Defence Act 1954


Number 18 of 1954


DEFENCE ACT 1954

REVISED

Updated to 7 April 2017


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Defence Act 1954. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including Health (Amendment) Act 2017 (5/2017), enacted 31 March 2017, and all statutory instruments up to and including Prisons Act 2015 (Commencement) Order 2017 (S.I. No. 134 of 2017), made 5 April 2017, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 18 of 1954


DEFENCE ACT 1954

REVISED

Updated to 7 April 2017


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

Defence Acts 1954 to 2015 : this Act is one of a group of Acts included in this collective citation ( Defence (Amendment) Act 2015, s. 4(2)), to be construed together as one ( Defence (Amendment) Act 2011, s. 12(2)). The Acts in the group are:

Defence Act 1954 (18/1954)

Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960 (44/1960)

Defence (Amendment) Act 1979 (1/1979)

Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1979 (28/1979)

Defence (Amendment) Act 1987 (8/1987)

Defence (Amendment) Act 1990 (6/1990)

Criminal Law Act 1997 (14/1997), s. 14 and sch. 2

Defence (Amendment) Act 1998 (31/1998)

Defence (Amendment) Act 2006 (20/2006)

Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007)

Defence (Amendment) Act 2011 (17/2011)

Defence (Amendment) Act 2015 (24/2015) (citation only)

Acts previously included in the group but now repealed are:

Defence (Amendment) Act 1960 (22/1960)

Defence (Amendment) Act 1993 (18/1993)

Although not included in the collective citation, the following legislation deals with related subject matter:

Courts Martial Appeals Act 1983 (19/1983)

Civil Defence Act 2012 (51/2012)

Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004 (36/2004)

Defence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 (35/2009)

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1996, may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Prisons Act 2015 (57/2015)

Defence (Amendment) Act 2015 (24/2015)

Statute Law Revision Act 2015 (23/2015)

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (30/2014)

Education and Training Boards Act 2013 (11/2013)

Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgements (Amendment) Act 2012 (7/2012)

Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Amendment) Act 2011 (39/2011)

Defence (Amendment) Act 2011 (17/2011)

Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2010 (40/2010)

Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010 (24/2010)

Adoption Act 2010 (21/2010)

Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007)

International Criminal Court Act 2006 (30/2006)

Defence (Amendment) Act 2006 (20/2006)

Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006 (11/2006)

Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 (2/2005)

Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004 (36/2004)

Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 (33/2004)

Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 (50/2001)

Children Act 2001 (24/2001)

Criminal Justice (Safety of United Nations Workers) Act 2000 (16/2000)

Criminal Justice (United Nations Convention Against Torture) Act 2000 (11/2000)

Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments Act 1998 (52/1998)

Defence (Amendment) Act 1998 (31/1998)

Employment Equality Act 1998 (21/1998)

Public Service Management Act 1997 (27/1997)

Criminal Law Act 1997 (14/1997)

Freedom of Information Act 1997 (13/1997)

Family Law Divorce Act 1996 (33/1996)

Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996 (16/1996)

Family Law Act 1995 (26/1995)

Merchant Shipping (Salvage and Wreck) Act 1993 (34/1993)

Irish Aviation Authority Act 1993 (29/1993)

Defence (Amendment) Act 1993 (18/1993)

Child Care Act 1991 (33/1996)

Criminal (Rape) (Amendment) Act 1990 (32/1990)

Criminal Justice Act 1990 (16/1990)

Larceny Act 1990 (9/1990)

Defence (Amendment) Act 1990 (6/1990)

Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989 (6/1989)

Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments (European Communities) Act 1988 (3/1988)

Status of Children Act 1987 (26/1987)

Defence (Amendment) Act 1987 (8/1987)

Age of Majority Act 1985 (2/1985)

Courts-Martial Appeals Act 1983 (19/1983)

Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1979 (6/1990)

Defence (Amendment) Act 1979 (1/1979)

European Assembly Elections Act 1977 (30/1977)

Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1977 (28/1977)

Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 (10/1977)

Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976 (11/1976)

Juries Act 1976 (4/1976)

Genocide Act 1973 (28/1973)

Criminal Justice Act 1964 (5/1964)

Curragh of Kildare Act 1961 (35/1961)

Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960 (44/1960)

Electoral Act 1960 (43/1960)

Defence (Amendment) Act 1960 (22/1960)

Statute of Limitations 1957 (6/1957)

Prisoners of War and Enemy Aliens Act 1956 (27/1956)

Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 (46/1956)

Civil Service Commissioners Act 1956 (45/1956)

Public Authorities (Judicial Proceedings) Act 1954 (27/1954)

All Acts up to and including Health (Amendment) Act 2017 (5/2016), enacted 31 March 2017, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

