Visiting Forces (British Commonwealth) Act 1933

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1933 c. 6


Visiting Forces (British Commonwealth) Act, 1933.

(23 & 24 Geo. 5.) CHAPTER 6.

An Act to make provision with respect to forces of His Majesty from other parts of the British Commonwealth when visiting the United Kingdom or a colony; with respect to the exercise of command and discipline when forces of His Majesty from different parts of the Commonwealth are serving together; with respect to the attachment of members of one such force to another such force, and with respect to deserters from such forces.

[29th March 1933]

B E it enacted by the King'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:—

S-1 Provisions with respect to the discipline and internal administration of visiting forces.

1 Provisions with respect to the discipline and internal administration of visiting forces.

(1) When a visiting force is present in the United Kingdom, it shall be lawful for the naval, military and air force courts and authorities (in this Act referred to as the ‘service courts’ and ‘service authorities’) of that part of the Commonwealth to which the force belongs to exercise within the United Kingdom in relation to members of the force in matters concerning discipline and in matters concerning the internal administration of the force all such powers as are conferred upon them by the law of that part of the Commonwealth.

(2) The members of any such service court as aforesaid exercising jurisdiction by virtue of this Act and witnesses appearing before any such court shall enjoy the like immunities and privileges as are enjoyed by a service court exercising jurisdiction by virtue of the Naval Discipline Act, the Army Act or the Air Force Act, as the case may be, and by witnesses appearing before such a court.

(3) Where any sentence has, whether within or without the United Kingdom, been passed upon a member of a visiting force by a service court of that part of the Commonwealth to which the force belongs, then for the purposes of any legal proceedings within the United Kingdom the court shall be deemed to have been properly constituted, and its proceedings shall be deemed to have been regularly conducted, and the sentence shall be deemed to be within the jurisdiction of the court and in accordance with the law of that part of the Commonwealth, and if executed according to the tenor thereof shall be deemed to have been lawfully executed, and any member of a visiting force who is detained in custody in pursuance of any such sentence, or pending the determination by such a service court as aforesaid of a charge brought against him, shall for the purposes of any such proceedings as aforesaid be deemed to be in legal custody.

For the purposes of any such proceedings as aforesaid a certificate under the hand of the officer commanding a visiting force that a member of that force is being detained for either of the causes aforesaid shall be conclusive evidence of the cause of his detention, but not of his being such a member, and a certificate under the hand of such an officer that the persons specified in the certificate sat as a service court of that part of the Commonwealth to which the force belongs shall be conclusive evidence of that fact.

(4) No proceedings in respect of the pay, terms of service or discharge of a member of a visiting force shall be entertained by any court of the United Kingdom.

(5) For the purpose of enabling such service courts and service authorities as aforesaid to exercise more effectively the powers conferred upon them by this section, the Admiralty, Army Council, or Air Council, as the case may be, if so requested by the officer commanding a visiting force, or by the Government of that part of the Commonwealth to which the force belongs, may from time to time by general or special orders to any home force direct the members thereof to arrest members of the visiting force alleged to have been guilty of offences against the law of that part of the Commonwealth, and to hand over any person so arrested to the appropriate authorities of the visiting force.

S-2 Relations of visiting forces to the civil power and civilians.

2 Relations of visiting forces to the civil power and civilians.

(1) His Majesty may by Order in Council authorise any Government department, Minister of the Crown, or other person in the United Kingdom, to perform, at the request of such authority or officer as may be specified in the Order, but subject to such limitations as may be so specified, any function in relation to a visiting force and members thereof which that department, Minister, or person performs or could perform in relation to a home force of like nature to the visiting force, or in relation to members of such a force and, for the purpose of the exercise of any such function, any power exercisable by virtue of any enactment by the Minister, department or person in relation to a home force or members thereof shall be exercisable by him or them in relation to the visiting force and members thereof:

Provided that nothing in this subsection shall authorise any interference with the visiting force in matters relating to discipline, or to the internal administration of the force.

For the purposes of this subsection, the Admiralty, the Army Council and the Air Council shall be deemed to be Government departments.

(2) If His Majesty by Order in Council so provides, members of a visiting force if sentenced by a service court of that part of the Commonwealth to which the force belongs to penal servitude, imprisonment or detention may, under the authority of a Secretary of State or the Admiralty, given at the request of the officer commanding the visiting force, be temporarily detained in custody in prisons or detention barracks in the United Kingdom, and if so sentenced to imprisonment may, under the like authority, be imprisoned during the whole or any part of the term of their sentences in prisons in the United Kingdom, and His Majesty may by the same or a subsequent Order make provision with respect to any of the following matters, that is to say, the reception of such persons from, and their return to, the service authorities concerned, their treatment while in such custody, or while so imprisoned, the circumstances under which they are to be released, and the manner in which they are to be dealt with in the event of their unsoundness of mind while in such custody, or while so imprisoned.

Any costs incurred in the maintenance and return of, or otherwise in connection with, any person dealt with in accordance with the provisions of this subsection shall be defrayed in such manner as may, with the consent of the Treasury, be agreed between the Secretary of State or the Admiralty and the Government of that part of the Commonwealth which is concerned.

(3) Subject as hereinafter provided, any enactment (whether contained in the Naval Discipline Act, the Army Act, the Air Force Act or any other statute) which—

(a ) exempts, or provides for the exemption of, any vessel, vehicle, aircraft, machine or apparatus of, or employed for the purposes of, the home forces or any of them from the operation of any enactment; or

(b ) in virtue of a connection with the home forces or any of them, confers a privilege or immunity on any person; or

(c ) in virtue of such a connection, excepts any property, trade or business, in whole or in part, from the operation of any enactment, or from any tax, rate, imposition, toll or charge; or

(d ) imposes upon any person or undertaking obligations in relation to the home forces, or any of them, or any member or service court thereof; or

(e ) penalises misconduct by any person in relation to the home forces or any of them, or any member or service court thereof,

shall, with any necessary modifications, apply in relation to a visiting force as it would apply in relation to a home force of a like nature to the visiting force:

Provided that His Majesty may by Order in Council direct that any such enactment either shall not apply, or shall apply with such exceptions and subject to such adaptations or modifications as may be specified in the Order.

(4) An Order in Council under this section may apply either generally, or in relation to visiting forces from any particular part of the Commonwealth, or in relation to any particular visiting force, or in relation to any particular place.

S-3 Provisions with repect to deserters from certain forces.

3 Provisions with repect to deserters from certain forces.

(1) The forces to which this section applies are such of the naval, military and air forces of His Majesty raised in the Dominion of Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, the Irish Free State, or Newfoundland, as His Majesty may by Order in Council direct.

(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, paragraphs (1) to (4) of section one hundred and fifty-four of the Army Act (which relates to the apprehension of deserters and absentees without leave from a home military force) shall within the United Kingdom apply in relation to a deserter, or absentee without leave, from any force to which this section applies (including any member of a reserve or auxiliary force who, having failed to obey a notice calling upon him to appear at any place for service, is by the law...

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