§ Mr. Sutcliffe
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many successful appeals there have been as a percentage of the total number of cases of courts martial in the(a) Army, (b) Navy and (c) Royal Air Force. 
§ Dr. Reid
[holding answer 14 November 1997]: Across the three Services, there were 31 applications to the Court-Martial Appeal Court in 1995 and 36 in 1996. The numbers of these which were successful, as a percentage of court-martial cases, are as follows:
Per cent. Army Royal Navy Royal Air Force 1995 0 0 0 1996 1 0 1
Changes were made to the court-martial system by the Armed Forces Act 1996 and the new system came into force on 1 April 1997. Before that date, however, where a court-martial had found an accused guilty, he was able to submit a petition to the Defence Council asking for a review of finding and/or sentence. If an applicant was granted the relief he sought at this stage there was no case to go forward to the CMAC. However, Service personnel were able to appeal to the CMAC against finding and sentence but not against sentence only. Since 1 April this year, the Reviewing Authority now automatically reviews all cases, whether a petition is submitted or not. Additionally, Service personnel can now appeal to the CMAC against finding and/or sentence.
The figures provided above do not reflect appeals against finding and/or sentence which were successful at the internal stage. The number of successful internal petitions as a percentage of the total number of courts-martial were:
Per cent. Army Royal Navy Royal Air Force 1995 2 11 17 1996 1 14 9 All figures have been rounded to the nearest percentage point.