The Military Court Service

The Military Court Service provides a criminal court for the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force in the Court Martial, Summary Appeal and Service Civilian Court.


The MCS works closely with, but is independent of, the Office of the Judge Advocate General, the Service Prosecuting Authority which is equivalent to the Crown Prosecution Service, the Service chains of command, Service and MOD personnel branches, the National Probation Service, the victim and witness services and military court advocates.

Service Court proceedings are publicised over a two week assize period. Military Court listings. All hearings are open to the public in exactly the same way as civilian courts, unless otherwise directed by the presiding judge.

From January 2023, Service Court results are now published on a monthly basis. Work continues to complete a full set of results for 2022. Court Martial Results.

Further information on the Court Martial, Summary Appeal Court and the Service Civilian Court can be found in the Manual of Service Law JSP 830.

Latest COVID messaging from the Military Court Service

  • People with symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and a high temperature or those who do not feel well enough to go to work or carry out normal activities should stay at home and avoid contact with other people.

  • Anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result are advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious.

If you have a high temperature or do not feel well enough to attend a hearing, contact the court immediately. The court will consider alternative arrangements and individual requests on a case by case basis.

If you’re at higher risk from COVID-19 and need to attend a hearing, contact the court to let them know so we can keep you safe.

Bulford Military Court Centre - Email:

Catterick Military Court Centre - Email:


The MCS is independent of the Service chains of command and is staffed by civil servants employed by the Ministry of Defence working from both court centres.

To ensure independence, the Director MCS is appointed by the Defence Council as Court Administration Officer (CAO). The CAO has a legislated function to give notice of court proceedings and to specify lay members of the court (equivalent to jury selection). These duties are conducted in accordance with the Armed Forces Act 2006 and related Statutory Instruments. The CAO is a permanent member of both the Service Justice Board and the Service Justice Executive Group.

Military Court Service update to SJEG September 2022 (PDF, 159 KB, 1 page)

Military Court Service update to SJEG March 2023 (PDF, 154 KB, 1 page)

The Director MCS operates from the Bulford Court Centre supported by a Senior Management Team and a Court Administration Unit. Each Court Centre has a dedicated Court Officer who is directly responsible for the day-to-day management of court proceedings, liaison with the Judiciary and court listings.

The current Director of the Military Court Service is Mr Cleaven Faulkner JP: Cleaven Faulkner JP - Biography (PDF, 150 KB, 1 page)

Military Court Centres

There are two permanent court centres in the UK. Bulford, Wiltshire and Catterick, North Yorkshire.

Bulford MCC

Bulford Military Court Centre

Catterick MCC

Catterick Military Court Centre

Military Court Centre information and images of our court rooms.

Due to the draw down of British Forces Germany, the permanent court centre at Sennelager has been converted for other use but has been retained as a Court Martial location should one be required. MCS have a Court Martial capability at Episkopi, Cyprus which is due for modernisation in the near future.

The court system is entirely portable, with the ability for MCS to convene trials outside of the MCCs anywhere in the UK or elsewhere. The most recent examples have included Nightingale Courts at Tidworth and Catterick and overseas in Cyprus and Germany. MCS have recently invested in the latest Digital Audio Recording (DAR) technology to meet legal compliance for the recording of proceedings. The capability covers both the four fixed courts and two portable recording equipment sets. The Service Courts have installed the latest Digital Evidential Presentation System and are in the process of procuring technology to support the pre-recording of evidence from victims of serious sexual assault.


The Deputy Director MCS oversees the delivery of the MCS assize programme. Cases are listed within ‘assize sessions’, held at the Military Court Centres run by MCS staff. However, a particularly lengthy or complex Court Martial or Service Civilian Court case may be listed as a ‘stand-alone’ outside the assize sessions. Where possible the volume of cases is equally split between both Court Centres.

By default, cases for the RN are held at Bulford, cases for the RAF are held at Catterick and Army cases are divided between both locations. Cases of civilians subject to Service discipline are assigned on a case by case basis.

At the listing phase of case management, the Court officer will work with the resident Judge Advocate to appoint a Judge Advocate to each case.

The MCS aim to list a case for an initial hearing within 28 days after receipt of directional papers from the Service Prosecuting Authority.

Changes to the Court Martial

New legislation has delivered changes to the constitution of a Court Martial board. The changes required the CAO to specify Court Martial boards with at least one man and one woman, (so far as is reasonably practicable), and to specify an increase from five lay members to six, for proceedings of a prescribed description. Specification of the OR7 rank from the nominated pool of lay members may now also be permitted under the act.

“OR7 rank” means any of the following— chief petty officer, staff corporal, staff sergeant, colour sergeant, Royal Marines, flight sergeant, chief technician.

The Armed Forces (Service Court Rules) (Amendment) (No. 2) Rules 2022.

Section 155, Armed Forces Act 2006.

Military Court Service adopts Case Center (formerly Caselines)

From 1 April 2023, the Military Court Service partners with Thomson Reuters. The Case Center application will streamline the way the courts prepare, manage, and present digital cases within a centralised cloud-based solution.

