander - and taking an inordinately long time to come to a ruling.

Seven years is the worst timescale I have heard for resolution of a service complaint; can anyone beat that?

You make some very good points much more eloquently than I could have.

I once made a service complaint.

The outcome was that the CoC skirted around the actual complaint I made and weren't particularly interested when I pointed this out. I decided not to push it further as by that point I had become completely disillusioned by a system that is only concerned with protecting one of their own and as I was due to be posted soon I just wanted to move on with my life.
 

The_Snail

ADC
RIP
Stop it, I'll cry...
 
You make some very good points much more eloquently than I could have.

I once made a service complaint.

The outcome was that the CoC skirted around the actual complaint I made and weren't particularly interested when I pointed this out. I decided not to push it further as by that point I had become completely disillusioned by a system that is only concerned with protecting one of their own and as I was due to be posted soon I just wanted to move on with my life.


well both your experiences are different to mine.

I made a service complaint (in 2012). It got to 2* level and resulted in me be exonerated and the policy document being amended. I chose not to write to the times about it though ^~

I still got told that a soldier of my experience should have known better though :)
 
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