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Armed Forces Act 2006

Appeals from Service Civilian Court
Section 285: Right of appeal from SCC

558.This section provides that a person convicted by the SCC may appeal to the Court Martial. Appeal may be against sentence if the person pleaded guilty, or against conviction or sentence if he did not plead guilty. The respondent to any appeal is the DSP.

559.An appeal must be brought within an initial period of 28 days, beginning on the date the person was sentenced, or within such longer period as the Court Martial may allow. For these purposes “sentence” includes any order made by a court when dealing with an offender.

Section 286: Hearing of appeals from SCC

560.An appeal against conviction is to be by way of rehearing of the charge (including a rehearing in respect to sentence), so that all of the evidence is reheard by the Court Martial. An appeal against sentence is to be by way of a rehearing as respects sentence, so that only evidence relevant to sentencing will be reheard. The section stipulates which judge advocates are not permitted to be a member of the court hearing an appeal because of prior involvement in a case.

561.The section also provides that those parts of the Act that are concerned with Court Martial trial and sentencing apply to appeals as they do to trials by the Court Martial, subject to any modification contained in Court Martial rules. Furthermore, the Court Martial may only pass a sentence that the SCC had the power to pass in respect of the offence, although this may be a more severe sentence than that actually imposed by the SCC. This power mirrors that of the Crown Court on appeal from a magistrates’ court.

Section 287: Findings made and sentences passed by Court Martial on appeal from SCC

562.This section provides that any finding made or sentence passed by the Court Martial on an appeal replaces the finding or sentence of the SCC. It also provides that a sentence passed on an appeal runs from the time from which it would have run if it had been imposed by the SCC, unless the Court Martial directs otherwise. Where a sentence is passed on an appeal against sentence, the person is to be treated (for the purposes of enabling him to appeal against sentence) as if he had been convicted by the Court Martial of the offence for which the sentence was passed. This is because there is a right of appeal against sentence under the 1968 Act only for persons convicted by the Court Martial.

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