Professor Peter Edge has been appointed as a lay member of the Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors (ACCO).
The ACCO is an arm’s length body of the Ministry of Defence with lay members appointed by the Lord Chancellor.
It’s tremendously exciting to be involved in an area so important to the development of the relationship between religion, belief, and law in the United Kingdom
Professor Peter Edge
Professor Edge was named alongside three other new members who will assist in the conduct of ACCO hearings by providing a lay view and feeding in to subsequent decision making.
The committee conducts its hearings in public and tenders its advice to the Secretary of State for Defence’s representative.
A successful appeal to the ACCO is invariably accepted by the Department as decisive on the question of conscience and the applicant will immediately be granted a release from military service.
The ACCO was established in 1970 to hear appeals from service personnel whose application to leave on grounds of conscience has been rejected by the Service Authorities.
Commenting on the announcement Professor Edge said: “Even where the military is composed entirely of volunteers, difficult issues can arise when serving personnel claim to have developed a conscientious objection to continued military service.
“Since 1970 the ACCO has made an essential contribution to fairly resolving such claims. It’s tremendously exciting to be involved in an area so important to the development of the relationship between religion, belief, and law in the United Kingdom.”
Peter is Professor of Law at Oxford Brookes University. He publishes widely on the interaction of religion and law, both in the UK and internationally.