Naval Discipline Act 1957

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1957 c. 53


Naval Discipline Act , 1957

(5 & 6 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 53

An Act to make provision for the discipline of the Navy, and for other purposes connected with the Navy.

Whereas it is expedient to amend the law relating to the government of Her Majesty's Navy, whereon, under the good Providence of God, the wealth, safety and strength of the Kingdom so much depend:

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:

I Articles of war

Part I

Articles of war

Public worship

Public worship

S-1 Public worship to be performed.

1 Public worship to be performed.

1. All officers in command of Her Majesty's ships shall cause public worship of Almighty God to be solemnly, orderly and reverently performed in their respective ships, and shall take care that prayers and preaching, by the chaplains of those ships, be performed diligently and that the Lord's Day be observed.

Misconduct in action and assistance to enemy

Misconduct in action and assistance to enemy

S-2 Misconduct in action by persons in command.

2 Misconduct in action by persons in command.

2. Every flag officer, captain or other person subject to this Act who, being in command of any of Her Majesty's ships, vessels, aircraft or naval establishments,—

a ) fails to use his utmost exertions to bring into action any such ship, vessel or aircraft which it is his duty to bring into action
b ) surrenders any such ship, vessel or aircraft to the enemy when it is capable of being successfully defended or destroyed
c ) fails to pursue any enemy whom it is his duty to pursue, or to assist to the utmost of his ability any friend whom it is his duty to assist
d ) in the course of any action by or against the enemy improperly withdraws from the action or from his station, or fails in his own person and according to his rank to encourage the persons under his command to fight courageously; or
e ) surrenders any such naval establishment, or any part of such an establishment, to the enemy when it is capable of being successfully defended or when it is his duty to cause it to be destroyed

shall be liable, if the offence is committed with intent to assist the enemy, to death or any less punishment authorised by this Act, and in any other case, to imprisonment for any term or any less punishment so authorised.

S-3 Misconduct in action by other officers and men.

3 Misconduct in action by other officers and men.

3. Every person subject to this Act who, not being in command of any of Her Majesty's ships, vessels, aircraft or naval establishments, fails when ordered to prepare for action by or against the enemy, or during any such action, to use his utmost exertions to carry the lawful orders of his superior officers into execution shall be liable, if the offence is committed with intent to assist the enemy, to death or any less punishment authorised by this Act, and in any other case, to imprisonment for any term or any less punishment so authorised.

S-4 Obstruction of operations.

4 Obstruction of operations.

4. Every person subject to this Act who wilfully delays or discourages, upon any pretext whatsoever, any action or service which has been commanded on the part of any of Her Majesty's forces, or of any forces co-operating therewith, shall be liable, if the offence is committed with intent to assist the enemy, to death or any less punishment authorised by this Act, and in any other case, to imprisonment for any term or any less punishment so authorised.

S-5 Corresponding with, supplying or serving with the enemy.

5 Corresponding with, supplying or serving with the enemy.

5. Every person subject to this Act who—

a ) communicates with or gives intelligence to the enemy;
b ) fails to make known to the proper authorities any information received by him from the enemy;
c ) furnishes the enemy with supplies of any description; or
d ) having been made a prisoner of war, serves with or aids the enemy in the prosecution of hostilities or of measures calculated to influence morale, or in any other manner whatsoever not authorised by international usage,

shall be liable, if the offence is committed with intent to assist the enemy, to death or any less punishment authorised by this Act, and in any other case, to dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty's service or any less punishment so authorised.

Neglect of duty

Neglect of duty

S-6 Sleeping on watch or abandoning post.

6 Sleeping on watch or abandoning post.

(1) Every person subject to this Act who, being in the presence or vicinity of the enemy or under orders to be prepared for action by or against the enemy, abandons his post improperly or sleeps upon his watch shall be liable to imprisonment for any term or any less punishment authorised by this Act.

(2) Every person subject to this Act who, not being in the presence or vicinity of the enemy or under such orders as aforesaid, abandons his post improperly or sleeps upon his watch shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment authorised by this Act.

S-7 Neglect of duty.

7 Neglect of duty.

7. Every person subject to this Act who neglects to perform or negligently performs any duty imposed on him shall be liable to dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty's service or any less punishment authorised by this Act.

Mutiny

Mutiny

S-8 Definition of ‘mutiny’.

8 Definition of ‘mutiny’.

8. In this Act ‘mutiny’ means a combination between two or more persons subject to service law, or between persons two at least of whom are subject to service law,—

a ) to overthrow or resist lawful authority in Her Majesty's forces or any forces co-operating therewith, or in any part of any of the said forces;
b ) to disobey such authority in such circumstances as to make the disobedience subversive of discipline, or with the object of avoiding any duty or service against, or in connection with operations against, the enemy; or
c ) to impede the performance of any duty or service in Her Majesty's forces or in any forces co-operating therewith, or in any part of any of the said forces;

and ‘service law’ means this Act, military law or air force law.

S-9 Offences of mutiny.

9 Offences of mutiny.

(1) Every person subject to this Act who takes part in a mutiny which—

(a ) involves the use of violence or the threat of the use of violence; or

(b ) has as its object or one of its objects the refusal or avoidance of any duty or service against, or in connection with operations against, the enemy, or the impeding of the performance of any such duty or service,

or who incites any other person subject to service law to take part in such a mutiny, whether actual or intended, shall be liable to death or any less punishment authorised by this Act.

(2) Every person subject to this Act who takes part in a mutiny not described in the foregoing subsection, or incites any other person subject to service law to take part in such a mutiny, whether actual or intended, shall be liable to imprisonment for any term or any less punishment authorised by this Act.

S-10 Failure to suppress mutiny.

10 Failure to suppress mutiny.

10. Every person subject to this Act who, knowing that a mutiny is taking place or is intended,—

a ) fails to use his utmost endeavours to suppress or prevent it; or
b ) fails to report without delay that the mutiny is taking place or is intended,

shall be liable, if the offence is committed with intent to assist the enemy, to death or any less punishment authorised by this Act, and in any other case, to imprisonment for any term or any less punishment so authorised.

Insubordination and similar offences

Insubordination and similar offences

S-11 Striking superior officer.

11 Striking superior officer.

11. Every person subject to this Act who strikes or otherwise uses violence to, or offers violence to, his superior officer, whether or not that officer is exercising authority as such, shall be liable to imprisonment for any term or any less punishment authorised by this Act.

S-12 Disobedience or threatening superior officer.

12 Disobedience or threatening superior officer.

12. Every person subject to this...

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