The commanding officer plays a crucial role in the enforcement of discipline in the armies of many countries. He or she may deprive a soldier of his or her liberty by way of detention for a fixed period. This article addresses how this power of a commanding officer can be squared with the rights of the soldier under the European Convention on Human Rights 1950. It considers, in particular, the working of the new summary appeal court which hears appeals from the decisions of commanding officers and it draws conclusions from a study of the case files of this court. Although this article is based upon the study of a court established under the law of the United Kingdom it is likely to be of interest to scholars and military law practitioners in other jurisdictions because of the common nature of the tension existing between the ability of a commanding officer to enforce discipline and the human rights of those subject to his or her jurisdiction.