Defence Act 1954 (Military Judge) (Form of Oath and Solemn Declaration) Rules 2012 (S.I. No. 345 of 2012)

Rules of Procedure (Defence Forces) (Amendment) Rules 2012 (S.I. No. 344 of 2012)

Military Judge (Temporary Designation) (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2012 (S.I. No. 82 of 2012)

Rules of Procedure (Defence Forces) 2011 (S.I. No. 581 of 2011)

Court-Martial Rules 2011 (S.I. No. 580 of 2011)

Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011)

European Communities (Maintenance) Regulations 2011 (S.I. No. 274 of 2011)

Court-Martial Rules 2009 (S.I. No. 273 of 2009)

Court-Martial Rules 2008 (S.I. No. 205 of 2008)

Rules of Procedure (Defence Forces) 2008 (S.I. No. 204 of 2008)

Rules of Procedure (Defence Forces) (Form of Oath of Military Judge) 2007 (S.I. No. 661 of 2007)

European Communities (Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 74 of 2006)

European Communities (Civil and Commercial Judgments) Regulations 2002 (S.I. No. 52 of 2002)

European Communities (Control of Major Accident Hazards Involving Dangerous Substances) Regulations 2000 (S.I. No. 476 of 2000)

District Court Rules 1997 (S.I. No. 93 of 1997)

Rules of Procedure (Defence Forces) 1987 (S.I. No. 245 of 1987)

European Communities (Major Accident Hazards of Certain Industrial Activities) Regulations 1986 (S.I. No. 292 of 1986)

Rules for Military Prisons and Detention Barracks 1983 (S.I. No. 203 of 1983)

Rules of Procedure (No. 3) (Defence Forces) 1983 (S.I. No. 202 of 1983)

Rules of Procedure (No. 2) (Defence Forces) 1983 (S.I. No. 72 of 1983)

Rules of Procedure (Defence Forces) 1983 (S.I. No. 22 of 1983)

Defence Act, 1954 (Control of Roads at Gormanston Aerodrome) Bye-Laws 1959 (S.I. No. 37 of 1959)

Rules of Procedure (Defence Forces) 1954 (Amendment) Rules 1955 (S.I. No. 58 of 1955)

Defence Forces (Summoning of Civilian Witnesses) Regulations 1954 (S.I. No. 297 of 1954)

Rules for Military Prisons and Detention Barracks 1954 (S.I. No. 291 of 1954)

Defence (Civil Authority with respect to Courts-Martial) Regulations 1954 (S.I. No. 250 of 1954)

Rules of Procedure (Defence Forces) 1954 (S.I. No. 243 of 1954)

Defence Act 1954 (Commencement) Order 1954 (S.I. No. 233 of 1954)

Defence Forces (Pensions) Scheme 1937 (S.R.&O. No. 249 of 1937) as amended by Defence Forces (Pensions) (Amendment) Scheme 1956 (S.I. No. 35 of 1956)

All statutory instruments up to and including Prisons Act 2015 (Commencement) Order 2017 (S.I. No. 134 of 2017), made 5 April 2017, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 18 of 1954


DEFENCE ACT 1954

REVISED

Updated to 7 April 2017


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I.

Preliminary and General

Section

1.

Short title and commencement.

2.

Interpretation generally.

3.

Application of Act to persons subject to military law.

4.

Period of emergency.

5.

Active service.

6.

Employment on State ships.

7.

Prosecution of certain offences by the Minister.

8.

Provisions in relation to regulations.

9.

Repeals.

10.

Expenses.

PART II.

The Council of Defence, the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General, the Quartermaster-General, Military Branches of the Department of Defence, the Inspector-General and the Judge Advocate-General.

11.

The Council of Defence.

12.

The Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General and the Quartermaster-General.

13.

Military branches of the Department of Defence.

14.

The Inspector-General.

15.

The Judge Advocate-General.

PART III.

Raising, Maintenance, Command, Constitution and Organisation of the Defence Forces, Military Education and Miscellaneous Matters Relating to the Defence Forces.

Chapter I.

Raising, Maintenance and Command of the Defence Forces.

16.

Authority to raise and maintain the Defence Forces.

17.

Military command.

Chapter II.

Constitution of the Defence Forces and General Organisation thereof.

18.

Constitution of the Defence Forces.

19.

Constitution of the Permanent Defence Force.

20.

Constitution of the Reserve Defence Force.

21.

Classes of the Reserve Defence Force.

22.

Organisation of the Defence Forces.

23.

Service corps.

24.

Commissioned ranks in the Defence Forces.

25.

Non-commissioned ranks in the Defence Forces.

26.

General regulations in relation to the Defence Forces.

