Defence Act 1954

Evidence of certain documents and matters.

248

248.The following provisions shall have effect with respect to evidence in proceedings under this Act before a court-martial or a civil court F342 [ or, where relevant, in proceedings under Chapter IV of this Part ]

( a) a copy of the Iris Oifigiúil purporting to contain a notice under section 52 shall be evidence of the matter contained in the notice;

( b) any attestation paper purporting to be signed by any person upon his being attested as a man in any portion of the Defence Forces shall be evidence of the fact that such person gave, in answer to the questions set forth in such attestation paper, the answers he is therein represented as having given;

( c) the enlistment of a person in the Permanent Defence Force or the Reserve Defence Force may be proved by the production, by a witness on oath, of a copy of such person’s attestation paper purporting to be certified to be a true copy by the officer having the custody of such original attestation paper, without proof of the signature of such officer or of his having custody of such original attestation paper;

( d) a letter, return or other document with respect to a person—

(i) having, or not having, at any specified time or times, served in or been discharged from any portion of the Defence Forces, or

(ii) having, or not having, held any rank or appointment in, or been posted, attached or transferred to, any portion of the Defence Forces, or having, or not having, served in a particular place, or

F343 [ (iiA) having, or not having, at any specified time or times, served outside the State as a member of the Permanent Defence Force with an armed International United Nations Force, or ]

(iii) being, or not being, authorised to wear any decoration, medal, medal ribbon, badge, wound stripe, rank insignia, or emblem, the use or wearing of which by an unauthorised person is an offence under section 267,

if purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the Minister or the commanding officer of any portion of the Defence Forces to which such person appears to have belonged or alleges that he belongs or had belonged, shall be prima facie evidence of the relevant facts stated in such letter, return or other document;

( e) a Defence Force List or Defence Force Gazette F344 [ (whether printed or made available by electronic means or otherwise in non-legible form which is capable of being reproduced in permanent legible form) ] purporting to be issued under the authority of the Minister by F345 [ the Chief of Staff ] shall be evidence of the status and rank of any officer therein mentioned and of any appointment held by him and of the unit to which he belongs or is attached;

( f) a Naval List and Directory F344 [ (whether printed or made available by electronic means or otherwise in non-legible form which is capable of being reproduced in permanent legible form) ] purporting to be issued under the authority of the Minister by F345 [ the Chief of Staff ] shall be evidence of—

(i) the fact that any ship mentioned therein as a State ship is a State ship, and

(ii) the status and commissioned naval rank of any officer mentioned therein and of any appointment held by him;

( g) where a record is made in a service book in pursuance of this Act or any regulations made thereunder or otherwise in pursuance of military duty and purports to be signed by the commanding officer or by the officer whose duty it is to make such record—

(i) such record shall be evidence of the facts therein stated,

(ii) a copy of such record purporting to be certified to be a true copy by the officer having the custody of such service book shall, without proof of the signature of such officer or of his having custody of such service book, be prima facie evidence of such record;

( h) any warrant or order made under this Act by a military authority shall be deemed to be evidence of the matters therein directed to be stated by or in pursuance of this Act;

( i) a document purporting to be a copy of any instrument (being a warrant or order made under this Act by a military authority) shall, if certified by an officer authorised by the Minister in that behalf to be a true copy of such instrument, be prima facie evidence of such instrument and it shall not be necessary to prove the signature of the officer so certifying such document or that he was so authorised;

( j) where the proceedings are proceedings against an officer or man (in this paragraph referred to as the accused) on a charge of being a deserter or an absentee, and the accused has been arrested by a member of the Garda Síochána or any officer or man or has surrendered himself into the custody of an officer or any portion of the Defence Forces, a certificate purporting to have been signed by the member of the Garda Síochána, officer or man by whom the arrest was made or by the officer to whom the surrender was made or by the commanding officer of the portion of the Defence Forces to whom the surrender was made, and stating the fact, date, time and place of such arrest or surrender, and whether the accused so surrendering was dressed in uniform or not at the time of arrest or surrender shall be evidence of the matters so stated;

( k) where the proceedings are proceedings against an officer or man (in this paragraph referred to as the accused) on a charge of being a deserter or an absentee, and the accused has surrendered to any member of the Garda Síochána, a certificate purporting to be signed by such member or the person in charge of a Garda Síochána station when the accused has been delivered into service custody by such person and stating the fact, date, time and place of such surrender, and whether the accused was dressed in uniform or not at the time of surrender shall be evidence of the matters so stated;

( l) where the proceedings are proceedings against an officer or man (in this paragraph referred to as the accused) on a charge of being a deserter or an absentee, and either the accused has been arrested by a member of the Garda Síochána or an officer or man and brought to a Garda Síochána station or has surrendered to a member of the Garda Síochána at a Garda Síochána station, a certificate purporting to be signed by the member of the Garda Síochána in charge of such station at the time when the accused is delivered into service custody and stating the fact, date and place of arrest or surrender, and whether the accused was dressed in uniform or not at the time of arrest or surrender shall be evidence of the matters so stated.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F342

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

F343

Inserted (24.06.1987) by Defence (Amendment) Act 1987 (8/1987), s. 13, commenced on enactment.

F344

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

F345

Substituted (1.10.1998) by Defence (Amendment) Act 1998 (31/1998), s. 7, S.I. No. 366 of 1998.