A body which provides advice to service police on the investigation and prosecutions of offences and determines whether there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed and if it is in the public interest to proceed. It will then decide whether there should be a district court martial (a Judge Advocate and three military members with a sentencing limit of two years' imprisonment) or a General Court Martial (a Judge Advocate and five members but with no sentencing limits save that imposed by statute). The APA was established under the Armed Forces Act 1996 and came into existence on 1 April 1997. It acts independently of the military chain of command and is subject to the general superintendence of the Attorney‐General. The Armed Forces Act 2006 will see the establishment of a joint‐service prosecuting authority that will combine the APA, the Royal Air Force Prosecuting Authority, and the Naval Prosecuting Authority. See also service law.