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The Service Prosecuting Authority provides for the independent, efficient and consistent consideration of criminal cases and offences contrary to military discipline. It will initiate prosecutions where justified and conduct fair and thorough proceedings in the service courts of first instance and the service appellate courts, whilst liaising effectively with the police and dealing with prosecution witnesses and victims of crime with care and sensitivity. Whilst maintaining independence from the service chain of command, the Service Prosecuting Authority fulfils its functions in support of operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces throughout the world.
Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA)
The Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) formed on the 1st January 2009. The head of the authority is Mr Bruce Houlder QC who fills the post of Director Service Prosecutions (DSP). His deputy, known as Deputy Director Service Prosecutions (DDSP), is an Army
Brigadier; this is currently Brigadier Neil Jones, who is an Officer of the Army Legal Services.
The SPA was formed with the incorporation of the Navy Prosecution Authority, Army Prosecuting Authority and Royal Air Force Prosecuting Authority.
The SPA has its Headquarters at Royal Air Force Northolt in North West London alongside the UK branch of the organisation. The SPA also has a branch based at Bielefeld, Germany.
The role of the SPA is to review cases referred to it by the Service Police or Chain of Command and prosecute that case at Court Martial or Service Civilian Court where appropriate. The SPA will also act as respondent in the Summary Appeal Court and represent the Crown at the Court Martial Appeal Court.
DSP and the SPA act under the general superintendence of the Attorney General and remains fully independent of the Military Chain of Command.