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Royal Air Force Legal Branch
Founded 1 October 1948
Country United Kingdom
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Type Legal service
Headquarters RAF High Wycombe
Commanders
Current Director Air Vice Marshal L J Irvine

The Royal Air Force Legal Branch (RAFLB) or Directorate Legal Services (DLS) - as it is better known - is the uniformed legal service provider for the Royal Air Force. It consists of solicitors and barristers qualified in a Commonwealth jurisdiction. DLS is headquartered at Air Command RAF High Wycombe. The Directorate is currently staffed by a mixture of members of:

History[edit | edit source]

The RAF Legal Branch was formed on 1 October 1948. Its predecessor was the Air Force Department of the Office of Judge Advocate General.[1]

Role[edit | edit source]

It is open to men or women; those that have been recruited vary from NQ to 10 years PQE. DLS has around 50 legal officers. Around 30% of DLS officers are based in overseas billets. The type of work undertaken by legal officers depends on the billet they are working at. Around 50% of the billets are discipline / criminal law, 30% of the billets are operations law and 20% of the billets are administrative law. The RAF also provides 4 Legal Officers to the Service Prosecuting Authority.

Staff[edit | edit source]

The current Director Legal Services is Air Vice Marshal L J Irvine and his deputy is Air Commodore S J Kell.

Start of appointment Director Deputy Director
July 2011 Air Vice Marshal Lindsay J Irvine MA(Oxon) MA(Lond) DipLaw RAF Air Commodore S J Kell RAF[2]
April 2009 Air Vice Marshal Lindsay J Irvine MA(Oxon) MA(Lond) DipLaw RAF[3] Air Commodore William H Boothby BA PhD RAF
Air Vice-Marshal Charles RAF Air Commodore Irvine J Irvine MA(Oxon) MA(Lond) DipLaw RAF

Career[edit | edit source]

The career structure of a legal officer within DLS is as follows. Commissioning on a short service commission as a Flight Lieutenant after a 3 month PQO course at RAF Cranwell. If the candidate is suitable then appointment to a permanent commission should follow and time served promotion should apply - i.e. Squadron Leader after four years and Wing Commander after a further six.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]


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