Defence Act 1954

Interpretation generally.

2

2. (1) In this Act—

the expression “ absence without leave” means the act of a person absenting himself without leave within the meaning of section 137;

the expression “ absent himself without leave” has the same meaning as in section 137;

the word “ absentee” means a person who absents himself without leave within the meaning of section 137;

the expression “ on active service” has, in relation to a person subject to military law, the meaning assigned to it by section 5;

the expression “ the Act of 1923” means the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, 1923 (No. 30 of 1923), as amended, extended and continued by subsequent enactments;

F1 [ Act of 1947 means the Courts of Justice Act 1947 . ]

F2 [ ]

the expression “ the Army Nursing Service” means the nursing service established under section 289;

F3 [ assisting person means in relation to proceedings for an offence under Part V of this Act, subject to the consent of the member concerned, such member of the Defence Forces who is subject to military law as the person charged with the offence may choose for the purposes of providing assistance to that person as provided for in the said Part V; ]

the expression “ attestation paper” means the document referred to as an attestation paper in section 56;

the expression “ called out in aid of the civil power”, in relation to a reservist, shall be construed in accordance with subsection (2) of section 90;

the expression “ called out on permanent service”, in relation to a reservist, shall be construed in accordance with subsection (2) of section 87 or subsection (3) of section 88 (whichever of those subsections is applicable);

the expression “ certificate of discharge” means a certificate issued under section 82;

the expression “ the Chief of Staff” means the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces;

the expression “ civil court” means any court established under Article 34 of the Constitution, and includes the courts established under the Courts of Justice Act, 1924 (No. 10 of 1924), and any Special Criminal Court established under the Offences against the State Act, 1939 (No. 13 of 1939);

the expression “ civil custody” means the custody of the Garda Síochána or other lawful civil authority authorised to retain in custody civil prisoners and includes confinement in a public prison;

the expression “ civil offence” has the meaning assigned to it by section 169;

the expression “ class of reservists” means any class of the Reserve Defence Force, being—

( a) the Reserve of Men (First Line), or

( b) the Reserve of Men (An Fórsa Cosanta Aitiúil), or

( c) the Reserve of Men (An Slua Muirí), or

( d) any class constituted under subsection (3) of section 21;

the word “ class” means, in relation to the Reserve Defence Force, a class of the Reserve Defence Force mentioned in section 21;

the expression “ commanding officer” means in any section in which it occurs an officer declared by regulations made by the Minister under this Act to be a commanding officer for the purposes of that section;

the expression “ commissioned army rank” means any rank set out in column (2) of the Second Schedule to this Act;

the expression “ commissioned naval rank” means any rank set out in column (3) of the Second Schedule to this Act;

the expression “ commissioned rank” means any rank being—

( a) a commissioned army rank, or

( b) a commissioned naval rank;

the expression “ company commander” means in any section in which it occurs an officer declared by regulations made by the Minister under this Act to be a company commander for the purposes of that section;

F3 [ court-martial , when used without qualification, means a general court-martial, a limited court-martial or a summary court-martial;

Court-Martial Administrator means the Court-Martial Administrator appointed under Chapter IVA of Part V of this Act;

court-martial rules means rules made under section 240B with respect to courts-martial; ]

references to the date of attestation of a man shall be construed as references to the date which is, by virtue of section 59, the date of his attestation;

F3 [ a day s pay means

( a ) in relation to a person who is convicted by a court-martial of an offence against military law or in respect of whom a determination is made or confirmed under Chapter IV of Part V of this Act and who is a member of the Defence Forces, the basic pay, excluding any additional pay or allowance, that is, or would be, payable to that person in respect of the day on which punishment is awarded in respect of the offence, or

( b ) in relation to a person who is convicted by a court-martial of an offence against military law or in respect of whom a determination is made or confirmed under Chapter IV of Part V of this Act and who is not a member of the Defence Forces but who was a member of the Defence Forces when the offence was committed (not being a person to whom paragraph ( c ) of this definition applies), the basic pay, excluding any additional pay or allowance, that would be payable to that person in respect of the day on which punishment is awarded in respect of the offence if he were a member of the Defence Forces on that day and his rank and service (or service in rank, if appropriate) were the same as those on the last day of his service in the Defence Forces, or

