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Armed Forces Act 2006

Section 52: Charges capable of being heard summarily

135.This section defines what is meant by references in the Act to a charge which is capable of being heard summarily. A charge falls within this category if all the conditions in subsections (2) to (4) are satisfied.

136.Condition A is that the offence charged must be an offence that may be dealt with at summary hearing (i.e. one of those listed in section 53).

137.Condition B prevents a charge from being heard summarily if the accused is an officer above the rank of commander, lieutenant-colonel or wing commander, or a civilian.

138.Condition C relates to the accused’s membership of a force (or, in some cases, his liability to recall). In most cases the accused must be subject to service law, or a volunteer reservist or an ex-regular reservist subject to an additional duties commitment, throughout the period between the commission of the offence and the completion of the summary hearing. If the charge is one of absence without leave on the part of a reservist, however, it is sufficient that the accused has been a reservist (whether volunteer or ex-regular) throughout that period. If the charge is one of absence without leave on the part of an ex-regular who is not a reservist but is liable to recall, the accused must either be liable to recall or a member of the regular forces (i.e. actually recalled) throughout that period.

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