Service Prosecuting Authority

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Badge of the Service Prosecuting Authority

The Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) is the organisation within the Ministry of Defence, responsible for consideration of cases referred to it by the Service Police and where appropriate the Military Chain of command and where necessary the directing and prosecuting of those cases at Courts Martial worldwide and in the Service Civilian Court. Furthermore, it acts as respondent in the Summary Appeal Court and represents the Crown in the Courts Martial Appeal Court (CMAC).

The authority is fully independent of the Military Chain of Command and acts under the superintendence of the Attorney General. It was formed on 1 January 2009 by the merger of the separate prosecuting authorities of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and is headed by Andrew Cayley QC, a civil servant, as Director Service Prosecutions. The Deputy Director Service Prosecutions (DDSP) is a Brigadier position and is an Officer of the Army Legal Services.[1]

The SPA liaises with the Military Court Service, the office of the Judge Advocate General, the Attorney-General, other prosecuting authorities (including the Crown Prosecution Service), civilian solicitors, and the military and civilian police.

It is staffed by Officers from all three of the UK Armed Forces and is supported by a number of Civil Servants who work for the Ministry of Defence. Its Headquarters are at RAF Northolt in North West London alongside the UK Office of the Organisation, there is also an office in Bielefeld, Germany


As part of the Armed Forces Act 2006, the separate prosecution authorities of HM Armed Forces were merged to form the tri-service Service Prosecuting Authority. On 1 January 2009, the individual authorities were placed under the leadership of one Director as the newly combined authority took effect.[2]

In 2010 the authority moved from Hillingdon House in RAF Uxbridge to a newly built headquarters in RAF Northolt.[3]


  1. ^ "Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA)". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate's follow-up report on The Army Prosecuting Authority" (PDF). Army Prosecuting Authority. February 2009. p. 2. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  3. ^ "The Inspectorate's Report On The Service Prosecuting Authority" (PDF). Service Prosecuting Authority. July 2010. p. 3. Retrieved 24 October 2011.

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