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Aspals Frequently Asked Questions






Who is Aspals ?

Aspals started in 1997 as a free web resource. We host contributions from practising and non-practising lawyers and law students with assistance from some, who give up their free time to maintain the site. Its founder and principal webmaster is a former Army Legal Services officer who served within ALS for 25 years and was one of the founding fathers of the Army Prosecuting Authority and the Operational Law Branch. The site now has more than 150 pages of news, caselaw, reading material and opinion and, we believe, is the biggest internet site for military lawyers that you will find. Your questions and link suggestions may be relayed to other experts for their views prior to responding. These experts are scattered between the continent of Europe, UK and across the "big pond" to the USA. The site is completely independent and has no official links with any government department or service. Hence we rely on contributors for support. Please make sure that you are linking to this site content from www.aspals.com and no other address. This is the only site that is updated.

It has been pointed out to us that other Internet users have called themselves "Aspals". We have not registered the name, even though our site is now years old, so we cannot stop its use - so long as there is no attempt to associate with the Aspals Legal Pages brand. It would be appreciated if any misuse is reported to us. Please use this link: [ here ].

Who is the Aspals site designed for?

The site is predominantly for military and international lawyers, but especially for those engaged in court-martial defence work. There are many links to sources of information and legislation that, for a defence practitioner, are not easy to find elsewhere. However, all visitors are welcome. Feel free to stroll through the site and use the very powerful search engines (both internal and external) that are to be found on our Search page.

Which jurisdiction is the site aimed at?

Principally, English jurisdiction, as the early content is designed to provide background information to the British Court-Martial system and pointers for defence advocates appearing before courts-martial, who may be unfamiliar with the post-Findlay changes. However, many international links are provided to areas of law which are of more general interest to the military and international lawyer and discussion is encouraged from non-UK lawyers on problems arising under, or areas of interest in, other jurisdictions.

Contributions to the Sounding Board

Please Note, due to lack of support, sadly after 19 years the Sounding Board will be closed in early January 2017. It will still be possible to access old items, via the archive.

Until then, to contribute to the Sounding Board, you must use the posting form provided. This is necessary due to abuse of the system from some people using anonymous servers or temporary webmail accounts without a return eMail address. If you want us to withhold your identity, just ask (and select your pseudonym). Please note, that you agree to the copyright in your message passing to Aspals and that there is no authority to reproduce messages without permission. This restriction is necessary to prevent unauthorised use of message content for purposes harmful to contributors. However, for these reasons, we will not accept any message that is libellous, insubordinate or gratuitously offensive. We support the three services. If you wish to remain anonymous, you must say so in your posting. You must also choose the "nickname" you wish to use. However, please do not needlessly ask for anonymity - it sometimes gets very confusing! We reserve the right to terminate threads that are becoming personalised or too "military-specific". These pages are for the enjoyment of everyone interested in the British military justice system. We will try to provide links to relevant material referred to with a posting. If a contributor can also provide links to any references, they will be incorporated seamlessly into the text of the posted content.


Advertising on Aspals

If you are a law firm or Barristers Chambers with an international practice, or one specialising in court martial defence, you may want to consider advertising on Aspals. Please contact us for further information about our modest rates. You may wish to supply your own graphical images (gif/png/jpg) or we can design one for you at a small extra cost. You can choose to advertise on the very popular search pages, the Home Page, the Reading List or the Cases page. Please use the contact form to let us know your specific requirements.

Articles for Publication on the Reading List

We are very happy to publish original work on the Reading List. However, it must comply with our editorial policy. To do this:
  1. A copy of the article should be provided to us by the author, or with the author's permission (which we would want to see);
  2. It must be on a topic relevant to our web site, for example, connected with International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, the Court Martial System, operational legal matters eg targeting and ROE;
  3. It must be attributed, that is, the full details of the author, academic or other qualifications and military rank, if held, academic institution etc;
  4. A synopsis of between 150-200 words would also be helpful.
  5. Take a look at the Reading List for an idea of the sort of information displayed.
Once accepted, the publication will be listed in our fully searchable database and also listed on the Reading List. The list is fully searchable through the two search engines found on the Search page.

Supporting Aspals

Aspals receives no government or other funding and relies solely on donations. If you find the resources on the site helpful, it would be appreciated if you would make a donation to us through our PayPal link below to assist with the running costs. Thank you .

There is now a restricted part of the Aspals site in respect of which a password is needed. A password can be obtained by purchasing a subscription.