Chapter III.

Military Education.

27.

Establishment of educational institutions.

28.

Other educational arrangements.

29.

Cadetships.

Chapter IV.

Miscellaneous Provisions in relation to the Defence Forces.

30.

Special powers in relation to defence.

31.

Right of entry on land.

32.

Acquisition of land, etc., by agreement.

33.

Compulsory acquisition of land or rights over land.

34.

User of land by the Minister.

35.

Right of Minister to erect and maintain certain apparatus on land in vicinity of service aerodromes.

36.

Restrictions on use of land in vicinity of service aerodromes.

37.

Billeting during a period of emergency.

38.

Billeting in peace time.

39.

Exercise of powers vested in holder of military office.

40.

Provisions as to orders of military authorities.

PART IV.

Personnel of the Defence Forces.

Chapter I.

Officers.

41.

Persons eligible to be appointed officers.

42.

Appointment of officers, and commissions.

43.

Oath to be taken by officers.

44.

Assignment of officer of Reserve Defence Force to a particular class of the Reserve Defence Force.

45.

Promotion of officers.

46.

Placing of officer on half-pay.

47.

Retirement of officers of the Permanent Defence Force.

48.

Relinquishment of commissions by officers of the Reserve Defence Force.

49.

Resignation of officers.

50.

Dismissal of officers.

51.

Effective dates of appointment, etc., of officers.

52.

Notification of appointments, etc., in Iris Oifigiúil.

Chapter II.

Men.

Division I.

Enlistment and Discharge, Etc., of Men.

Original enlistment.

53.

Enlistment in the Permanent Defence Force for service during a fixed period either in the Permanent Defence Force or partly in the Permanent Defence Force and partly in the Reserve Defence Force.

54.

Enlistment in the Permanent Defence Force for service during a period of emergency.

55.

Direct enlistment in the Reserve Defence Force for service during a fixed period.

Proceedings for enlistment.

56.

Recruiting regulations.

57.

Mode of enlisting recruits.

58.

Oath on enlistment.

59.

Effect of signing declaration required by attestation paper and complying with section 58.

Appointment to service corps.

60.

Enlistment for general service and appointment to service corps.

61.

Transfer of men of Permanent Defence Force enlisted under section 53 from one service corps to another.

Assignment of reservists to classes of reservists.

62.

Assignment of reservists to a particular class of reservists.

Variation of engagement, re-engagement and continuance in service.

63.

Change of conditions of service of men enlisted under section 53.

64.

Re-engagement of men of the Permanent Defence Force enlisted under section 53.

65.

Continuance in service after 21 years’ service of men of the Permanent Defence Force.

66.

Extension of term of original enlistment of reservists enlisted under section 55.

67.

Re-engagement of reservists.

68.

Continuance in service after 21 years’ service of reservists.

Transfer to Reserve Defence Force and discharge.

69.

Period of desertion or absence without leave to be excluded in reckoning service of man of the Permanent Defence Force.

70.

Transfer to the Reserve Defence Force or discharge of men of the Permanent Defence Force enlisted under section 53.

71.

Discharge of men of the Permanent Defence Force enlisted under section 54.

72.

Discharge of reservists.

Discharge otherwise than on completion of service.

73.

Discharge of men by direction of Minister or authorised officer.

74.

Discharge of reservists becoming members of either House of the Oireachtas.

75.

Discharge by purchase.

76.

Discharge of persons under eighteen.

77.

Discharge of apprentices.

Status of unenlisted person in receipt of pay as a man and of persons informally enlisted.

78.

Status of unenlisted person in receipt of pay as a man.

79.

Status of persons enlisted or re-engaged where error or illegality in enlistment or re-engagement.

General provisions as to discharge.

80.

Order for discharge of men.

81.

Provisions in relation to discharge.

82.

Certificate on discharge.

83.

Collection and disposal of moneys paid in respect of discharge of men.

Division II.

Promotion of Men to Higher Non-Commissioned Rank and Reduction in Rank of Non-Commissioned Officers.

84.

Promotion of men to higher non-commissioned rank and reduction in rank of non-commissioned officers.

Chapter III.

Service of Members of the Defence Forces.

Service of members of the Permanent Defence Force.

85.

Service of members of the Permanent Defence Force.

Service of officers of the Reserve Defence Force.

86.

Service of officers of the Reserve Defence Force.

Service of reservists.

87.

Calling out of reservists on permanent service.

88.

Calling out of certain reservists on permanent service otherwise than under section 87.

89.

Service of reservists called out on permanent service.

90.

Calling out of reservists in aid of the civil power.

91.

Service of reservists called out in aid of the civil power.

92.

Annual training of reservists.

