Judge Advocate General (United Kingdom)

In the United Kingdom, the Judge Advocate General and Judge Martial of all the Forces is a judge responsible for the court martial process within the British Army and Royal Air Force. The equivalent post in the Royal Navy was the Judge Advocate of the Fleet though this role is now incorporated within the Judge Advocate General's office.

Qualifications

The post is regulated by the Courts-Martial (Appeals) Act 1951. The appointment is made by the British Sovereign on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor. Formerly, the Judge Advocate General had to be a barrister, advocate, or solicitor with higher rights of audience, of 10 years' standing. [Courts-Martial (Appeals) Act 1951, s.31] As of 21 July 2008 the experience needed to qualify was reduced in line with a general move to broaden diversity in the judiciary. [ cite web | url=http://www.dca.gov.uk/consult/judiciary/diversitycp25-04.htm | publisher=Department for Constitutional Affairs | title=Increasing Diversity in the Judiciary | year=October 2004 | quote=CP 25/04 | accessdate=2008-03-05 ] cite web | accessdate=2008-03-05 | url=http://www.england-legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2007/en/07en15-d.htm | title=Explanatory Notes to Tribunals, Courts And Enforcement Act 2007 | year=2007 | publisher=Office of Public Service Information | quote=paras.281-316 ] An appointee who has practiced in England and Wales now has to satisfy the judicial-appointment eligibility condition on a 7-year basis, while a practitioner from Scotland or Northern Ireland will need 7 years' standing as barrister, advocate or solicitor. [Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007, s.50/ Sch.10, Pt.1] The post is always held by a civilian rather than an commissioned officer. [ cite web | url=http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/about_judiciary/roles_types_jurisdiction/military_justice/index.htm | publisher=Judiciary of England and Wales | title=Military Justice | year=2008 | accessdate=2008-07-16 ]

A Judge Advocate General can also be appointed from the Vice Judge Advocate General or Assistant Judge Advocate Generals. [Courts-Martial (Appeals) Act 1951, s.31(d)-(e)]

Role

He is the legal adviser of the Sovereign and of the commander-in-chief in military cases, and by his authority all general courts-martial are held. In his office are deposited the originals of all such proceedings, and on his receipt of them they are examined, and either deposited as correct, or communicated upon, or submitted by the Judge Advocate General to Her Majesty for royal approval, or for pardon, or revision, as, in the opinion of this officer, the case may require.

He is assisted by civilians who are his permanent staff. There is a total of ten, comprising one Vice Judge Advocate General (must be a barrister or advocate of seven years standing, or a deputy judge advocate), 6 Assistant Judge Advocates General (must be a barrister or advocate of seven years standing, or a deputy judge advocate), 2 Deputy Judge Advocates (must be a barrister or advocate of five years standing).

These provide advice to accused and prosecution, and sum up the evidence for the Court. Defendants are entitled to a defending officer, and to civilian counsel if they so wish. The British Army and the RAF have similar arrangements, and the same Judge Advocate General. In the 1990s significant changes to the courts martial system were instigated following European Court of Human Rights judgements.

The Director of Army Legal Services, a major-general, advises the army on all legal matters. His staff are officers of the Army Legal Services Branch of the Adjutant-General's Corps. They number 110, including 20 short service captains. There are ten in the Territorial Army.

The head of the RAF Legal Branch, is an Air Vice Marshal, who advises the RAF on all legal matters. His staff are officers of the Legal Branch. They number around 40 including 10 Flight Lieutenants.

The office was for many years a political one, the holder resigning on a change of ministry. The Judge Advocate General was made subordinate to the Lord Chancellor, and since 1951 has been appointed on his recommendation.

List of Judge Advocates General

"Down to 1847 the dates are those of actual entrance upon office, not of the appointment, which is usually a few days earlier; or of the patent, commonly some days later than those adopted in this list. After 1847 the dates are those of the "Gazette" notices of the appointment."

*January 1666: Samuel Barrowe
*1684: George Clarke
*1705: Thomas Byde
*1715: Edward Hughes
*1734: Sir Henry Hoghton
*1741: Thomas Morgan
*1768: Sir Charles Gould Morgan
*8 March 1806: Nathaniel Bond
*4 December 1807: Richard Ryder
*8 November 1809: Charles Manners-Sutton
*25 June 1817: Sir John Beckett
*12 May 1827: James Abercromby
*2 February 1828: Sir John Beckett
*2 December 1830: Sir Robert Grant
*7 July 1834: Robert Cutlar Fergusson
*22 December 1834: Sir John Beckett
*25 April 1835: Robert Cutlar Fergusson
*6 November 1838: William St Julien Arabin
*21 February 1839: Sir George Grey
*26 June 1841: Richard Lalor Sheil
*14 September 1841: John Nicholl
*31 January 1846: James Stuart Wortley
*14 July 1846: Charles Buller
*30 December 1847: William Goodenough Hayter
*26 May 1849: Sir David Dundas
*28 February 1852: George Bankes
*30 December 1852: Charles Pelham Villiers
*13 March 1858: John Mowbray
*24 June 1859: Thomas Emerson Headlam
*12 July 1866: John Mowbray
*16 December 1868: Sir Colman Michael O'Loghlen
*28 December 1870: John Robert Davison
*17 May 1871: Sir Robert Joseph Phillimore (held the office pending a rearrangement of its duties)
*21 August 1873: Acton Smee Ayrton
*7 March 1874: Stephen Cave
*24 November 1875: George Cavendish-Bentinck
*7 May 1880: George Osborne Morgan
*13 July 1885: William Thackeray Marriott
*22 February 1886: John William Mellor
*9 August 1886: William Thackeray Marriott
*Sir Francis Jeune, 1892–1904
*William Milvain, appointed August 1905
*Sir Felix Cassel, 1915–1934
*Colonel Sir Henry MacGreagh, 1934–1955
*Captain Sir Frederick Gentle, 1955–1962
*Wing Commander Sir Oliver Barnett, 1963–1968
*Wing Commander Brian Duncan, 1968–1972
*Squadron Leader Harold DEan, 1972–1979
*Major John Morgan-Owen, 1979–1984
*James Stuart-Smith, 1984–1991
*J. W. Rant, 1991–2004
*Judge Jeff Blackett, 2004–present

Includes material from: Haydn's "Book of Dignities", 12th ed. (1894; reprinted 1969)

References

External links

* cite web | url=http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/about_judiciary/roles_types_jurisdiction/military_justice/index.htm | publisher=Judiciary of England and Wales | title=Military Justice | year=2008 | accessdate=2008-07-16
* cite web | url=http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/rcj/ojag.htm | publisher=Her Majesty's Courts Service | title=Office of the Judge Advocate General | year=2008 | accessdate=2008-07-16

ee also

* Judge Advocate of the Fleet

United States
* Judge Advocate General's Corps

Canada

* Judge Advocate General (Canada)


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