Introducing this change was not a decision taken lightly but, in spite of over 200,000 hits a year to the site, our revenues from donations have fallen far short of our running costs, so we had to do something to keep the site afloat. Nevertheless, the majority of information remains free, as do the all-important case summaries. However, the password restricted directory, accessed either by linking to specific items that are stored on our site, or by accessing the directory at this link, contains many additional documents which are either home produced or indexed pdf files (the document is edited to provide hyperlinks to its content, so that on-line readers can jump straight to the relevant section, statutory provision, decision or linked document). This is a really useful feature if you are engaged in research or case preparation and wish to jump directly to the link source (eg a statutory provision or cited case). Lots of decided cases are indexed, although the majority of cases are still open access. Some open access files are also available as indexed files. It is because indexing a file is time-consuming that we ask you to make a payment. The case database is the largest collection of UK military decisions on the internet. The directory also contains cases that are more sensitive (eg employment tribunal decisions). It is intended to add to this cache of documents. Any purchased case transcripts or academic papers will be placed here, so as to recoup our outlay.

Using Material on the site.

Aspals is designed to be mainly open source. All the same, if you use any of the material from our site we would appreciate it if you mentioned where it came from. It is common web practice and, more importantly is a polite thing to do. As a form of free advertising it also encourages us to keep the site going. Hopefully, those reading the acknowledgments will be curious enough to come and visit us. Use of material obtained from our subscription services is subject to the terms and conditions specified. Thank you

My webpage does not show the latest version.

Sometimes a web page will show old information, due to the computer cache storing an old copy of the page. This happens if you log onto the Aspals site, then leave it and come back a little later. This sometimes reloads the old page, even if you have your browser settings set to refresh the page. To ensure that you always have the most up-to-date page, when you return to the Aspals site, (1) place your cursor in the right-hand frame and then (2) right click the mouse and (3) select "refresh". That will re-load that frame on the Aspals site and show the most recent page update. Alternatively, press F5 on your keypad.

Is it possible to obtain legal advice?

Legal advice to individuals asking about their personal legal problems is not provided. Sorry! but experience shows that problems are at best roughly summarised and that further inquiry inevitably flushes out some critical facts which may have a radical bearing upon the initial problem posed. For detailed advice, the answer is to make an appointment with a solicitor or, if you are a serviceman based in Germany and cannot readily contact a UK solicitor, with Royal Air Force Legal Services. Their services are free. Look them up in the military phone book. Discussion is encouraged, however, between practitioners and academics on matters of law, and help will be provided to researchers whenever possible. Furthermore, advice or guidance may be provided on more general matters relating to the service legal systems. If advice from contributors is found to be of assistance, then please tell us. (Some contributors to the Sounding Board are leading academics and practitioners, so it would be polite to thank them for their time and expertise).

My eMails do not seem to get through

In December 2009 we changed our contact page to one that uses a server based script, so contacting us is no longer a matter of having a compatible eMail programme. Consequently, all queries sent using the contact form should get through. So, if your messages are not reaching us, there may be an issue with your own ISP. Please try again.

How Often is the Newsbites section updated?

The Newsbites facility was a bespoke news update service that focused on military, political and international news. As we have had to make some financial savings, since the end of June 2013 we no longer have a Newsbites update facility, which was quite costly to maintain. Instead, we have subscribed to the free Aspals Daily News. It is still possible to access archive versions of this paper by clicking the archive link. Archive versions of the old Newsbites newspages are still available through the Archive page

Can I Link To The Aspals Site?

While we are delighted if webmasters of other sites wish to link to the Aspals site, we do like to be asked first (we may provide a reciprocal link, in certain cases). In any event, the only condition we set is that the link goes to our domain homepage at: http://www.Aspals.com, from where visitors can navigate. If you wish to link directly to any other page, you may do so, provided that your site contains a link to our homepage as well. A link to the homepage ensures that any changes we make to page addresses will not result in HTTP error messages.

Reporting New Web Sites

Sometimes there is a delay between a web site being notified to us and it actually appearing on the Aspals site. Sometimes, reported sites do not appear at all. The reason is that Aspals carefully examine each submitted site and will endeavour to check all links to ensure that the content is relevant and/or interesting to visitors. Please keep sending in your suggestions. Many links are as a result of suggestions from visitors.

Queries Not Answered Here?

If you have any more questions then contact Aspals without delay on this link: Aspals Query

Twitter Users

For those who are constantly on the move and can't access the main site, follow Aspals on Twitter by using @aspals.

Cookies

Cookies are small files designed to make your browsing experience easier, for example, by recording what you place into a shopping basket when you shop on-line. Aspals does not knowingly place cookies on your computer, save for session cookies that store purchase information, but we cannot be liable for other external sites that you link to from here eg via advertisements. Cookies are also set if you use the Disqus © facility to comment on stories via the Disqus © platform. So use of our site means you acknowledge that other sites you are transferred to eg Disqus, PayPal, or newspaper links, may do so. The best security is to make sure that your browser erases cookies on closure of your browsing session (session cookies). There are other counters on the cases pages and homepage that are placed by third parties. We do have a couple of page counters on the search pages, scripted in php, but they do not store any personal information. They merely count the number of times a page is visited. Use of our site means you agree to these terms.

Problems?

Any problems should be notified to webmaster@Aspals.com. Please do not send general queries to this address.

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Aspals Web resources for military lawyers © 2010