93.

Voluntary training of reservists.

94.

Attendance of reservists for inspection.

95.

Attachment of reservists called out on permanent service, etc.

96.

Service of notices on reservists.

Chapter IV.

Pay and Allowances of Members of the Defence Forces.

97.

Regulations as to pay, allowances and gratuities of members of the Defence Forces.

98.

Deductions from pay of man in respect of certain court orders.

99.

Deductions from pay of man in respect of maintenance of wife and children.

100.

Restrictions on deductions from pay, etc.

101.

Withholding of pay in certain cases.

102.

Prohibition of assignment of pay, etc.

Chapter V.

Disqualifications, Exemptions and Privileges of Members of the Defence Forces.

103.

Prohibition of membership of political and secret societies.

104.

Disqualification for membership of a local authority.

105.

Exemption from jury service.

106.

Arms, etc., of members of the Defence Forces to be exempt from seizure.

107.

Exemption of men from civil process.

108.

Exemption from prosecution, etc., under section 83 of the Public Assistance Act, 1939.

109.

Obstruction, etc., of member of Garda Síochána.

110.

Non-liability of person convicted or acquitted by court-martial to be re-tried by civil court.

111.

Protection of persons acting under this Act.

112.

Exemption from duties and tolls.

113.

Exemption of members of the Defence Forces from certain provisions of the Road Traffic Act, 1933.

Chapter VI.

Miscellaneous Provisions.

114.

Redress of wrongs.

115.

Collection and distribution of certain property of deceased members of the Defence Forces.

116.

Disposal of personal belongings of deserter, absentee or person of unsound mind.

117.

Regulations for purposes of Part IV.

PART V.

Discipline.

CHAPTER I.

Liability to Military Law.

118.

Persons subject to military law as officers.

119.

Persons subject to military law as men.

120.

Liability to military law in respect of status.

121.

Modification of Part V in its application to civilians subject to military law.

122.

Place of trial for offences against military law.

123.

Time limit for trial of offences.

CHAPTER II.

Offences against Military Law.

124.

Capital offences by commanders when in action.

125.

Capital offences by any person in relation to the enemy.

126.

Offences punishable more severely on active service than at other times.

127.

Offences related to prisoners of war.

128.

Mutiny with violence.

129.

Mutiny without violence.

130.

Offences related to mutiny.

131.

Disobedience to superior officer.

132.

Striking or offering violence to a superior officer.

133.

Insubordinate behaviour.

134.

Disorders.

135.

Desertion.

136.

Connivance at desertion.

137.

Absence without leave.

138.

False statement in respect of leave.

139.

Scandalous conduct of an officer.

140.

Ill-treatment of inferiors.

141.

False accusations against officer or man.

142.

Prohibition on being under the influence of an intoxicant.

142A.

Drugs etc.

143.

Malingering or maiming.

144.

Dilatory conduct in regard to trials.

145.

Negligent or wilful interference with lawful custody.

146.

Escape from custody.

147.

Obstruction of officer or man carrying out police duties.

148.

Obstruction of civil power.

149.

Losing, stranding or hazarding State ships.

150.

Unauthorised carriage on ships or aircraft.

151.

Wrongful acts in relation to aircraft.

152.

Inaccurate certificate as regards aircraft.

153.

Low flying.

154.

Disobedience of orders of captain of aircraft.

155.

Fraud by persons in charge of property.

156.

Stealing, embezzlement, etc., of property.

157.

Destruction, loss or improper disposal of property.

158.

Bribery, corruption and fraud.

159.

Negligent or furious driving of service vehicles.

160.

Unauthorised use of service vehicles.

161.

Offences in relation to courts-martial, etc.

162.

False evidence.

163.

Disturbances, etc., in billets.

164.

Fraudulent enlistment.

165.

General offences in relation to enlistment.

166.

Negligent performance of duties.

167.

Offences in relation to documents.

168.

Conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline.

169.

Offences punishable by ordinary law.

169A.

Trial by court martial of treason and certain murders and attempts.

CHAPTER III.

Arrest and Courts of Inquiry on Absent Men.

170.

Provost Marshal.

171.

Arrest.

172.

Placing of person arrested in service custody.

173.

Guard report.

174.

Court of inquiry on absent man.

CHAPTER IV.

Investigation and Summary Disposition of Charges, Remands for Court-martial and Dispensation with Trial by Court-martial .

175.

Acquittal or conviction to be a bar to summary proceedings.

176.

Charge to be investigated without delay.

176A.

Scheduled offences.

177.

Charges against officers and other specified persons.

177A.

Notice.

177B.

Right to elect for trial by court-martial.

177C.

Summary disposal by authorised officer.