( c ) in relation to a person who is convicted by a court-martial of an offence against military law or in respect of whom a determination is made or confirmed under Chapter IV of Part V of this Act and who is not a member of the Defence Forces but who is, or was when the offence was committed, subject to military law as an officer pursuant to section 118( d ) or ( e ) or as a man pursuant to section 119( c ) or ( d ), the basic pay, excluding any additional pay or allowance, that would be payable to an officer in the rank of second lieutenant who is in receipt of the maximum pay applicable to that rank, or to a man in the rank of private of the highest grade who is in receipt of the maximum pay applicable to that rank, as the case may be, in respect of the day on which punishment is awarded in respect of the offence; ]

the word “ decoration” means any medal, clasp, good-conduct badge or other decoration;

the expression “ the Defence Forces” means the defence forces to be raised and maintained under this Act;

F4 [ Defence Forces Headquarters shall be construed in accordance with section 13 (inserted by section 4 of the Defence (Amendment) Act, 1998);

Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) means the Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) of the Defence Forces;

Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) means the Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) of the Defence Forces; ]

the word “ desert” means desert the Defence Forces within the meaning of section 135;

the word “ deserter” means a person who deserts;

the word “ desertion” means the act of deserting the Defence Forces within the meaning of section 135;

the expression “ detention barrack” means a building or part of a building declared under section 232 to be a detention barrack;

F3 [ Director means the Director of Military Prosecutions appointed under Chapter IVB of Part V of this Act;

document includes

( a ) a map, plan, graph, drawing, photograph or record, or

( b ) a reproduction in permanent legible form, by a computer or other means (including enlarging), of information in non-legible form; ]

the expression “ employed on a State ship” has, in relation to a member of the Defence Forces, the meaning assigned to it by section 6;

the word “ enemy” includes armed mutineers, armed rebels, armed rioters and pirates;

F5 [ the expression flag officer means an officer holding the commissioned naval rank of commodore or higher commissioned naval rank; ]

the expression “ fraudulent enlistment” means the act of fraudulently enlisting within the meaning of section 164;

F6 [ the expression general officer means an officer holding the commissioned army rank of brigadier-general or higher commissioned army rank; ]

F3 [ intoxicant includes any alcohol, drug, solvent or any other substance or combination of substances; ]

the word “ man” means a person who is for the time being a member of the Defence Forces, but does not include an officer;

F7 [ ]

F3 [ F8 [ military judge

( a ) means a military judge appointed under Chapter IVC of Part V of this Act, and

( b ) in relation to the performance of the functions of a military judge under this Act or any statutory instrument made under it, where a temporary designation of a Circuit Judge to carry out such functions of a military judge has been made under section 11A of the Act of 1947, references to the performance of such functions shall be construed in accordance with section 184LA(3). ] ]

the expression “ military office” means any office in the Defence Forces;

the expression “ military prison” means a building or part of a building declared under section 232 to be a military prison;

the expression “ military prisoner” means a person under sentence of imprisonment passed by a court-martial;

the expression “ the Minister” means the Minister for Defence;

the expression “ non-commissioned army rank” means any rank set out in column (2) of the Third Schedule to this Act;

the expression “ non-commissioned naval rank” means any rank set out in column (3) of the Third Schedule to this Act;

the expression “ non-commissioned officer” means a man holding—

( a) any non-commissioned army rank, other than that of private, or

( b) any non-commissioned naval rank, other than that of seaman;

the expression “ offence against military law” means any offence mentioned in any section contained in Chapter II of Part V of this Act;

the word “ officer”, when used without qualification, means a person who—

( a) holds a commissioned rank in, and is for the time being an officer of, the Permanent Defence Force, or

( b) holds a commissioned rank in, and is for the time being an officer of, the Reserve Defence Force;

the expression “ the operative date” means the day on which this Act comes into operation;

F9 [ ]

the expression “ period of emergency” has the meaning assigned to it by section 4;

the expression “ the Permanent Defence Force” means the constituent part of the Defence Forces which is to be called and known by that name;

references to a person subject to military law shall be construed as references to a person who is, by virtue of section 118 or 119, subject to military law;

the word “ prescribed” means,—

( a) where it occurs in Part V F10 [ (other than Chapters IV and X or in the case of any matter or thing referred to in Part V as prescribed by court-martial rules) ] of this Act, prescribed by rules of procedure,

( b) where it occurs elsewhere, prescribed by regulations made under this Act;

the expression “ proclamation authorising the calling out of reservists on permanent service” means a proclamation made under paragraph ( a) of subsection (1) of section 87;

the word “ property” includes money;

the expression “ public prison” means any prison or place in which a person convicted and sentenced to imprisonment by a civil court may be lawfully confined;

