Army General and Administrative Instructions, Chapter 67, known as ‘AGAI 67’ is the Army’s internal sanctions regime. AGAI 67 allows the Army to take action against personnel if, in the opinion of the deciding officer, they have breached the Service Test: ‘Have the actions or behaviour of an individual adversely impacted or are they likely to impact on the efficiency or operational effectiveness of the Service?’, for the purposes of which operational effectiveness is defined as ‘the ability of a unit or formation to function as a cohesive force to perform the operations, missions or actions for which it is organised or designed’. In plain English, the Service Test simply says ‘Is this - in my opinion - bad for the Army?’ – a very wide margin for personal opinions and morals. The dangers inherent in this approach are obvious: it confers upon the chain of command almost complete discretion, including absolute power on in decisions such as: a. Whether to permit service personnel to challenge the evidence against them in an oral hearing, with no appeal against a refusal to hold an oral hearing. b. Power over the conduct of oral hearings, with no appeal against procedural decisions made within such hearings. c. Decisions whether to admit and exclude evidence, with no appeal against unfair decisions. d. Whether to permit or deny legal representation, with no appeal against unreasonable refusal. e. Whether to permit or deny testimony from defence witnesses, with no appeal if critical witnesses are blocked. f. Power to control cross-examination, including total discretion on banning inconvenient questions from assisting officers (or legal representatives, if permitted). f. Absolute power to protect favoured colleagues, by preventing them from being called as witnesses, and/or being subjected to unwanted questioning – with no appeal if senior officers prevent other senior officers from being embarrassed. g. Power to dismiss service personnel. It is almost unique, nothing of the kind exists in the civilian world: except in fiction... In his famous book The Trial, Franz Kafka wrote about fictional investigation subject "K", who was put in a predicament eerily similar to that of service personnel subjected to Major Administrative Action: K should not forget that the trial would not be public.... the accused and his defence don't have access even to the court records... that means we generally don't know - or at least not precisely - what the first documents need to be about, which means that if they do contain anything of relevance to the case it's only by a lucky coincidence. If anything about the individual charges and the reasons for them comes out clearly or can be guessed at while the accused is being questioned, then it's possible to work out and submit documents that really direct the issue and present proof, but not before. Conditions like this, of course, place the defence in a very unfavourable and difficult position. But that is what they intend. In fact, defence is not really allowed under the law, it's only tolerated, and there is even some dispute about whether the relevant parts of the law imply even that. So strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a counsel acknowledged by the court, and anyone who comes before this court as counsel is basically no more than a barrack room lawyer. ...they were all agreed on one thing, and that was that when ill thought-out accusations are made they are not ignored, and that once the court has made an accusation it is convinced of the guilt of the defendant and it's very hard to make it think otherwise." "Very hard?" the painter asked, throwing one hand up in the air. "It's impossible" Franz Kafka, The Trial (London: Gollancz, 1937), first English edition. Interestingly, the RN and RAF don't use AGAI 67 Major AGAI Action. All three services are governed by Joint Services Publication (JSP) 833, Minor Administrative Action, but Army General and Administrative Instructions No. 67 (AGAI 67), which includes Major Administrative Action, is unique to the Army, and only Army personnel are subjected to it. This is because, according to an ALS conference in 2008, the RN and RAF refused to adopt Major Administrative Action because they thought it was unlawful. Seems that the Army knew that all along, but thought it could get away with it. How depressing. What are people's experiences of AGAI 67?