The MoD has announced that Ms Nicola Williams, the current Complaints Commissioner for the Cayman Islands, has been selected as the government's preferred candidate to succeed Dr Susan Atkins in the post of Service Complaints Commissioner (SCC).
The role of the SCC was established by the Armed Forces Act 2006, as part of a service complaints system which came into effect from 1 January 2008.
The Ministry of Defence is thought likely to relax the long-standing rule preventing women serving in the infantry.
A report by Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor of The Times (£ link) suggests that the review into female combat soldiers, which was brought forward by the previous Defence Secretary last April, is likely to be signed off by Michael Fallon as early as next week.
As has been the case since the start of the review, it is widely expected that the MoD will give women the chance to serve in ground combat roles.
If the decision proves controversial, some may try to blame the decision on a EU Directive.
After nearly four years ex-paratrooper Tom Neathway, who lost both legs and one arm in an IED blast in Afghanistan, has finally received the Army's apology not only for the way he was bullied by a superior, but for the way he was then treated by the chain of command, and his complaint under the service complaints system appallingly mishandled. Alex Thomson's report shown on Channel 4 News last night 06/10/2014 can be seen below:
Above all, we must never lose sight of the fact that the fundamental case for a recognised independent professional staff association is NOT some Article of the European Convention of Human Rights, but is the fact that a staff association would be useful, constructive and in the professional interests of loyal, effective HM Forces personnel.
While the ADEFDROMIL and Matelly judgements refer to the right to join a trade union, the issue is the right of military personnel to join a properly constituted representative professional association, whether registered as a trade union or not.
We recognise that while the judgements will be welcomed by some in the UK, others will view them (or try to portray them) as providing more reason to limit or remove the application of the ECHR.
In the same week as the Justice Secretary announces manifesto proposals to quit the European Court of Human Rights or disregard its rulings, there has been a dramatic new development in the ECHR position on the right of military personnel to form or join a trade union or representative military association.