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Armed Forces Act 2006

Section 334: Redress of individual grievances: service complaints

670.This section allows a person who is, or who has previously been, subject to service law to make a complaint if he thinks himself wronged in any matter relating to his service.

671.Subsection (2) enables the Secretary of State to make regulations about the kind of matter that cannot be the subject of a complaint. It is envisaged that regulations will be made to exclude complaints about Service disciplinary proceedings (where other appeal procedures exist) and about matters involving pensions and reserve forces (where alternative dispute resolution and appeals procedures also exist).

672.Subsection (3) requires the procedure for making and dealing with complaints to be laid down in Defence Council regulations. Under subsection (4) the regulations must make provision for the kind of officer to whom a complaint is to be submitted. They must also provide so that:

  • the officer is able to refer the matter to a prescribed superior officer or to the Defence Council

  • the complainant is able to require the matter to be referred to a prescribed superior officer, and

  • both the superior officer and the complainant are able to require the matter to be referred on to the Defence Council.

673.Defence Council regulations may also provide for the manner in which a complaint is to be handled and timescales for making a complaint and for a complainant to apply for his complaint to be referred to a superior officer or to the Defence Council (subsections (5) and (6)).

674.Any person considering a complaint must decide if the complaint is well-founded and if it is he must grant such redress which is within his authority to give and which he considers would be appropriate (subsections (7) and (8)).

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