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Armed Forces Act 2006

Chapter 3 – Punishments available to Court Martial
Section 164: Punishments available to Court Martial

326.The Table in subsection (1) specifies the punishments that may be awarded by the Court Martial. Some of these punishments are available only for certain categories of offender or only in certain circumstances. The Table is also subject to other provisions of the Act which impose restrictions on the court’s choice of punishments.

327.Subsection (4) enables regulations to provide that persons in specified categories (for example, specified trades or branches) cannot be reduced or disrated below a particular rank or rate.

328.Subsection (7) gives effect to modifications made to this section by Schedule 3. That Schedule provides an alternative Table of punishments for civilians subject to service discipline, and another for persons previously subject to service law. The Table in section 164 applies only to offenders to whom neither of the Tables in Schedule 3 applies.

Section 165: Sentencing powers of Court Martial where election for trial by that court instead of CO

329.This section limits the powers of punishment of the Court Martial where it tries a person as the result of his electing to be tried by that court. In these circumstances the Court Martial may award a punishment up to the maximum punishment that the CO could have awarded if he had dealt with the person summarily. Where the Court Martial convicts a person who elected trial by it of two or more offences, the punishments it awards for both or all of them taken together must not exceed the maximum that the CO could have awarded if he had heard them summarily. These limitations on the powers of punishment of the Court Martial are to ensure that there is no disincentive to a person electing trial by the Court Martial (which is an ECHR-compliant court) instead of having his charge heard summarily.

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