In 2009, all three services adopted as the military disciplinary system set out in the Armed Forces Act 2006. At the heart of this is the role of the commanding officer. It is your commanding officer who will refer cases to Higher Authority for a charging decision and once advice is given, it is the commanding officer who will charge or even hear your case.
Unfortunately, at the moment you are not entitled to legal representation for any summary cases heard by your commanding officer. However, the Armed Forces Act 2006 allows you the following safeguards-
You can elect to have your case heard at Court Martial, where you can have legal representation. The Court will be restricted in that it cannot pass a sentence higher than one that would be available to your commanding officer.
You can appeal the summary hearing's findings- again you will be entitled to legal representation and the Summary Appeal Court cannot pass a more severe sentence than was originally passed.
It is important that if you face any disciplinary matter before your commanding officer, including Administrative Action, you consider all your options as it could affect your promotion prospects, your pension or even your immigration status. Our team's aim is to ensure that you can continue to concentrate on your career.
As part of our service we are happy to discuss your options, free of charge and one of our team will respond either by email or by phone shortly.