177D.

Remand for trial by court-martial.

178.

Charges against men.

178A.

Notice.

178B.

Right to elect for trial by court-martial.

178C.

Summary disposal by commanding officer.

178D.

Remand for trial by court-martial.

178E.

Appeal to summary court-martial.

178F.

Hearing of appeal by summary court-martial.

178G.

Powers of summary court-martial.

179.

Charges against privates and seamen.

179A.

Notice.

179B.

Right to elect to have charge disposed of summarily by commanding officer.

179C.

Summary disposal by subordinate officer.

179D.

Appeal to commanding officer.

179E.

Hearing of appeals by commanding officer.

179F.

Suspension of operation of certain punishments pending appeal.

180.

Revision of summary awards.

181.

Trial of accused without preliminary investigation.

182.

Confession of desertion or fraudulent enlistment.

183.

Summoning of civilian witnesses before authorised officers and commanding officers.

184.

Regulations in relation to investigation and summary disposition of charges.

CHAPTER IVA.

Court-Martial Administrator

184A.

Appointment of Court-Martial Administrator.

184B.

Functions of Court-Martial Administrator.

CHAPTER IVB.

Director of Military Prosecutions

184C.

Appointment of Director of Military Prosecutions.

184D.

Committee.

184E.

Terms and conditions of appointment.

184F.

Prosecuting officers.

184G.

Prosecution of offences.

184H.

Removal of Director from office.

184I.

Steps to be taken before removal of Director.

CHAPTER IVC.

Military Judge

184J.

Military judge.

184K.

Committee.

184L.

Terms and conditions of appointment.

184M.

Functions of military judge.

184N.

Chief Military Judge.

184O.

Removal of military judge from office.

184P.

Steps to be taken before removal of military judge.

CHAPTER V.

Courts-martial.

185.

Acquittal or conviction to bar subsequent trial by court-martial.

186.

Classes of courts-martial.

187.

Convening of courts-martial.

187A.

Summary court-martial.

188.

Special powers of convening authorities.

189.

General court-martial.

190.

Limited courts-martial.

191.

Membership of court-martial board.

192.

Jurisdiction of courts-martial.

193.

Dissolution of courts-martial.

194.

Admission to courts-martial.

195.

Divers matters of procedure.

196.

Counsel at courts-martial.

197.

Challenges by accused.

197A.

Rulings and directions.

198.

Courts-martial: findings and sentence.

199.

Swearing of court-martial.

200.

Evidence to be on oath.

201.

Evidence at courts-martial.

202.

Mental disorder at time of trial.

203.

Mental disorder at time of commission of offence.

203.

Mental disorder at time of commission of offence.

203A.

Diminished responsibility.

203B.

Appeals (mental disorder at time of trial).

203C.

Appeals (not guilty by reason of insanity).

203D.

Appeals (order of committal under section 202 or 203).

204.

Finding of acquittal.

205.

Conviction for offence other than that charged.

205A.

Effect of certain offences on persons in respect of whom committed.

206.

Effective dates of sentences by courts-martial.

207.

Summoning and privilege of witnesses at courts-martial.

208.

Contempt of court-martial.

CHAPTER VI.

Punishments awardable by Courts-martial for Offences against Military Law.

209.

Punishments which may be awarded to officers by courts-martial.

210.

Punishments which may be awarded to men by courts-martial.

211.

Separate sentence for each offence.

211A.

Restriction on sentence of imprisonment or detention on person who is not represented.

212.

Restriction on sentence of imprisonment and detention on person already undergoing imprisonment or detention.

212A.

Power to suspend sentence.

212B.

Review of certain sentences.

213.

Order for payment of compensation.

213A.

Payment of fine.

214.

Restoration of seniority lost and service forfeited by sentence of a court-martial.

CHAPTER VII.

Action on Findings and Sentences of Courts-martial

215.

Findings and sentences not to be valid unless confirmed.

216.

Confirming authorities.

217.

Reference of finding and sentence by confirming authority to superior confirming authority.

218.

Revision by courts-martial of findings and sentences.

219.

Powers of confirming authority as to confirmation.

220.

Additional powers of confirming authority in relation to sentences passed by courts-martial.

221.

Mitigation, remission, etc., of sentences (other than death sentences) after confirmation.

222.

Date of commencement of sentences of penal servitude, imprisonment or detention imposed by way of substitution.

223.

Suspension of sentences of penal servitude, imprisonment or detention passed on men.

224.

Quashing of finding of court-martial.

225.

Orders for restitution.

226.

Proceedings of court-martial.

CHAPTER VIII.

Execution of Sentences.

227.

Sentence of death.

228.

Execution of sentence of penal servitude.