F2 [ ]

the expression “ recruiting regulations” means regulations made under section 56;

the expression “ registered place of abode” means, in relation to a reservist, the address registered by him, in accordance with regulations made by the Minister under this Act, as his registered place of abode;

the expression “ the Reserve Defence Force” means the constituent part of the Defence Forces which is to be called and known by that name;

the word “ reservist”, when used without qualification, means a man of the Reserve Defence Force;

the expression “ right over land” means any easement, profit á prendre or other right over or in respect of land;

the expression “ rules of procedure” means rules made under section 240;

F3 [ scheduled offence , for the purposes of Part V of this Act, shall have the meaning assigned to it by section 176A; ]

the expression “ secret society” means an association, society or other body the members of which are required by the regulations thereof to take or enter into, or do in fact take or enter into, an oath, affirmation, declaration or agreement not to disclose the proceedings or some part of the proceedings of the association, society or body;

the word “ service”, when qualifying aircraft, aircraft material, equipment, vehicles, animals, messes, institutes, canteens, necessaries, clothing, books or property F11 [ or any other matter ], means belonging to or connected with the Defence Forces or any unit or part of a unit thereof;

the expression “ service corps” means any military body or combination of military bodies declared to be a service corps by regulations made under section 23 and for the time being in force;

the expression “ service custody” means the holding under arrest or in confinement of a person by the Defence Forces and includes confinement in a military prison or a detention barrack;

the expression “ State ship” means a ship or vessel belonging to, or employed in the service of, the State and used for defence purposes;

F12 [ ]

F13 [ superior officer includes

( a ) when used in relation to a member of the Permanent Defence Force, an officer or non-commissioned officer of the Permanent Defence Force of equal or higher rank who is authorised, in relation to that member, by or under this Act or by custom of the service, to exercise authority over that member,

( b ) when used in relation to a member of the Reserve Defence Force, an officer or non-commissioned officer of the Permanent Defence Force or of the Reserve Defence Force, of equal or higher rank, who is authorised, in relation to that member, by or under this Act or by custom of the service, to exercise authority over that member; ]

the expression “ the term of his original enlistment”—

( a) in relation to a man of the Permanent Defence Force who is enlisted under section 53, has, subject to paragraph ( d) of subsection (1) of section 63, the meaning assigned to it by section 53,

( b) in relation to a reservist who, having been enlisted in the Permanent Defence Force under section 53, has been transferred to the Reserve Defence Force under section 70, has, subject to paragraph ( c) of subsection (2) of section 63, the meaning assigned to it by section 53,

( c) in relation to a reservist who is enlisted under section 55, has, subject to subsection (3) of section 66, the meaning assigned to it by section 55.

(2) In this Act, a reference by number to a section is to the section of this Act bearing that number unless it is indicated that a reference to some other Act is intended.

(3) In this Act, references to any enactment shall be construed as references to that enactment as amended by any subsequent enactment.

F14 [ (4) In this Act, a reference to stealing shall be construed as a reference to theft within the meaning of section 2 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 . ]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F1

Inserted (9.11.2011) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2011 (17/2011), s. 2(a), S.I. No. 568 of 2011.

F2

Deleted (1.10.1998) by Defence (Amendment) Act 1998 (31/1998), s. 2 (b), S.I. No. 366 of 1998.

F3

Inserted (21.04.2007) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 6(a), commenced on enactment as per s. 1(3).

F4

Inserted (1.10.1998) by Defence (Amendment) Act 1998 (31/1998), s. 2(a), S.I. No. 366 of 1998.

F5

Substituted (20.02.1979) by Defence (Amendment) Act 1979 (1/1979), s. 2, commenced on enactment.

F6

Substituted (20.02.1979) by Defence (Amendment) Act 1979 (1/1979), s. 2, commenced on enactment.

F7

Deleted (22.07.1997) by Criminal Law Act 1997 (14/1997), s. 14 and sch. 2, para. 1(a), commenced as per s. 1.

F8

Substituted (9.11.2011) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2011 (17/2011), s. 2(b), S.I. No. 568 of 2011.

F9

Deleted (22.07.1997) by Criminal Law Act 1997 (14/1997), s. 14 and sch. 2, para. 1(b), commenced as per s. 1.

F10

Substituted (21.04.2007) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 6(b), commenced on enactment as per s. 1(3).

F11

Inserted (21.04.2007) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 6(c), commenced on enactment as per s. 1(3).

F12

Deleted (21.04.2007) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 6(d), commenced on enactment as per s. 1(3).

F13

Substituted (21.04.2007) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 6(e), commenced on enactment as per s. 1(3).

F14

Inserted (21.04.2007) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 6(f), commenced on enactment as per s. 1(3).

Modifications (not altering text):

C9

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.