Charging Question

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by Gyran_Tol, Aug 1, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Can somebody answer a question about charging for me please.

    Whilst on a course a few years ago now. We covered the Manual of Military Law and the Army Act 1955. The subject teacher said that it is possible to charge someone of the same rank and lower. Although it could be done chances are a RSM would fobb you off.

    Someone told me today that he thought this was bollax.

    Can someone clarifey the score please.

  2. Nope - there is no statutory requirement that a person giving an order or command must be a higher rank than the person receiving it and therefore it is possible to charge someone who is the same rank (See S.33 (2) Army Act 1955 for an example).

    The question is not one of the difference in rank but the lawfulness of the command, to be lawful the command must be given by such a person who is entitled to give it, and breach of it will be an offence.
  3. Thanks for that.

    That is exactly what I was told. :D
  4. Not just the lawfulness of the command, think of the other sections of the act such as section 70 (committing a civil offence). If a person commits a driving offence, burglary or any other offence covered by civil law they can be charged under section 70. Rank would not come into it. Also, consider an RMP LCpl who whilst on duty would be empowered to charge persons of a higher rank if they committed an offence.
  5. unless i'm very much mistaken, the RMP don't usually charge people. they recommend charges, but it's your CO who does the charging. or am i talking b*llocks? could be, i do get confused easily ;)
  6. Correct. Once the RMP have finally finished with a case the Final Report is forwarded to the alleged perpetrators CO (amongst others).

    Concurrently, Legal Branch (normally Divisional) will get a copy of the final report and will provide legal advice to the CO on which charge he should use in Summary Dealing or, which charge(s) he should forward to Higher Authority for consideration for trial by Courts Martial.

    Higher Authority (Bed HQ) will then forward the case file, legal advice and referral paperwork to the Army Prosecuting Authority (APA) who will consider whether the case should actually be tried by Courts Martial. If the APA consider that they will win the case then they will proceed to prosecute the case. Military Court Service (MCS) will then list the trial for Courts Martial (either District or General) and the pre-trial shenanigans will begin......which of course, is a different story.
  7. Not sure of your point here - the lawfulness of the command is what matters in this respect, whether it be a civil offence or not. As for the RMP, they have the power to arrest anyone (with the appropriate authority. i.e. to make it a lawful arrest), but not necessarily the power to charge anyone.
  8. I stand corrected by General Malaise on the routine followed by RMP and take note of the distinction between carrying out an arrest, regardless of rank, and actually charging someone.

    The point I was making regarding Section 70 was to refer to incidents where no lawful command had been given, simply that an offence had occurred which was chargeable under Military law. :wink:
  9. RMP can also give a lawful order to ranks senior to them. Typical case is down town dealing with the normal Saturday night stuff and a senior NCO and in some cases junior officers try to interfer. The RMP NCO can order them to stop interfering, shut up, and go away.

    Basically a brand new RMP LCpl can arrest anyone up to and including a WO1 (however, he would have to be a very brave or stupid to try that one off his own bat). If he needs to deal with an officer he needs the authority of an officer of a higher rank (can also mean appointment, for example the Lt who is Orderly Officer of a unit out ranks all the other LTs while he is on duty) or the authority of an RMP officer. An RMP officer can arrest any officer.

    As an RMP Cpl I once arrested an RCT LE Maj. As I had been told by GCP that their suspect was calling himself a major, I just let my Duty Offr know and asked for his authority to arrest if I deemed it necessary. It was and I did. Over the years as a Cpl I dealt with several officers, however, only the major was formally arrested. But that was his own fault for being a complete pr*ck. If had not been he would not have had me put him on the floor and handcuff him.

    Remember an RMP NCO is exercising the Authority of the PM(A) rather than his own, and the key is LAWFULLNESS.
  10. Further to my last.

    In the case of dealing with WO1s, unless an immediate arrest was needed I always treated them very much in the same way as I would an officer. I can only remember one WO1 being nicked by GPD and in that case the RMP WO1 did the deed himself. Mind you again it was his own fault.

    the spoof how to deal with officers 101:

    2LT: Do as your told sir.
    LT: Please do as your told sir.
    Capt: As you really sure you want to do this sir.
    Maj & above: Why are you asking me I was not on duty that night!
  11. Not wishing to appear as a know-all as I most certainly am not, when i did my couple of days course to become and AMP in Germany, the key to it all was not to allow the person you were dealing with to confuse their higher rank with your authority, or more correctly the authority you represented.

    As our MP chum above has said it all came back to the PM(A), although we were told that due to comms problems with radios in our area, we could, if need be, make an arrest without informing them first and be assured of the backing later when we got back to the Police Post. Happily I only ever had to deal with someone as senior as a S/Sgt, and although he was not happy to be arrested by a REME Cfn in a scarlet beret, once the argument over Rank/Authority was laid out he came quietly M'lud.
  12. Slightly of point - But I refer you to my old and very unused Warrant Card

    "To who it may concern the holder of this warrant card is authorised to act on behalf of or under the authority of a Provost Officer in accordance with the provisions of the Army Act 1955"

    The card can go back in the drawer!