What was the Officers’ Commissions Act 1862?

Introduction

The Officers’ Commissions Act 1862[1] (25 & 26 Vict. c. 4) was an Act of Parliament of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Background

It provided that any officer’s commission in the British Army could be issued without the royal sign-manual, provided that it was signed by a principal secretary of state and the commander in chief, or an appropriate officer depending on the specific branch of service. For the Royal Marines, a signature from the Admiralty was required (Manual of Military Law, War Office, 6th edition, 1914).

The Act, whilst amended to reflect changes in the military and political structure since 1862, is still in force.

[1] The citation of this Act by this short title was authorised by the Short Titles Act 1896, section 1 and the first schedule. Due to the repeal of those provisions it is now authorised by section 19(2) of the Interpretation Act 1978.

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