Defence Act 1954

Contempt of court-martial.

208

208. F271 [ (1) If any person not subject to military law

( a ) having been duly summoned as a witness before a court-martial, without just cause or excuse disobeys the summons, or

( b ) being in attendance as a witness at a court-martial, without just cause or excuse fails or refuses to take an oath or make a solemn declaration when legally required by the court-martial to do so, or to produce any document, record or other thing in his power or control legally required by the court-martial to be produced by him, or to answer any question to which the court-martial may legally require an answer, or

F272 [ ( ba ) fails, neglects or refuses to comply with a direction of the military judge under section 195, or

( bb ) wilfully gives evidence to a court-martial which is material to the court-martial and which he knows to be false or does not believe to be true, or

( bc ) by act or omission, obstructs or hinders the court-martial in the performance of its functions, or ]

F273 [ ( c ) does or omits to do any other thing, which, if the court-martial were a civil court having power to commit for contempt, would be contempt of that court, ]

the person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding F274 [ 3,000 ] or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both such fine and such imprisonment. ]

F275 [ (1A) A prosecution for an offence under this section may be brought only by or with the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions. ]

(2) F276 [ ( a ) If any person subject to military law is guilty of contempt of a court-martial by using insulting or threatening language or by causing any interruption or disturbance in the proceedings of the court-martial, the military judge presiding at the court-martial, if he considers it expedient, instead of the offender being tried by court-martial, may by order under his hand

(i) order the offender to be imprisoned, or, in the case of a man, to undergo detention, for a period not exceeding ninety days, or

(ii) where the offender is a person subject to military law as an officer under section 118(1)( a ), ( b ) or ( c ), award a fine not exceeding fourteen days pay at the most recent rate payable, or

(iii) where the offender is a person subject to military law as an officer under section 118(1)( d ) or ( e ), award a fine not exceeding the maximum fine awardable for the time being by a court-martial to an officer holding the rank of second lieutenant who is in receipt of the maximum pay applicable to that rank, or

(iv) where the offender is a person subject to military law as a man under section 119( a ) or ( b ), award a fine of an amount not exceeding fourteen days pay at the most recent rate payable, or

(v) where the offender is a person subject to military law as a man under section 119( c ) or ( d ), award a fine not exceeding the maximum fine awardable for the time being by a court-martial to a man holding the rank of private of the highest grade who is in receipt of the maximum pay applicable to that rank. ]

( b) Chapter VII of this Part shall not apply to an order under paragraph ( a) of this subsection.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F271

Substituted (24.06.1987) by Defence (Amendment) Act 1987 (8/1987), s. 12, commenced on enactment, subject to transitional provision in s. 16.

F272

Inserted (1.09.2008) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 56(a), S.I. No. 254 of 2008.

F273

Substituted (1.09.2008) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 56(a), S.I. No. 254 of 2008.

F274

Substituted (1.09.2008) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 56(a), S.I. No. 254 of 2008.

F275

Inserted (1.09.2008) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 56(b), S.I. No. 254 of 2008.

F276

Substituted (1.09.2008) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 56(c), S.I. No. 254 of 2008.

Editorial Notes:

E65

Previous affecting provision: subs. (2)(a) amended (22.07.1997) by Criminal Law Act 1997 (14/1997), s. 14 and sch. 2, para. 8, commenced as per s. 1; substituted as per F-note above.