229.

Execution of sentence of imprisonment or detention.

230.

Suspension of currency of sentence where a person escapes or is released without proper authority.

231.

Duty of governor of prison to receive prisoners.

232.

Establishment of military prisons and detention barracks.

233.

Regulation of military prisons and detention barracks.

234.

Assisting prisoners in military prisons and detention barracks to escape.

235.

Penalty for carrying spirituous liquor, drugs or tobacco into military prisons or detention barracks.

236.

Penalty for carrying letters, etc., into or out of military prisons or detention barracks.

237.

Unsoundness of mind of person imprisoned or undergoing detention.

238.

Inquests on persons under sentence dying in military prisons or detention barracks.

239.

Provisions as to warrants and orders of military authorities under Chapter VIII of Part V.

CHAPTER IX.

Rules of Procedure.

240.

Rules of procedure.

240A.

Courts-Martial Rules Committee.

240B.

Court-martial rules.

CHAPTER X.

Miscellaneous Offences by Members of the Reserve Defence Force.

241.

Penalty for member of Reserve Defence Force joining armed forces of another State.

242.

Punishment of certain offences by reservists.

243.

Non-attendance of reservist called out for training or on permanent service, etc.

244.

Record and evidence of absence of reservists called out.

245.

Wrongful sale, etc., of equipment by a member of the Reserve Defence Force.

246.

Regulations for purposes of Chapter X of Part V.

CHAPTER XI.

Proof of certain matters of Evidence in Proceedings before Civil Courts and Courts-martial.

247.

Evidence of subjection to military law of officers of the Reserve Defence Force.

248.

Evidence of certain documents and matters.

249.

Evidence of conviction or acquittal by a civil court.

250.

Evidence of proceedings of court-martial.

CHAPTER XII.

Apprehension of Suspected Deserters and Absentees.

251.

Apprehension of suspected deserters and absentees.

PART VI.

Offences in Relation to the Defence Forces and Military Property.

252.

Recruits punishable for false answers.

253.

Punishment for pretending to be a deserter or an absentee.

254.

Incitement to disaffection, etc.

255.

Punishment for inducing, etc., members of the Defence Forces to desert.

256.

Penalty for unlawful recruiting or interfering with recruiting.

257.

Penalty for interference with military duties, etc.

258.

Penalty for personation.

259.

Statutory declaration in relation to pay, etc.

260.

Penalty for purchasing certain military property.

261.

Unlawful possession of certificates of discharge, etc.

262.

Forgery of certificate of discharge and personation.

263.

Application of Pension Books (Prohibition of Alienation) Act, 1932.

264.

Unlawful wearing of uniform.

265.

Bringing contempt on uniform.

266.

Dyeing and conversion of uniforms, etc.

267.

Unauthorised use, etc., of decorations, etc.

268.

Penalty for sketching, etc., fortifications, etc., and trespassing thereon.

PART VII.

Manœuvres and Artillery, Rifle and Bombing Practice.

269.

Power to authorise holding of military manœuvres.

270.

Powers exercisable for purposes of manœuvres.

271.

Compensation for damages caused by military manœuvres.

272.

Offences in relation to manœuvres.

273.

Exemption of members of the Defence Forces engaged in manœuvres from section 164 of the Road Traffic Act, 1933.

274.

Temporary stoppage of traffic during manœuvres or artillery, etc., practice.

PART VIII.

Bye-Laws as to Land Used for Defence Purposes.

275.

Interpretation of Part VIII.

276.

Bye-laws as to use of State land appropriated for defence purposes and for securing the public safety.

277.

Extension of power to make bye-laws in respect of non-State land where Minister has right of user for defence purposes.

278.

Extension of power to make bye-laws in respect of adjoining foreshore, sea and tidal water.

279.

Bye-laws as to roads.

280.

Notice of intention to make bye-laws.

281.

Marking of boundaries of bye-law areas.

282.

Publication of bye-laws.

283.

Penalties for contravention of bye-laws.

284.

Removal and arrest of offenders.

285.

Removal of animals, etc.

286.

Obstruction of and assaults on authorised officers.

287.

Non-application of Part VIII to the Curragh of Kildare.

PART IX.

The Army Nursing Service.

288.

The existing nursing service.

289.

Establishment of the Army Nursing Service.

290.

Application of this Act to the Army Nursing Service.

291.

Existing nursing service to be deemed Army Nursing Service.

292.

Regulations in relation to the Army Nursing Service.

PART X.

Application of this act to Defence Forces Established Under the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923.

293.

Interpretation of Part X.

294.

Existing forces to be deemed forces established under this Act.

295.

Existing regular officers and existing reserve officers to be deemed to be commissioned under this Act.

