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Armed Forces Act 2006

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The Service Civilian Court: court and proceedingsE+W+S+N.I.

277The Service Civilian CourtE+W+S+N.I.

(1)There shall be a court, to be known as the Service Civilian Court.

(2)The Service Civilian Court may sit in any place other than in the British Islands.

278Constitution and proceedings of the Service Civilian CourtE+W+S+N.I.

(1)In any proceedings, the Service Civilian Court is to consist of a single judge advocate.

(2)The judge advocate for any proceedings is to be specified by or on behalf of the Judge Advocate General.

(3)Schedule 10 (proceedings of the Service Civilian Court) has effect.

279Court must consider whether trial by Court Martial more appropriateE+W+S+N.I.

(1)Before arraignment, the Service Civilian Court must decide whether it or the Court Martial should try the charge.

(2)Before making a decision under this section, the court must—

(a)give the Director of Service Prosecutions (“the Director”) an opportunity to inform the court of the defendant's previous convictions (if any); and

(b)give the Director and the defendant an opportunity to make representations as to whether the Service Civilian Court or the Court Martial should try the charge.

(3)In making a decision under this section, the court must consider—

(a)the nature of the case;

(b)the seriousness of the offence;

(c)whether its powers of punishment in respect of the offence would be adequate;

(d)any other circumstances it considers to be relevant; and

(e)any representations made by the Director and the defendant.

(4)If the court decides that the charge should be tried by the Court Martial—

(a)it must refer the charge to that court; and

(b)the charge is to be regarded for the purposes of Part 5 as allocated for Court Martial trial.

(5)Section 238(3) (meaning of “previous conviction”) applies for the purposes of subsection (2)(a) above.

280Right to elect trial by Court Martial instead of by SCCE+W+S+N.I.

(1)This section applies where the Service Civilian Court decides (under section 279) that it should try a charge.

(2)Before arraignment the court must, in the way specified by SCC rules, give the defendant the opportunity of electing Court Martial trial of the charge.

(3)If the defendant or (if more than one person is jointly charged) any of the defendants elects Court Martial trial of the charge—

(a)the Service Civilian Court must refer the charge to the Court Martial; and

(b)the charge is to be regarded for the purposes of Part 5 as allocated for Court Martial trial.

(4)If subsection (3) does not apply, the Service Civilian Court must try the charge (but this is subject to the exercise by the Director of Service Prosecutions of the power under section 126(2)(b), (d) or (e)).

(5)Where the Service Civilian Court is, in accordance with SCC rules, to try together two or more charges against the defendant, an election for Court Martial trial in respect of any of the charges takes effect as an election in respect of all of them.

281Power of SCC to convict of offence other than that chargedE+W+S+N.I.

Section 161 (power of Court Martial to convict of offence other than that charged) applies in relation to the Service Civilian Court as it applies in relation to the Court Martial.

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