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Armed Forces Act 2001

Redress of Complaints

140.The SDAs allow a person subject to Service law to make a complaint (and seek redress) through his chain of command about any matter relating to his service. There are exceptions to this right where an alternative remedy is available, for example, where an appeal from a decision of a court-martial to the Courts-Martial Appeal Court may be made. Previously, the legislation did not exclude the right to complain in respect of the decisions of judicial officers and judge advocates when exercising their powers to authorise continuing custody or hearing cases before the summary appeal court or, under the provisions in Part 2 of this Act, granting search warrants. It was considered inappropriate for the chain of command to be able to review judicial decisions in such circumstances, so paragraphs 41 and 42 exclude such decisions from the redress provisions.

141.Paragraph 43 also applies to the redress procedure referred to above. It will give officers and other ranks attached to another Service the right to seek redress under the SDA of the host Service. As the Naval Discipline Act does not contain the same restriction on the right to redress, this amendment is only necessary in the Army and Air Force Acts.

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