296.

Existing regulars.

297.

Existing reservists.

298.

Continuance of existing orders, etc.

299.

Continuance of existing authorisations and directions.

300.

Offences and convictions under the Act of 1923.

301.

Existing military prisons and detention barracks.

PART XI.

Amendment and Adaptation of Certain Enactments.

302.

Amendment of the Electoral Act, 1923.

303.

Application of the Army Pensions Acts, 1923 to 1949, to Reserve Defence Force.

304.

Amendment of the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924.

305.

Amendment of the Military Service Pensions Acts, 1924 to 1949.

306.

Amendment of the Defence Forces (Pensions) Act, 1932.

307.

Amendment of the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 1934.

308.

Amendment of section 11 of the Army Pensions Act, 1949.

309.

Adaptation of references to Defence Forces, etc., in certain enactments.

310.

Service as a major to be regarded as service as a lieutenant-colonel.

PART XII.

Miscellaneous Provisions.

311.

Recovery of moneys due or payable to the Minister.

312.

Restrictions on recruiting for other States.

313.

Entertainments under service direction.

314.

Grant of excise licence for military canteens.

315.

Right of Minister to claim salvage in respect of services of State ships.

316.

Salvage claims by commanders and crews of State ships.

317.

Foreign uniforms.

318.

Service of solicitors’ apprentices in the existing Defence Forces.

FIRST SCHEDULE.

Enactments Repealed.

SECOND SCHEDULE.

Commissioned Army and Naval Ranks in the Defence Forces.

THIRD SCHEDULE.

Non-Commissioned Army and Naval Ranks in the Defence Forces.

FOURTH SCHEDULE.

Matters in Respect of Which Regulations May Be Made Under Section 26 .

FIFTH SCHEDULE.

Forms of Commission to an Officer.

SIXTH SCHEDULE.

Form Of Oath or Declaration to Be Taken or Made By Officers of the Permanent Defence Force.

SEVENTH SCHEDULE.

Form of Oath or Declaration to Be Taken or Made By Officers of the Reserve Defence Force.

EIGHTH SCHEDULE.

Form of Oath or Declaration to Be Taken or Made By PERSONS Enlisting in the Permanent Defence Force Under Section 53 .

NINTH SCHEDULE.

Form of Oath Or Declaration to Be Taken or Made By PERSONS Enlisting in the Permanent Defence Force Under Section 54 .

TENTH SCHEDULE.

Form of Oath or Declaration to Be Taken or Made By PERSONS Enlisting in the Reserve Defence Force Under Section 55 .

ELEVENTH SCHEDULE.

Scheduled Offences for the Purposes of Part V of this Act.

TWELVE SCHEDULE.

Court-Martial Rules



Number 18 of 1954.


DEFENCE ACT 1954

REVISED

Updated to 7 April 2017


AN ACT TO MAKE FURTHER AND BETTER PROVISION IN RELATION TO THE DEFENCE OF THE STATE AND THE DEFENCE FORCES AND TO MAKE PROVISION FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED WITH OR INCIDENTAL TO THE MATTERS AFORESAID. [13 th May, 1954.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C1

Instruments made pursuant to certain sections of Act exempted from primary application of Statutory Instruments Act 1947 by Statutory Instruments Act 1947 (44/1947), s. 2(2A), as inserted (18.07.2015) by Statute Law Revision Act 2015 (23/2015), s. 6, commenced on enactment. The effect of this provision appears to be to exempt certain instruments from publication in the usual way as provided by the 1947 Act, s. 3.

Statutory instruments to which this Act primarily applies.

2.— ...

(2A) Statutory instruments made under any of—

(a) sections 17, 21 to 23, 25 to 27, 29, 33, 35, 36(3) as respects revocation orders, 37 to 49, 53, 55, 56, 60 to 68, 70, 72, 73, 75, 80 to 82, 84, 86 to 88, 90, 92 to 94, 97, 98, 100, 102, 103, 114 to 117, 180, 182, 184, 243, 244, 246, 290 and 292 of the Defence Act 1954, or

(b) sections 2 and 5 of the Defence (Amendment) Act 1990,

shall not be instruments to which this Act primarily applies.

C2

Functions transferred and references to “Department of Finance” and “Minister for Finance” construed (29.07.2011) by Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2011 (S.I. No. 418 of 2011), arts. 2, 3, 5 and sch. 1 part 2, in effect as per art. 1(2), subject to transitional provisions in arts. 6-9.

