Military Police Interviews
This is a topic which gets all military lawyers hot under the collar! Any service personnel regardless of rank or income is entitled to a lawyer free of charge in any RMP, SIB or civilian police interview. It is a fundamental and very important right. It is therefore a source of concern and frustration to lawyers that many servicemen – unlike civilians – choose to be interviewed by the police without a lawyer present.
It often is totally damaging to the case and by the time the lawyers get involved at court martial stage it is too late and the damage is done. The advice from the Forces Law team is simple – be firm, be sensible and insist on your rights. Ask for a lawyer from Forces Law to represent you free of charge.
Even abroad, the rules have changed and although one still has to begin with a service lawyer, if there is a conflict or a decision not to proceed with that lawyer a civilian lawyer must be appointed. Again, Forces Law have years of experience of assisting servicemen abroad at short notice free of charge.
Forces Legal Aid
HQ Army Legal Assistance (HQ ALA) under the supervision of commander ALA provides legal advice to Servicemen and members of the service community stationed outside the UK.
ALA is based in Bielefeld, Germany and is staffed by 5 ALS Officers and 5 German Legal Assistants.
Advice and assistance is provided by ALA at its Bielefeld offices and at HQ British Forces Cyprus (Legal) in Episkopi. Legal Assistance Clinics take place at Hohne and Joint HQs in Germany and on alternate months on Operation HERRICK. Additional clinics at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, in Belgium and in Northern Ireland are arranged according to demand.
Advice is available at the discretion of Commander ALA on any area of law apart from conveyancing, landlord and tenant administration of estates and the running of a private business. Most of the work relates to personal injury, sale of goods and services, defence of criminal charges in foreign courts and dissolution of marriage and other family matters.
No financial assistance is available from Army Legal Assistance.
For more information see http://www.army.mod.uk/agc/9935.aspx