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Armed Forces Act 2011

Section 32: Commencement

119.This section provides for certain sections to come into effect on Royal Assent. The sections are:

  • section 1, which provides for the duration of AFA 2006;

  • section 31, which provides for the interpretation in the Act of “AFA 2006” as the Armed Forces Act 2006;

  • section 33, which provides for extent to the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and British overseas territories; and

  • section 34, which provides for the short title of the Act to be the Armed Forces Act 2011.

It also provides for section 28 (call out of reserve forces) to come into effect two months after Royal Assent.

120.The section also provides for the Secretary of State to bring into force the other provisions of the Act on days appointed by order. These commencement orders are statutory instruments but are not subject to parliamentary procedure.

121.The section also provides for the commencement orders to contain transitional, transitory and saving provision. Subsection (5) makes particular provision for transitional provisions related to the coming into force of the new Schedule 3A to AFA 2006. That Schedule is provided for by section 14 of, and Schedule 1 to, this Act. The new Schedule affects the powers of punishment of the Court Martial, where an accused elects trial by that court instead of by his commanding officer. Those powers are to be decided by reference to the punishments that the commanding officer could have awarded. But, where the election is before commencement and the trial afterwards, transitional provision will be needed as to what powers of punishment it is assumed the commanding officer would have had. This is because the Act itself (for example in section 12) affects what a commanding officer can do.

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