The court will soon be able to manage proceedings by sending and sharing case materials from any device, keeping all parties in sync as they prepare for a hearing. In a hearing, purpose-built presentation tools will streamline proceedings so parties can direct others to the right document, in a timely manner. Digital Court Case Management will be live from 4 September 2023 in the Service Courts.

Create a Military Court Service Case Center Account

Register - Thomson Reuters Case Center

Court Martial and Summary Appeal Court Guides

Guides are issued under the authority of the Judge Advocate General and the Director of the Military Court Service jointly as an aid to those who practise in the Service Justice System, and it is to be used in all hearings. Volume 1 provides information about procedure generally and it deals with all types of proceedings in the Court Martial as well as in the Summary Appeal Court. Volume 2 provides information specifically for members of boards.

Court Martial and Summary Appeal Court Guide Vol 1 - Feb 2023 (PDF, 243 KB, 14 pages)

Court Martial and Summary Appeal Court Guide Vol 2 - Feb 2023 (PDF, 283 KB, 16 pages)

Further detailed guidance on practice, procedure and sentencing is issued by the Judge Advocate General: access the guidance.

Apply for a transcript of a Service Court hearing

Service Court hearings are always recorded. You can apply for a transcript of a Service Court hearing. The court can refuse to provide part or all of a transcript (for example, if details of the hearing are confidential).

If you wish to apply for a transcript you may download and fill in a Transcript request form (MS Word Document, 50.6 KB).

Once completed email your application to

Transcripts may attract a financial cost unless you are a party to proceedings.

Other Judicial Forms

PSR - Written Indication of a Guilty Plea (MS Word Document, 109 KB).

PSR - Written Indication of a Guilty Plea (ODT, 69.5 KB).

Open Justice: remote observation of hearings - new powers

From 28 June 2022, courts and tribunals have new powers to allow reporters and other members of the public to observe hearings remotely.

Open justice has been a fundamental principle for centuries. The principle is a broad one, but at its core has always been a right of access to a public hearing. Historically, this has meant access for reporters and other members of the public to the court or other room in which the hearing takes place.

The primary legislation is contained in section 85A of the Courts Act 2003 as inserted by section 198 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. The regime is implemented by the Remote Observation and Recording (Courts and Tribunals) Regulations 2022. The power is to “direct that images or sounds of the proceedings be transmitted electronically”. It is to be exercised “for the purpose of enabling persons not taking part in the proceedings to watch or listen to” them. It is not designed for those taking part in the proceedings.

Any person wishing to make an application to the Military Court Service to request permission for the remote observation of a hearing can do so:

Applicants must ensure the court are given at least 3 clear working days to process applications.

Military Court Service Remote Observation Application

Practice guidance: Open justice: remote observation of hearings - new powers (PDF, 213 KB, 6 pages)

Military Court Service Strategic Plan

The MCS’s primary role is to deliver a criminal court service for the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force and in so doing, works to protect and advance the principles of justice with people’s needs and expectations at its heart.

The Service Justice System is an essential public service, relied upon by hundreds of victims and families (subject to either Service law or Service discipline), across our country and elsewhere to deliver justice outcomes that matter to them.

The decision to have a tri-Service court service with the associated ongoing support mechanisms further underlines the need to ensure the MCS has an established, integrated, and coherent strategy that will both deliver the required outputs and collaborative working arrangements.

These steps will allow the organisation to modernise, where necessary mobilise, and transform itself to be fit for purpose for the future challenges in the administration of Service Justice.

The MCS must ensure collaborative alignment with all other areas of the Service Justice System. The delivery and management of the MCS strategy seeks to create a culture of continuous service improvement and modernise court processes. The plan calls for the MCS to embrace new ways of working with technology-based systems that focus on enhancing efficiency, reducing duplicity and bureaucracy, and having platforms that directly link with partners and stakeholders to deliver a fully integrated digital case management system.

This MCS Strategic Plan is designed to highlight the relevant objectives, goals, challenges, and associated programmes across the MCS that will contribute to the continuous improvement of the organisation, its structure, processes, and culture. The integrated elements of the MCS strategy will seek to deliver core business improvement aims, develop people, invest in infrastructure, and create a vision for how the MCS will operate in the years to come.


To provide high quality services to manage the journey of the victim, witness, and defendant through the court process of the Service Justice System.

MCS will deliver this by providing a truly Independent and Impartial service.

The MCS’s key objectives are:

  • Promotion of modern, fair, effective, and efficient administration of the Service Justice System.
  • Achievement of best value for money.
  • Continuous improvement of performance and efficiency across all aspects of the military courts’ work.
  • Collaboration with the full range of Service Justice System stakeholders to improve the service provided to all those required to participate in court proceedings.
  • Creation of greater confidence in, and respect for, the Service Justice System.
  • Achievement of excellence as an employer.

Principal tasks

The Military Court Service is to:

  • Co-ordinate, administer and provide support to all court proceedings notified by the Court Administration Officer.
  • Specify such members of courts as required by law.
  • Maintain a detailed and secure statistical, budgetary, and documentary record of all relevant activities.
  • Support as necessary the work of the Service Justice Board and Service Justice Executive Group, which were created to write and implement policy with the aim of directing service justice in the future.
  • Seek to encourage awareness of, and confidence in, the Service Justice System within the services, Ministry of Defence and wider public.
  • Contribute as appropriate to the internal and external training of Service and civilian personnel involved with the Service Justice System.

