Office of the Judge Advocate General

The role of the Judge Advocate General

The Office of the Judge Advocate General (OJAG) deals with criminal trials of Service men and women in the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force for serious offences (or where the defendant chooses not to be dealt with by the Commanding Officer), which are heard in a standing court known as the Court Martial created by the Armed Forces Act 2006 section 154.

Every Court Martial trial has a judge on the bench presiding over the conduct of the proceedings and ruling on all legal matters arising, the same as in a civilian Crown Court trial.

The judges who sit in the Court Martial are known as Judge Advocates. They are always civilians and always legally qualified. All Judge Advocates are appointed by the Lord Chancellor like other District and Circuit Judges, and the Judge Advocate General specifies which judge is to sit on each case.

Military Justice, Courts-Martial and the functions of the Judge Advocate General


Contacting the Office of the Judge Advocate General

The administrative office forms part of the Royal Courts of Justice Group within HMCS. OJAG staff support the judges in the exercise of their judicial functions.

The Office of the Judge Advocate General is at:

9th Floor,
Thomas More Building,
The Royal Courts of Justice,
The Strand, London WC2A 2LL.

Telephone: 0207 218 8095
Fax: 020 7218 8094


The Military Court Service (MCS) is part of the Ministry of Defence, and maintains six staffed Military Court Centres at:

Bulford (Wilts)
Catterick (Yorks)
Colchester ( Essex)
Sennelager ( Germany)
Portsmouth (Hants)
Aldergrove ( N Ireland)

MCS arranges, funds and supports trials at these centres and at other venues in UK and overseas. Communications about particular cases must be addressed in the first instance to:

The Military Court Service
Building 398
Trenchard Lines
Wilts SN9 6BE

Telephone: 01980 618058
Fax: 01980 618060