Armed Forces Act 2006

Publication Date:January 01, 2006


Armed Forces Act 2006

2006 Chapter 52

An Act to make provision with respect to the armed forces; and for connected purposes.

[8th November 2006]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Assisting an enemy, misconduct on operations etc

First Group of Parts

Discipline

1 Offences

Part 1

Offences

Assisting an enemy, misconduct on operations etc

S-1 Assisting an enemy

1 Assisting an enemy

(1) A person subject to service law commits an offence if, without lawful excuse, he intentionally—

(a) communicates with an enemy

(b) gives an enemy information that would or might be useful to the enemy

(c) fails to make known to the proper authorities any information received by him from an enemy

(d) provides an enemy with any supplies; or

(e) harbours or protects an enemy other than a prisoner of war.

(2) A person subject to service law who has been captured by an enemy commits an offence if, without lawful excuse, he intentionally serves with or assists the enemy—

(a) in the prosecution of hostilities or of measures likely to influence morale; or

(b) in any other manner not authorised by international law.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, and any sentence of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence may be for life.

S-2 Misconduct on operations

2 Misconduct on operations

(1) A person subject to service law commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, he—

(a) surrenders any place or thing to an enemy; or

(b) abandons any place or thing which it is his duty to defend against an enemy or to prevent from falling into the hands of an enemy.

(2) Subsections (3) to (5) apply to a person subject to service law who is—

(a) in the presence or vicinity of an enemy

(b) engaged in an action or operation against an enemy; or

(c) under orders to be prepared for any action or operation by or against an enemy.

(3) A person to whom this subsection applies commits an offence if he fails to use his utmost exertions to carry out the lawful commands of his superior officers.

(4) A person to whom this subsection applies commits an offence if he is on guard duty and posted or ordered to patrol, or is on watch, and—

(a) without reasonable excuse, he sleeps; or

(b) (without having been regularly relieved) he leaves any place where it is his duty to be.

(5) A person to whom this subsection applies commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, he intentionally communicates with a person who is—

(a) a member of any of Her Majesty's forces or of any force co-operating with them, or

(b) a relevant civilian

and the communication is likely to cause that person to become despondent or alarmed.

(6) In subsection (5) "relevant civilian" means a person who—

(a) is a civilian subject to service discipline; and

(b) is accompanying a person subject to service law who is—

(i) in the presence or vicinity of an enemy; or

(ii) engaged in an action or operation against an enemy.

(7) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, and any sentence of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence may be for life.

S-3 Obstructing operations

3 Obstructing operations

(1) A person subject to service law commits an offence if—

(a) he does an act that is likely to put at risk the success of an action or operation of any of Her Majesty's forces; and

(b) he intends to prevent, or is reckless as to whether he prevents, the success of the action or operation.

(2) A person subject to service law commits an offence if—

(a) without lawful excuse, he does an act that delays or discourages an action or operation of any of Her Majesty's forces; and

(b) he intends to delay or discourage the action or operation.

(3) In this section "act" includes an omission and references to the doing of an act are to be read accordingly.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, and any sentence of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence—

(a) if the offence relates to an action or operation against an enemy, may be for life;

(b) otherwise, must not exceed ten years.

S-4 Looting

4 Looting

(1) A person within subsection (4) commits an offence if, without lawful excuse—

(a) he takes any property from a person who has been killed, injured, captured or detained in the course of an action or operation of any of Her Majesty's forces or of any force co-operating with them; or

(b) he searches such a person with the intention of taking property from him.

(2) A person within subsection (4) commits an offence if, without lawful excuse—

(a) he takes any property which has been left exposed or unprotected in consequence of—

(i) an action or operation of any of Her Majesty's forces or of any force co-operating with them; or

(ii) an event, or state of affairs, in relation to which such an action or operation is undertaken; or

(b) he searches any place or thing with the intention of taking property of a description mentioned in paragraph (a).

(3) A person within subsection (4) commits an offence if he takes otherwise than for the public service any vehicle, equipment or stores abandoned by an enemy.

(4) A person is within this subsection if he is—

(a) a person subject to service law; or

(b) a civilian subject to service discipline.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, and any sentence of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence—

(a) in the case of an offence under subsection (1) or (2), may be for life;

(b) in the case of an offence under subsection (3), must not exceed seven years.

S-5 Failure to escape etc

5 Failure to escape etc

(1) Subsections (2) and (3) apply to a person subject to service law who has been captured by an enemy.

(2) A person to whom this subsection applies commits an offence if—

(a) he is aware of steps that he could take to rejoin Her Majesty's forces;

(b) he could reasonably be expected to take those steps; and

(c) without lawful excuse, he fails to take them.

(3) A person to whom this subsection applies commits an offence if, without lawful excuse, he intentionally prevents or discourages another person subject to service law who has been captured by an enemy from taking any reasonable steps to rejoin Her Majesty's forces.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, but any sentence of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence must not exceed ten years.

Mutiny

Mutiny

S-6 Mutiny

6 Mutiny

(1) A person subject to service law commits an offence if he takes part in a mutiny.

(2) For the purposes of this section a person subject to service law takes part in a mutiny if—

(a) in concert with at least one other person subject to service law, he—

(i) acts with the intention of overthrowing or resisting authority; or

(ii) disobeys authority in such circumstances as to subvert discipline;

(b) he agrees with at least one other person subject to service law to overthrow or resist authority; or

(c) he agrees with at least one other person subject to service law to disobey authority, and the agreed disobedience would be such as to subvert discipline.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (2)—

(a) "authority" means lawful authority in any part of Her Majesty's forces or of any force co-operating with them;

(b) the reference to acting includes omitting to act.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, and any sentence of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence may be for life.

S-7 Failure to suppress mutiny

7 Failure to suppress mutiny

(1) A person subject to service law commits an offence if—

(a) he knows that a mutiny is occurring or is intended; and

(b) he fails to take such steps as he could reasonably be expected to take to prevent or suppress it.

(2) For the purposes of this section a mutiny occurs when a person subject to service law, in concert with at least one other person subject to service law—

(a) acts with the intention of overthrowing or resisting authority; or

(b) disobeys authority in such circumstances as to subvert discipline.

(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, and any sentence of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence may be for life.

Desertion and absence without leave

Desertion and absence without leave

S-8 Desertion

8 Desertion

(1) A person subject to service law commits an offence if he deserts.

(2) For the purposes of this Act a person deserts if he is absent without leave and—

(a) he intends to remain permanently absent without leave; or

(b) he intends to avoid a period of active service.

(3) In this section "active service" means service in—

(a) an action or operation against an enemy

(b) an operation outside the British Islands for the protection of life or property; or

(c) the military occupation of a foreign country or territory.

(4) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, and any sentence of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence—

(a) if the offender intended to avoid a period of active service, may be for life;

(b) otherwise, must not exceed two years.

S-9 Absence without leave

9 Absence without leave

(1) A person subject to service law commits an offence if subsection (2) or (3) applies to him.

(2) This...

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