Protecting our servicemen and women Bill 2013
1. In order to address the horrendous occurrence of crimes against the person within military ranks, it is necessary to reform the way these crimes are managed when it comes to reporting, prosecution and punishment.
2. From 1 September 2013, new cases of serious crimes against the person, that occur on Atlasian soil or military bases leased by the Atlasian Government will be managed outside the Uniform Code of Military Justice, under civilian legal frameworks.
2a. Depending on the severity of crime, a civilian court may place a person found guilty of these crimes into military custody, provided they are kept in a separate facility from their victim and are kept from active duty for a period determined by the civilian court.
3. Serious crimes against the person include:
• attempted murder;
• grievous bodily harm;
• sexual assault; and
• attempted sexual assault.
4. A new Serious Crimes unit will be created, made up of 50% civilian and 50% military personnel. Their remit will be to investigate allegations, make determinations on charges under these provisions and provide additional services as required. $40 million will be provided for the establishment of this Unit within the Department of External Affairs.
5. Additional training will take place from basic level as to appropriate conduct and also further training will be mandatory for all pastoral care and welfare officers within the military.
6. This Bill will amend the Uniform Code of Military Justice to include specific punishments for those in positions of authority and service personnel welfare who do not report or follow up allegations of serious crimes against the person.
7. This Bill notes the importance of unit cohesion within the military, and a large part of that is trust. This Bill ensures that people who serve with one another should expect that their military (both as their military and their employer) will place their welfare first and encourage an environment where honesty and trust in one another is fostered and not feigned.