L Mowday made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Y Weinyddiaeth Amddiffyn
This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.
My reference: LSM/FOI/120909/05
Background. Modern courts martial provide an independent and impartial tribunal the same as civilian criminal courts - a "fair trial" in plain English. The MOD was forced to radically revise its procedures consequent to losing many court attempts, at taxpayers expense, to preserve its previous system (for example, Findlay v UK (1996) 21 E.H.R.R. CD7 (25 February 1997), Coyne v UK  ECHR 73 (25 September 1997), Smith and Ford v The UK  ECHR 79 (29 Sep 1999), Hood v UK (2000) 29 E.H.R.R. 365 (18 February 1999), Cable v UK (2000) 30 E.H.R.R. 1032 (18 February 1999), Moore v UK (2000) 29 E.H.R.R. 728 (29 September 1999), Morris v UK  ECHR 162 ( 26 February 2002), Grieves v UK  ECHR 683 (16 December 2003), Thompson v UK (2005) 40 E.H.R.R. 11 (15 June 2004), Martin v UK (2007) 44 E.H.R.R. 31 (24 October 2006).)
Further to s1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000:
a. What legal advice is provided at public cost to subordinates being charged with an offence under the courts martial system?
b. How many courts martial were conducted in each of the years 2000-2011? For each year, please break down the number of hearings by service, and rank range (Army ranks listed for ease): Junior Non-Commissioned Officers (Pte-Cpl), Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (Sgt-WO1), Junior Officers (2Lt-Capt), Field Officers (Maj-Col), and General Officers (defined for these purposes as Brig-Gen).
(1) For each year, and in each rank range, how many defendants pled 'Not Guilty', and how many pled 'Guilty'?
(2) For each year, and in each rank range, of those defendants who pled 'Not Guilty', how many were convicted?
(3) For each year, and in each rank range, of those defendants who pled 'Not Guilty', and were convicted, how many subsequently appealed to the Court Martial Appeal Court - i.e. the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division)?
(4) For each year, and in each rank range, of those defendants who pled 'Not Guilty', were convicted, and subsequently appealed to the Court Martial Appeal Court - i.e. the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division), how many were acquitted, or had their sentence reduced (please articulate each category separately, and provide the case name and neutral citation references)?
My preferred format to receive this information is by electronic means. If one part of this request can be answered sooner than others, please send that information first followed by any subsequent data. If you need any clarification of this request please feel free to email me. If FOI requests of a similar nature have already been asked could you please include your responses to those requests.
I note that under s16 of the Act, it is the MOD's duty to provide advice and assistance, so far as it would be reasonable to expect the authority to do so, to persons who make requests for information to it. Accordingly, if the MOD considers attempting to block release of information under s12 of the Act (exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit), please a) provide a breakdown of costs, and b) explain what information *would* be releasable within the appropriate limit according to the department's purported calculations. I would, in that situation, apply for internal review, and ultimately apply for decision by the Information Commissioner, per s50 of the Act.
I would be grateful if you could confirm in writing that you have received this request, and I look forward to hearing from you within the 20-working day statutory time period.
Please see attached a reply to recent Freedom of Information Act Requests.
Army Headquarters | IDL 24 | Blenheim Building | Marlborough Lines |
ANDOVER | SP11 8HJ
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