Defence Act 1954

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


243.(1) When a reservist is called out for training or on permanent service or in aid of the civil power, and such reservist, without leave lawfully granted or such sickness or other reasonable excuse as may be allowed in the prescribed manner, fails to appear at any time and place at which he is required upon such calling out to attend, the following provisions shall have effect, that is to say:—

(a) if he is called out on permanent service or in aid of the civil power, such reservist shall be guilty, according to the circumstances, of desertion or absence without leave;

(b) if he is called out for training, such reservist shall be guilty of absence without leave.

(2) Where a reservist commits, by virtue of this section, the offence of desertion or absence without leave, such reservist shall be liable either—

(a) to be tried by court-martial and convicted and punished accordingly, or

(b) to be tried summarily by the District Court and on conviction by such court to be sentenced to a fine not exceeding F366[2,000].

(3) Any offence committed by a reservist which under this section is punishable on conviction by court-martial shall for all purposes of and incidental to the arrest, trial and punishment of the offender, including the summary dealing with his case by his commanding officer, be deemed to be an offence against military law.

(4) A person charged with an offence which under this section is cognisable both by a court-martial and by the District Court shall not be liable to be tried both by a court-martial and the District Court, but may be tried by either of them as may be directed by the prescribed military authority.

(5) The following provisions shall have effect in relation to proceedings against an offender before a court-martial or his commanding officer or the District Court in respect of an offence punishable under this section, that is to say:—

(a) such proceedings may be instituted whether the term of his service in the Reserve Defence Force has or has not expired;

(b) such proceedings may, notwithstanding anything contained in this or any other Act, be instituted within two months after whichever of the following times is the later, that is to say:—

(i) the time at which the offence becomes known to the prescribed military authority, or

(ii) the time at which the offender is arrested.




Substituted (1.09.2008) by Defence (Amendment) Act 2007 (24/2007), s. 4(2) and sch. 2, S.I. No. 254 of 2008. A fine of €2,000 translates into a class C fine, not exceeding €2,500, as provided (4.01.2011) by Fines Act 2010 (8/2010), ss. 3, 6(2) and table ref. no. 1, S.I. No. 662 of 2010.

Editorial Notes:


Previous affecting provision: fine in subs. (2) increased (24.06.1987) by Defence (Amendment) Act 1987 (8/1987), s. 2, item 11, commenced on enactment; further increased as per F-note above.