Defence Act 1954
F156 [ Charges against men.
178. — (1) This section and sections 178A to 178D apply to the summary disposal by a commanding officer of a charge against a person subject to military law as a man other than a sergeant major or battalion quarter-master sergeant or their equivalent naval ranks.
(2) ( a ) Where a person referred to in subsection (1) of this section is charged with a scheduled offence, the commanding officer investigating the charge (including a charge referred to the commanding officer under section 179(2)( b ) or 179B) shall —
(i) subject to paragraph ( b ) of this subsection, dismiss the charge if, in his discretion, he considers that it should not be proceeded with, or
(ii) remand the person for trial by court-martial if he considers that the charge should be proceeded with, or
(iii) subject to this section and to regulations made under section 184, deal with the charge summarily.
( b ) In the case of a charge against a person referred to in subsection (1) of this section for a scheduled offence specified in Part II of the Eleventh Schedule to this Act, dismissal of the charge under subparagraph (i) of paragraph ( a ) of this subsection or the decision to dispose of the charge summarily under subparagraph (iii) of the said paragraph ( a ) shall be subject to the prior consent of the Director and where the Director refuses consent in any such case the person shall be remanded for trial by court-martial.
(3) ( a ) Where a person is charged with an offence other than a scheduled offence, the commanding officer investigating the charge shall —
(i) subject to the prior consent of the Director, dismiss the charge if he considers that it should not be proceeded with, or
(ii) remand the person for trial by court-martial.
( b ) Where the Director refuses consent to the dismissal of the charge concerned, the person charged shall be remanded for trial by court-martial.
(4) Where a person is remanded under this section for trial by court-martial, the matter shall be referred to the Director for his directions.
(5) Where a person referred to in subsection (1) of this section is charged with an offence for which the person would be required on conviction to be sentenced to imprisonment for life and the charge is investigated under this section, the person may, if he so wishes, be represented by counsel (within the meaning of section 196) or by an officer subject to military law. ]
Substituted (1.09.2008) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 24, S.I. No. 254 of 2008, subject to transitional provisions in s. 3 and sch. 1, para. 3 .
Previous affecting provision: section amended (24.06.1987) by Defence (Amendment) Act 1987 (8/1987), s. 3(2), commenced on enactment, subject to transitional provision in s. 16; substituted as per F-note above.