on coming events in Parliament, including the Second Reading of the Armed Forces Bill on February 8. Excerpt:
The main business is the Second Reading of The Armed Forces Bill, and alongside it, a motion to approve the Armed Forces Act (Continuation) Order 2021.
This is a parliamentary process which has its roots in the 17th Century when, after the Civil War, Parliament guarded against the emergence of military tyranny by requiring that the very existence of the armed forces had to be confirmed by an annual vote.
This has since evolved into a system where the Commons passes an order every year under legislation that has to be renewed every five years. The legislation also underpins military law, so without the five-yearly renewal of the Armed Forces Act, the whole system of military justice would lapse, too.
The current process dates back to the 1950s, when Labour maverick George Wigg filibustered a debate on the renewal of the Armed Forces, to force the then Conservative government to reform the system.
The result was the current combination of an Act of Parliament passed every five years, under which a renewal order had to be passed annually.
More to come.
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