HC Deb 05 March 1952 vol 497 cc427-8
48. Mr. W. J. Field

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Defence whether he is aware that members of the Forces have been charged twice with the same offence, once before a service court-martial and subsequently before a civil court; and if he will obviate this practice by delaying the court-martial until after the proceedings in the civil court.

Mr. Birch

It is legally possible for the same set of circumstances to give rise to proceedings both before a civil court and before a service court-martial, but in practice the alleged offender is not tried for the same offence both by a civil court and by a court-martial.

Where jurisdiction is concurrent, it is the responsibility of the chief officer of police concerned, normally after consulting the commanding officer of the unit in which the accused person is serving, to decide whether proceedings should be taken in a civil court, or the man handed over to the service authorities.