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Armed Forces Act 2001

Section 20: Eligibility of warrant officers for membership of summary appeal courts

70.Summary Appeal Courts were established on 2 October 2000, to hear appeals against summary proceedings under the SDAs. The courts consist of a judge advocate and two officers as lay members. There is no intention at present to alter the composition of the courts, but it is recognised that there may be a case for doing so, to enable warrant officers to be eligible. This will be kept under review in the light of experience with the new courts and also of warrant officers sitting as members of courts-martial (section 19).

71.Section 20 provides powers to extend eligibility for Summary Appeal Court membership to warrant officers by order. This will enable the Secretary of State, if he considers it desirable, to make this change without being required to wait for an opportunity to do so in primary legislation. The order would be subject to the negative resolution procedure. As with court-martial membership, section 20 limits the circumstances in which a warrant officer may sit on a Summary Appeal Court to cases where the appellant is of subordinate rank.

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