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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
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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