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Armed Forces Act 2006

Chapter 2 – Review of Court Martial Sentence
Section 273: Review of unduly lenient sentence by Court Martial Appeal Court

533.This section gives the Attorney General the power, equivalent to that which he has in respect of sentences passed by the Crown Court, to refer a case to the CMAC if he considers that the sentence passed by the Court Martial in respect of the offence is unduly lenient. This power is exercisable only in relation to criminal conduct offences and is subject to the leave of the CMAC. One of two conditions must be satisfied: either the corresponding offence under civilian law would, if committed by an adult, be capable of being tried only on indictment; or the offence is one specified in an order made by the Secretary of State.

534.On such a reference the CMAC may quash the original sentence and substitute for it another sentence that would have been available to the Court Martial.

535.The section specifies certain circumstances in which the Attorney General may consider the original sentence to have been unduly lenient; and it provides that, where the reference to the CMAC relates to an order setting a minimum term for a life sentence, the CMAC may not, in deciding what order is appropriate, allow for the fact that the offender is being sentenced for the second time.

Section 274: Reference of point of law to Supreme Court

536.This section applies where the CMAC has concluded its review of a case under section 273 (1). It allows the Attorney General or the offender to refer to the Supreme Court a point of law involved in any sentence passed in the proceedings. The reference cannot be made without leave of the CMAC or the Supreme Court and the conditions for granting leave are specified. When the Supreme Court has given its opinion on the point of law referred to it, it may then refer the case back to the CMAC to be dealt with, or deal with the case itself, in which case it may exercise any of the powers that would have been available to the CMAC.

Section 275: Power to make supplementary provision about review of sentence

537.This section enables the Secretary of State to make provision by regulations with respect to references under sections 273 and 274, including provision on applications and procedure.

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