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Armed Forces Act 2001

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Naval Discipline Act 1957

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

16For section 54 of that Act (composition of courts-martial) there is substituted—

54Composition of courts-martial

(1)A court-martial shall consist of—

(a)the president, who shall be a naval officer,

(b)the judge advocate, and

(c)not less than four nor more than eight other persons, of whom—

(i)two shall each be either a naval officer or a naval warrant officer, and

(ii)the rest shall be naval officers.

(2)The president of a court-martial shall not be below the rank of captain, and in the case of a court-martial for the trial of an officer of flag rank shall be an officer of flag rank.

(3)An officer shall not be appointed under subsection (1)(c) above as a member of a court-martial unless—

(a)he is of or above the rank of lieutenant and has held a commission in any of Her Majesty’s naval, military or air forces for a period of not less than three years, or for periods amounting in the aggregate to not less than three years, or

(b)immediately before he received his commission, he was a warrant officer in any of those forces.

(4)The officers and warrant officers appointed members of a court-martial shall not all belong to the same ship or naval establishment.

(5)The members appointed under subsection (1)(c) above—

(a)shall not include any warrant officer, unless the court-martial is for the trial of a person of a rank or rate below that of a warrant officer,

(b)shall not include any officer who qualifies under subsection (3) above only by virtue of paragraph (b) of that subsection, unless the court-martial is for the trial of a person of a rank or rate below that which the officer held immediately before he received his commission,

(c)in the case of a trial of an officer of flag rank, shall be of or above the rank of captain,

(d)in the case of a trial of a commodore or captain, shall be of or above the rank of commander,

(e)in the case of a trial of a commander, shall include at least two members who are of or above the rank of commander.

(6)If, in the opinion of the court administration officer, the necessary number of naval officers or naval warrant officers having suitable qualifications is not, with due regard to the public service, available for appointment under subsection (1)(c) above, he may appoint under that provision—

(a)any military or air-force officer having qualifications corresponding to those required for a naval officer, or

(b)where a naval warrant officer could be appointed, any military or air-force warrant officer having qualifications corresponding to those required for a naval warrant officer.

(7)In this section—

  • “air-force officer” means an officer belonging to Her Majesty’s air forces and subject to air-force law;

  • “air-force warrant officer” means a warrant officer belonging to Her Majesty’s air forces and subject to air-force law;

  • “military officer” means an officer belonging to Her Majesty’s military forces and subject to military law;

  • “military warrant officer” means a warrant officer belonging to Her Majesty’s military forces and subject to military law;

  • “naval officer” means an officer belonging to Her Majesty’s naval forces and subject to this Act;

  • “naval warrant officer” means a warrant officer belonging to Her Majesty’s naval forces and subject to this Act;

  • “warrant officer” does not include an acting warrant officer (that is, a warrant officer whom a commanding officer has power under Queen’s Regulations to order to revert from the rank of warrant officer).

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