2. (1) The administration and business in connection with the performance of any functions transferred by this Order are transferred to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

(2) References to the Department of Finance contained in any Act or instrument made thereunder and relating to the administration and business transferred by paragraph (1) shall, on and after the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

3. The functions conferred on the Minister for Finance by or under the provisions of —

(a) the enactments specified in Schedule 1, and

(b) the statutory instruments specified in Schedule 2,

are transferred to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

...

5. References to the Minister for Finance contained in any Act or instrument under an Act and relating to any functions transferred by this Order shall, from the commencement of this Order, be construed as references to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

...

Schedule 1

Enactments

...

Part 2

1922 to 2011 Enactments

Number and Year

Short Title

Provision

(1)

(2)

(3)

...

...

...

No. 18 of 1954

Defence Act 1954

Sections 8, 15, 28, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 83, 97, 268, 271, 278 and 283

...

...

...

C3

Term “judge-advocate” defined (1.09.2008) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 5, S.I. No. 254 of 2008.

References to judge advocate in certain Acts and instruments.

5.— Every reference in the Defence Acts 1954 to 2007 or in any instrument made under those Acts to a judge-advocate shall be read as a reference to a military judge.

C4

Application of collectively cited Defence Acts 1954 to 1998 to enlisted under 18 year olds implied (1.05.2002) by Children Act 2001 (24/2001), s. 271, S.I. No. 151 of 2002.

Exclusion of members of Defence Forces.

271.—For the purposes of this Act, persons under 18 years of age who are enlisted members of the Defence Forces shall not be regarded as children in any case where they are subject to military law as governed by the Defence Acts, 1954 to 1998.

C5

Application of collectively cited Defence Acts 1954 to 1979 extended (29.06.1983) by Courts-Martial Appeals Act 1983 (19/1983), s. 20(1), commenced on enactment.

Convictions and sentences of the Court, etc.

20.—(1) Where on any appeal the Court substitutes a conviction of a different offence or substitutes a different sentence, that conviction or sentence shall, for the purposes of the Defence Acts, 1954 to 1979, and any instrument made thereunder, be deemed to be a duly confirmed finding or sentence of a court-martial.

...

C6

Application of collectively cited Defence Acts 1954 to 1979 extended (23.01.1980) by Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1979 (28/1979), s. 2, S.I. No. 19 of 1980.

Application of Defence Acts, 1954 to 1979, to women.

2.—The provisions of the Defence Acts, 1954 to 1979, and of any statutory instruments made thereunder shall apply to women members of the Defence Forces holding commissioned or non-commissioned rank and accordingly all words in those Acts and those instruments importing a reference to persons of the male sex shall be construed as importing a reference to persons of either sex.

C7

Definition of term “active service” extended (21.12.1960) by Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960 (44/1960), s. 4(1), commenced on enactment.

Amendments of the Principal Act.

4.—(1) A member of the Permanent Defence Force who is serving outside the State with an armed International United Nations Force shall, for the purposes of the Principal Act, be deemed, while so serving, to be on active service.

...

C8

Application of Act extended to prisoners of war (17.07.1956) by Prisoners of War and Enemy Aliens Act 1956 (27/1956), s. 4, commenced on enactment.

Prisoner of war to be person subject to military law.

4.—A prisoner of war shall be a person subject to military law in the same manner as a member of the Defence Forces of rank corresponding to the rank or status of such prisoner of war is so subject for the time being by virtue of the Defence Act, 1954 (No. 18 of 1954), and the provisions of that Act, and of the orders, regulations and rules thereunder, having application in relation to persons subject to military law shall have effect in relation to such prisoner of war accordingly, but without prejudice—

(a) to any exclusions or modifications which the Minister may think proper to make by regulations under this paragraph so as to enable those provisions to have effect in conformity with the circumstances (including internment) of prisoners of war, and

(b) to any regulations under section 2 or section 3 of this Act.

Editorial Notes:

E1

Form of oath to be made by a military judge before entering duties under the Act provided for (25.09.2007) by Rules of Procedure (Defence Forces) (Form of Oath of Military Judge) 2007 (S.I. No. 661 of 2007).

E2

Previous affecting provision: application of Act restricted (29.06.1983) by Courts-Martial Appeals Act 1983 (19/1983), s. 18(4), commenced on enactment; s. 18 repealed (29.12.1993) by Criminal Procedure Act 1993 (40/1993), s. 13 and sch., commenced on enactment.

E3

Previous affecting provision: functions in relation to pay and allowances and terms and conditions of civilians transferred to Department of and Minister for the Public Service (1.11.1973) by Public Service (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 1973 (S.I. No. 294 of 1973), arts. 3, 4(2); re-transferred to Department of and Minister for Finance (19.03.1987) by Public Service (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 1987 (S.I. No. 81 of 1987), arts. 3, 4, subject to transitional provisions in arts. 5-9.