Courts-Martial (Appeals) (Now known as Court Martial Appeals) Act 1968

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1968 c. 20


Courts-Martial (Appeals)Act 1968

1968 CHAPTER 20

An Act to consolidate the Courts-Martial (Appeals) Act 1951 and the enactments amending it, including so much of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 as provides an appeal from the Courts-Martial Appeal Court to the House of Lords.

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I The Courts-Martial Appeal Court

Part I

The Courts-Martial Appeal Court

S-1 The Court and its jurisdiction.

1 The Court and its jurisdiction.

(1) The Courts-Martial Appeal Court established by the Courts-Martial (Appeals) Act 1951 for the purpose of hearing appeals from naval, army and air force courts-martial, shall continue in existence and is in this Act referred to either as ‘the Appeal Court’ or as ‘the Court’.

(2) The Appeal Court shall be a superior court of record and shall, for the purposes of this Act and subject to its provisions, have full power to determine, in accordance with this Act, any question necessary to be determined for the purpose of doing justice in any case before the Court.

(3) The powers of the Appeal Court shall be exercisable by them so far as they think it necessary or expedient in the interests of justice that they should be exercised, and the Court may issue any warrants necessary for enforcing their orders or sentences.

(4) Except as provided by Part III of this Act, no appeal shall lie from any decision of the Appeal Court.

S-2 Judges.

2 Judges.

(1) The following shall be judges of the Appeal Court:—

( a ) the ex officio and ordinary judges of the Court of Appeal and such of the judges of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court as the Lord Chief Justice may, after consultation with the Master of the Rolls, from time to time nominate for the purpose;

( b ) such of the Lords Commissioners of Justiciary as the Lord Justice General may from time to time nominate for the purpose; and

( c ) such of the judges of Her Majesty's Supreme Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland as the Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland may from time to time nominate for the purpose.

(2) The Lord Chancellor may appoint other persons, being persons of legal experience, to be judges of the Appeal Court and—

( a ) the appointment of a person under this subsection shall be for such term as may be determined by the Lord Chancellor, with the approval of the Treasury, before his appointment and shall be subject to such conditions as may be so determined; and

( b ) a person so appointed who ceases to hold office as a judge of the Appeal Court shall be eligible for reappointment.

(3) There may be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament to the persons appointed under subsection (2) of this section to be judges of the Appeal Court such remuneration, and to all the judges of the Court such travelling and subsistence allowances, as the Lord Chancellor may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine.

S-3 Other senior judges who may exercise powers of Appeal Court.

3 Other senior judges who may exercise powers of Appeal Court.

Any power under this Act which is exercisable by a judge of the Appeal Court may also be exercised—

a ) by any judge of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court
b ) by any Lord Commissioner of Justiciary
c ) by any judge of Her Majesty's Supreme Court of Judicature of Northern Ireland

notwithstanding that he is not for the time being a judge of the Appeal Court; and references in this Act to a judge of the Court shall be construed accordingly.

S-4 Sittings.

4 Sittings.

(1) For the purpose of hearing and determining appeals under this Act, or any matter preliminary or incidental to an appeal, the Appeal Court shall be summoned in accordance with directions given by the Lord Chief Justice with the consent of the Lord Chancellor.

(2) If the Lord Chief Justice so directs, the Appeal Court may sit in two or more divisions.

(3) The Appeal Court shall sit at such place as the Lord Chief Justice shall direct, whether within or outside the United Kingdom.

S-5 Constitution of Court for particular sittings.

5 Constitution of Court for particular sittings.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Appeal Court shall be duly constituted if it consists of an uneven number of judges, not being less than three.

(2) At least one of the judges of which the Appeal Court consists at any sitting must be a judge of the Court by virtue of section 2(1) of this Act, except that where the Court is directed to sit at a place outside the United Kingdom the Lord Chancellor may, if he thinks it expedient to do so, direct that this provision shall not apply to the Court while sitting at that place.

(3) The determination of any question before the Appeal Court shall be according to the opinion of the majority of the judges of the Court hearing the case.

S-6 Power of Master of the Rolls to act for Lord Chief Justice.

6 Power of Master of the Rolls to act for Lord Chief Justice.

The Master of the Rolls may exercise the powers conferred on the Lord Chief Justice by sections 2 and 4 above if at any time the Lord Chief Justice is unable to exercise them himself or there is a vacancy in the office of Lord Chief Justice.

S-7 Court staff, salaries and pensions.

7 Court staff, salaries and pensions.

(1) There shall be a registrar of the Appeal Court (in this Act referred to as ‘the registrar’) to be appointed by the Lord Chancellor, and the Lord Chancellor may appoint such other officers and servants of the Court as he may, with the approval of the Treasury as to numbers, determine.

(2) The remuneration of the officers and servants of the Appeal Court shall be such as the Lord Chancellor may, with the approval of the Treasury, determine, and the Superannuation Acts 1965 and 1967 shall have effect as if service as an officer or servant of the Appeal Court were service in an established capacity in the permanent civil service of the State in an appointment held directly from the Crown.

(3) The remuneration of the officers and servants of the Appeal Court and such other expenses of the Court as the Treasury may sanction shall be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament.

II Appeals from Courts-Martial

Part II

Appeals from Courts-Martial

Right of appeal and initiating procedure

Right of appeal and initiating procedure

S-8 Right of appeal.

8 Right of appeal.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person convicted by court-martial may, with the leave of the Appeal Court, appeal to the Court against his conviction.

(2) Subject as aforesaid, the person's right of appeal shall not be exercisable—

( a ) unless, within such period as may be prescribed, he presents to the Defence Council a petition praying that his conviction be quashed; and

( b ) until either the prescribed period (beginning with the day on which the petition is presented) expires or he is notified by the Defence Council that the petition has not been granted, whichever event first occurs.

(3) If a person presents a petition for the purposes of subsection (2)( a ) above, but fails to do so within the period prescribed for those purposes and subsequently applies for leave to appeal, the Appeal Court may direct that he be treated as not having thereby lost his right of appeal if they think that there is a reasonable explanation of the failure and that it is in the interests of justice that he should be so treated.

(4) Rules of court may provide that, in such circumstances as may be specified in the rules, a petition for the purposes of subsection (1) above which is presented to such person as may be specified in the rules shall be treated, for the purposes of that subsection, as having been presented to the Defence Council.

S-9 Application for leave to appeal.

9 Application for leave to appeal.

(1) Leave to appeal to the Appeal Court shall not be given except on an application in that behalf made by or on behalf of the appellant and lodged, within the prescribed period, with the registrar.

(2) The application must be in the prescribed form and specify the grounds on which leave to appeal is sought and such other particulars, if any, as may be prescribed.

(3) The Appeal Court may extend the period within which an application for leave to appeal must be lodged, whether the period has expired or not.

(4) Rules of court may provide that, in such circumstances as may be specified in the rules, an application which is lodged with a person (other than the registrar) specified in the rules shall be treated for purposes of subsection (1) above as having been lodged with the registrar; and it shall be the duty of the specified person, if an application...

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