Courts Martial

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 15th June 2021.

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Photo of Imran Ahmad Khan Imran Ahmad Khan Conservative, Wakefield

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many members of the armed forces have been tried by military courts in each year since 2016.

Photo of Leo Docherty Leo Docherty Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The military courts fulfil an important function in administering justice when Service personnel are alleged to have committed any of the service offences in the Armed Forces Act 2006, wherever in the world those offences are said to have occurred. They are a major contributor to the maintenance of discipline which underpins the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces. Anyone convicted of an offence will be punished appropriately and that may include imprisonment, and dismissal from service.

The requested information on the number of Service personnel who have been tried by a military court is provided in the following table:

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Number of individuals

436

400

414

500

372

Notes:

Figures for each year encompass all cases that concluded in that year i.e. if a case was opened in 2019 but concluded in 2020, the individual is recorded within the 2020 data.

Figure may include individuals who have been Court Martialled on more than one occasion. If an individual had more than one case but was either acquitted or sentenced on the same date, they are captured only once within the year of the result. However, if an individual had multiple cases that came to court in different years or after a previous case was closed, they will be recorded twice.

Figures also include ex-Service personnel who were serving at the time of the alleged or proven offence.

Court Martial results from the military court centres over the period January 2010 to December 2019 can be found at the following website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-martial-results-from-the-military-court-centres.

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