Service Prosecuting Authority

Reviews cases referred by the Service Police and Chain of Command and prosecutes cases at Court Martial or Service Civilian Court.


The Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA) was formed through the merger of the Navy Prosecuting Authority, Army Prosecuting Authority and the Royal Air Force Prosecuting Authority.

The head of the SPA is Mr Bruce Houlder QC who is a Senior Civil Servant and fills the post of Director Service Prosecutions. His deputy, known as Deputy Director Service Prosecutions, is Brigadier Neil Jones, who is an Officer of the Army Legal Services.

The SPA has its headquarters and its UK offices at RAF Northolt in North West London. The SPA also maintains an office at Bielefeld in Germany, and also maintains a presence at each Court Martial Centre in the UK and Germany.

The role of the SPA is to review case referred to it by the Service Police and Chain of Command and where appropriate prosecute that case at Court Martial or Service Civilian Court. The SPA also acts as respondent in the Summary Appeals Court and represents 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.

SPA mission statement

The Service Prosecuting Authority provided 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.

Contact details

Service Prosecuting Authority
RAF Northolt
West End Road
020 8842 6105 or 020 8842 6145

Service Prosecuting Authority

Published 12 December 2012