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Armed Forces Act 2011

Type of Bill:
Government Bill
Liam Fox
Ministry of Defence
Lord Astor of Hever
Ministry of Defence

Progress of the Bill

Bill started in the House of Commons

  1. House of Commons
    1. 1st reading
    2. 2nd reading
    3. Committee stage
    4. Report stage
    5. 3rd reading
  2. House of Lords
    1. 1st reading
    2. 2nd reading
    3. Committee stage
    4. Report stage
    5. 3rd reading
  3. Consideration of Amendments
  4. Royal Assent

Last event

  • Royal Assent Royal Assent | 03.11.2011

Act of Parliament

House Act Date
Commons Armed Forces Act 2011 c.18 14.11.2011

Latest news on the Armed Forces Act 2011

Outstanding issues on the Bill were resolved on 26 October. 

Royal Assent took place on 3 November. This is the final stage of the Bill’s passage through Parliament when the Bill becomes an Act (law).

Summary of the Armed Forces Act 2011

An Armed Forces Bill is required every five years. The last Bill received Royal Assent in November 2006 and therefore a new Bill is required in the 2010-2011 Session.

The Bill provides the legal basis for the system of military law which exists in the UK, and an opportunity to make any suggested or necessary amendments. It also presents an opportunity to introduce new measures relating to the Armed Forces outside the traditional sphere of Service discipline.

Key areas

  • Renews the 2006 Armed Forces Act for a further five years
  • Makes provision for the Secretary of State to make an annual report to Parliament on the military covenant
  • Extends statutory inspections by her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary to the Service police and makes further provision for the independence of Service police investigations from the chain of command. The Bill will also improve procedures for maintaining standards within the MOD Police
  • Confers new powers on judge advocates to authorise entry and search of certain premises; and on the Secretary of State to make provision for Service police to access special categories of material such as bank records
  • Develops the procedures for the redress of complaints by Service personnel
  • Introduces a bespoke military scheme for the testing of Service personnel for alcohol and drugs, in line with the provisions of the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003, from which the military is exempt
  • Extends the jurisdiction of the new courts and procedures, which were established in the Armed Forces Act 2006, to prisoners of war.

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Related information

Guide to the passage of a Bill

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When does a Bill become law?

Explanation of what happens after Bills have been passed, and when laws may change.

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