The MCS strategy can be expressed by mapping three areas of focus: people, systems and processes, and buildings against those things that we know people want and need when they come into contact with the service courts.

1. The right number of trained people in whom we invest properly, and whose outstanding commitment we value and build on.

  • Strive to retain and deploy our expertise so that we can run a high quality service for our users and drive transformational change.

2. Modern systems and processes, underpinned with the latest technology

  • Manage performance across both court centres and respond quickly to address any performance dips.
  • Roll out and deliver improved technology based systems and new ways of working in both court centres.
  • Increase the capacity and capability of the courts whilst delivering an improved service for users.

3. Maintain and develop our buildings and settings to suit our new ways of working and security requirements

  • Make visible and tangible improvements to court buildings by improving the way we deliver day to day maintenance, deliver enhanced security, and support our IT applications through our facilities contracts.

Contact details

Court Administration Unit

Court Administration Unit
Military Court Service
Wing Road
Ward Barracks
Telephone: 01980 672071

Bulford Military Court Centre

Bulford Military Court Centre
Vimy Crescent
Telephone: 01980 673271 or 07971 895036

Navigate to the Bulford MCC public entrance

Bul map

Bulford MCC public entrance

Catterick Military Court Centre

Catterick Military Court Centre
Piave Lines
Leyburn Road
North Yorkshire
Telephone: 01748 874558 or 07917 438831

Navigate to the Catterick MCC public entrance

Cat Map

Catterick MCC public entrance

Court Martial Report Service

Court Martial Report Service
Military Court Centre
Wing Road
Ward Barracks
Telephone: 01980 672822

Related information

Published 12 December 2012
Last updated 1825 May 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added contact information for Bulford and Catterick Military Court Centres.

  2. Case Center registration link added.

  3. Section added: Military Court Service adopt Case Center (formerly Caselines). Updated form: Written indication of a Guilty Plea.

  4. Updated: Director of the Military Court Service biography. Added: Military Court Service update to SJEG March 2023.

  5. Added: Biography of the Director Military Court Service.

  6. Updated information on the time required for the court to process Section 85A applications.

  7. Added: 'Military Court Service update to SJEG September 2022 (PDF)'.

  8. Added guidance on the Judge Advocate General and images of court centres.

  9. Notice covering information about recent changes to Court Martial legislation.

  10. Information on service court results updated

  11. Added court centre maps, court specific COVID guidance and updated court guides.

  12. Added: link to Military court centre webpage. COVID information updated.

  13. Removal of out of date protocol guides: 'Protocol for e-bundles in the service justice system (SJS)', 'Protocol for digital case files in the service justice system (SJS)' and 'Practise Guidance -REMOTE OBSERVATION OF HEARINGS'.

  14. Removal of COVID Guidance as content is no longer accurate MCS Policy and requires updating. Addition of updated Court Martial guides. Updates to Court Martial text relating to recent technology advances

  15. Added new section, 'Open justice: remote observation of hearings - new powers'.

  16. Updated contact number for Catterick Military Court Centre.

  17. Updated 'Transcript request form'.

  18. Updated Transcript request form.

  19. Improved the layout of the webpage.

  20. Addition of form to request a transcript.

  21. COVID-19 guidance section updated.

  22. Update of page summary, organisation, procedure and protocol.

  23. Addition of message from the Judge Advocate General and COVID-19 guidance.

  24. Addition of link to "Revised plan for Military Court Centres after lifting of lockdown restrictions on 19 July 2021".

  25. Addition of: Bulford and Catterick Court Procedures during COVID-19 announcement.

  26. Addition of: Message from the Judge Advocate General dated 11 January 2021.

  27. Added Message from the Judge Advocate General dated 5 November 2020.

  28. Added: Message from the Judge Advocate General dated 02 November 2020: New COVID-19 restrictions for England and updated content.

  29. Renamed 'Service courts at Bulford and Catterick sentencing by zoom protocol' to 'Protocol on COVID procedures in the service courts'.

  30. Updated the service courts at Bulford and Catterick sentencing by zoom protocol document.

  31. Added: protocols in the service justice system.

  32. Addition of: Service courts at Bulford and Catterick sentencing by zoom protocol.

  33. Updated the information under the 'Organisation' heading.

  34. Added the COVID-19 health and safety protocol for Catterick and Bulford Military Court Centre.

  35. Updated the Coronavirus announcement as at 1 May 2020 and added the Announcement from Office of the Judge Advocate General dated 1 May 20 with plan to re-open Service Courts document.

  36. Updated the Coronavirus update for the 2 April 2020.

  37. Updated the Coronavirus notice about future court proceedings.

  38. Added the Service Justice System: Operating during the Coronavirus Pandemic information.

  39. Updated added by hearings taking place during March and April 2020.

  40. Updated the contact details section.

  41. Updated the content as the MCS HQ has now moved.

  42. First published.