Defence Act 1954

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

126

126. (1) In this section, the word “ safeguard” means any party of the Defence Forces detached for the purpose of protecting some person or persons or for the purpose of protecting, or of preventing or controlling access to, any premises or place or for the purpose of regulating traffic on any road, railway or inland navigation, and includes any sentry being a member of the Defence Forces posted for any of the said purposes.

(2) Every person subject to military law—

( a) who, when acting as sentry or lookout or otherwise when on watch or guard, leaves his watch, guard, picket, patrol or post before he is regularly relieved or sleeps or is F68 [ under the influence of an intoxicant ], or

( b) who, without orders from his superior officer, leaves his watch, guard, picket, patrol or post, or

( c) who, without due authority, discloses in any manner whatsoever any information relating to the number, position, matériel, movements, preparations for movements, operations or preparations for operations of the Defence Forces or any portion thereof or to any State ships, service aircraft or vehicles, or

( d) who makes known the parole, watchword, password, countersign or identification signal to any person not entitled to receive it or gives, without good and sufficient cause, a parole, watchword, password, countersign or identification signal different from that which he received, or

( e) who, without due authority, alters or interferes with any identification or other signal, or

( f) who unjustifiably occasions false alarms, or

( g) who forces a safeguard or forces, strikes or molests a sentinel, or

( h) who loots or plunders or breaks into any house or place with intent to loot or plunder, or

( i) who, without orders from his superior officer, or without reasonable cause, wilfully destroys or damages any property, or

( j) who does violence to any person bringing matériel to the Defence Forces, or

( k) who, without proper authority, detains or appropriates to the unit of the Defence Forces with which he is serving any matériel being conveyed to any other unit of the Defence Forces, or

( l) who impedes the provost marshal or any officer or man legally exercising authority under or on behalf of the provost marshal, or, when called on, refuses to assist in the execution of his duty the provost marshal or any such officer or man, or

( m) who knowingly does or omits to do anything the doing or omission whereof is calculated to imperil the success or prejudice the security of the Defence Forces or any portion thereof,

is guilty of an offence against military law and shall, on conviction by court-martial, be liable to suffer,—

(i) if he commits such offence on active service, F69 [ imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years ] or any less punishment awardable by a court-martial, or

(ii) if he commits such offence not on active service and is an officer, dismissal with F70 [ disgrace ] from the Defence Forces or any less punishment awardable by a court-martial, or

(iii) if he commits such offence not on active service and is a man, imprisonment or any less punishment awardable by a court-martial.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F68

Substituted (1.09.2008) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 4(2) and sch. 2, S.I. No. 254 of 2008.

F69

Substituted (22.04.1997) by Criminal Law Act 1997 (14/1997), s. 14 and sch. 2, par. 5, commenced as per s. 1.

F70

Substituted (1.09.2008) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 4(2) and sch. 2, S.I. No. 254 of 2008.