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Armed Forces Act 2006

Renewal of service law

14.Since 1955 the Army and Air Force Acts (and, since 1971, the Naval Discipline Act) have been subject to renewal by primary legislation every five years and, in each of the intervening years, by an Order in Council approved in draft by both Houses of Parliament. This requirement for Parliamentary agreement for their continuation has its origins in the Bill of Rights 1688, which provides that the raising of a standing army is against the law unless Parliament consents to it. Since the 1950s the five-yearly Acts have been used primarily to make necessary and desirable amendments to the SDAs, often to reflect changes in the civilian criminal law of England and Wales. The last Armed Forces Act was passed in 2001.

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