Visiting Forces Act 1952

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1952 c. 67
Year1952


Visiting Forces Act , 1952

(15 & 16 Geo. 6 & 1 Eliz. 2) CHAPTER 67

An Act to make provision with respect to naval, military and air forces of certain other countries visiting the United Kingdom, and to provide for the apprehension and disposal of deserters or absentees without leave in the United Kingdom from the forces of such countries; to enable corresponding provision to be made in the law of colonies and dependencies; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[30th October 1952]

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 Visiting Forces

Part I

Visiting Forces

S-1 Countries to which Act applies.

1 Countries to which Act applies.

(1) References in this Act to a country to which a provision of this Act applies are references to—

(a ) Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, India, Pakistan or Ceylon, or

(b ) any country designated for the purposes of that provision by Order in Council under the next following subsection.

(2) Where it appears to Her Majesty, as respects any country not mentioned in paragraph (a ) of the foregoing subsection, that having regard to any arrangements for common defence to which Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and the Government of that country are for the time being parties it is expedient that the following provisions of this Act, or any of those provisions, should have effect in relation to that country, Her Majesty may by Order in Council designate that country for the purposes of the provisions in question.

(3) Her Majesty may by Order in Council provide that in so far as this Act has effect in relation to any country designated under the last foregoing subsection, it shall have effect subject to such limitations, adaptations or modifications as may be specified in the Order.

(4) No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty in Council to make an Order under the last foregoing subsection unless a draft thereof has been laid before Parliament and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

S-2 Exercise of powers by service courts and authorities of countries sending visiting forces.

2 Exercise of powers by service courts and authorities of countries sending visiting forces.

(1) The service courts and service authorities of a country to which this section applies may within the United Kingdom, or on board any of Her Majesty's ships or aircraft, exercise over persons subject to their jurisdiction in accordance with this section all such powers as are exercisable by them according to the law of that country.

(2) The persons subject to the jurisdiction of the service courts and service authorities of a country in accordance with this section are the following, that is to say—

(a ) members of any visiting force of that country; and

(b ) all other persons who, being neither citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies nor ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, are for the time being subject to the service law of that country otherwise than as members of that country's forces:

Provided that for the purposes of this subsection a person shall not be treated as a member of a visiting force of a country if he became (or last became) a member of that country's forces at a time when he was in the United Kingdom unless it is shown that he then became a member of those forces with his consent.

(3) Where any sentence has, whether within or outside the United Kingdom, been passed by a service court of a country to which this section applies upon a person who immediately before the sentence was passed was subject to the jurisdiction of that court in accordance with this section, then for the purposes of any proceedings in a United Kingdom court the said service court shall be deemed to have been properly constituted, and the sentence shall be deemed to be within the jurisdiction of that court and in accordance with the law of that country, and if executed according to the tenor of the sentence shall be deemed to have been lawfully executed.

(4) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this section, a sentence of death passed by a service court of a country to which this section applies shall not be carried out in the United Kingdom unless under United Kingdom law a sentence of death could have been passed in a similar case.

(5) Any person who—

(a ) is detained in custody in pursuance of a sentence as respects which subsection (3) of this section has effect, or

(b ) being subject in accordance with this section to the jurisdiction of the service courts of a country to which this section applies, is detained in custody pending or during the trial by such a court of a charge brought against him,

shall for the purposes of any proceedings in any United Kingdom court be deemed to be in legal custody.

(6) For the purpose of enabling the service courts and service authorities of a country to which this section applies to exercise more effectively the powers referred to in subsection (1) of this section, the Admiralty, the Army Council or the Air Council, if so requested by the appropriate authority of that country, may from time to time by general or special orders direct members of the home forces to arrest any person, being a member of a visiting force of that country, who is alleged to be guilty of an offence punishable under the law of that country and to hand him over to such service authority of that country as may be designated by or under the orders.

S-3 Restriction, as respects certain offences, of trial by United Kingdom courts of offenders connected with visiting force.

3 Restriction, as respects certain offences, of trial by United Kingdom courts of offenders connected with visiting force.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a person charged with an offence against United Kingdom law shall not be liable to be tried for that offence by a United Kingdom court if at the time when the offence is alleged to have been committed he was a member of a visiting force or a member of a civilian component of such a force and—

(a ) the alleged offence, if committed by him, arose out of and in the course of his duty as a member of that force or component, as the case may be; or

(b ) the alleged offence is an offence against the person, and the person or, if more than one, each of the persons in relation to whom it is alleged to have been committed had at the time thereof a relevant association either with that force or with another visiting force of the same country; or

(c ) the alleged offence is an offence against property, and the whole of the property in relation to which it is alleged to have been committed (or, in a case where different parts of that property were differently owned, each part of the property) was at the time thereof the property either of the sending country or of an authority of that country or of a person having such an association as aforesaid:

Provided that this subsection shall not...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT