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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Section 12: Investigation in Scotland

124.This section makes provision for the Secretary of State or Chief Coroner to notify the Lord Advocate that he or she thinks that it may be appropriate for a service-related death which occurred abroad to be investigated under the Fatal Accidents and Sudden Deaths Inquiry (Scotland) Act 1976. It should be read with section 1A of that Act, which is inserted by section 50(2), discussed at paragraphs 320 to 323

125.Subsection (1) provides that the section applies to deaths outside the UK of a person specified in subsection (2) or (3).

126.Subsection (2) specifies the service personnel that are covered, namely members of the regular and reserve forces who, when they die, are subject to service law (which governs all members of the armed forces) under section 367 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, and are on active service, preparing for or supporting active service, or engaged in training for active service.

127.Subsection (3) adds that persons are covered if, when they die, they are not subject to service law but are, under paragraph 7 of Schedule 15 to the Armed Forces Act 2006 (persons designated by or on behalf of the Defence Council), civilians subject to service discipline; and are accompanying service personnel on active service.

128.Subsection (4) provides that, if the body (of someone defined in subsections (2) and (3)) is already in Scotland, or is expected to be brought to the UK, and the Secretary of State thinks that it may be appropriate for the death to be investigated under the 1976 Act, he or she may notify the Lord Advocate in Scotland of this. In such circumstances the Secretary of State has no role, other than notifying the Lord Advocate.

129.Subsection (5) provides that, if the body is England or Wales, and the Chief Coroner thinks that it may be appropriate for the death to be investigated under the 1976 Act, he or she may notify the Lord Advocate in Scotland of this.

130.“Active service” is defined in section 48(1) to mean service in an action or operation against an enemy; an operation outside the British Islands for the protection of life or property; or the military occupation of a foreign country or territory.

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