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National Defence Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. N-5)

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Act current to 2022-07-25 and last amended on 2022-06-20. Previous Versions

PART IIICode of Service Discipline (continued)

DIVISION 2Service Offences and Punishments (continued)

Security

Marginal note:Offences related to security

 Every person who

  • (a) improperly holds communication with or gives intelligence to the enemy,

  • (b) without authority discloses in any manner whatever any information relating to the numbers, position, materiel, movements, preparations for movements, operations or preparations for operations of any of Her Majesty’s Forces or of any forces cooperating therewith,

  • (c) without authority discloses in any manner whatever any information relating to a cryptographic system, aid, process, procedure, publication or document of any of Her Majesty’s Forces or of any forces cooperating therewith,

  • (d) makes known the parole, watchword, password, countersign or identification signal to any person not entitled to receive it,

  • (e) gives a parole, watchword, password, countersign or identification signal different from that which he received,

  • (f) without authority alters or interferes with any identification or other signal,

  • (g) improperly occasions false alarms,

  • (h) when acting as sentry or lookout, leaves his post before he is regularly relieved or sleeps or is drunk,

  • (i) forces a safeguard or forces or strikes a sentinel, or

  • (j) does or omits to do anything with intent to prejudice the security of any of Her Majesty’s Forces or of any forces cooperating therewith,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction, if the person acted traitorously, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life, and in any other case, is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 75
  • 1998, c. 35, s. 26

Prisoners of War

Marginal note:Offences related to prisoners of war

 Every person who

  • (a) by want of due precaution, or through disobedience of orders or wilful neglect of duty, is made a prisoner of war,

  • (b) having been made a prisoner of war, fails to rejoin Her Majesty’s service when able to do so, or

  • (c) having been made a prisoner of war, serves with or aids the enemy,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction, if the person acted traitorously, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for life, and in any other case, is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 76
  • 1998, c. 35, s. 27

Miscellaneous Operational Offences

Marginal note:Offences related to operations

 Every person who

  • (a) does violence to any person bringing materiel to any of Her Majesty’s Forces or to any forces cooperating therewith,

  • (b) irregularly detains any materiel being conveyed to any unit or other element of Her Majesty’s Forces or of any forces cooperating therewith,

  • (c) irregularly appropriates to the unit or other element of the Canadian Forces with which the person is serving any materiel being conveyed to any other unit or element of Her Majesty’s Forces or of any forces cooperating therewith,

  • (d) without orders from the person’s superior officer, improperly destroys or damages any property,

  • (e) breaks into any house or other place in search of plunder,

  • (f) commits any offence against the property or person of any inhabitant or resident of a country in which he is serving,

  • (g) steals from, or with intent to steal searches, the person of any person killed or wounded, in the course of warlike operations,

  • (h) steals any money or property that has been left exposed or unprotected in consequence of warlike operations, or

  • (i) takes otherwise than for the public service any money or property abandoned by the enemy,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction, if the person committed the offence on active service, is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment and, in any other case, is liable to dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty’s service or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 67

Spies for the Enemy

Marginal note:Offence of being spy

 Every person who spies for the enemy is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 78
  • 1998, c. 35, s. 28

Mutiny

Marginal note:Mutiny with violence

 Every person who joins in a mutiny that is accompanied by violence is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 79
  • 1998, c. 35, s. 28

Marginal note:Mutiny without violence

 Every person who joins in a mutiny that is not accompanied by violence is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years or to less punishment or, in the case of a ringleader of the mutiny, to imprisonment for life or to less punishment.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 80
  • 1998, c. 35, s. 28

Marginal note:Offences related to mutiny

 Every person who

  • (a) causes or conspires with any other person to cause a mutiny,

  • (b) endeavours to persuade any person to join in a mutiny,

  • (c) being present, does not use his utmost endeavours to suppress a mutiny, or

  • (d) being aware of an actual or intended mutiny, does not without delay inform his superior officer thereof,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 71

Seditious Offences

Marginal note:Advocating governmental change by force

 Every person who publishes or circulates any writing, printing or document in which is advocated, or who teaches or advocates, the use, without the authority of law, of force as a means of accomplishing any governmental change within Canada is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 72

Insubordination

Marginal note:Disobedience of lawful command

 Every person who disobeys a lawful command of a superior officer is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 73

Marginal note:Striking or offering violence to a superior officer

 Every person who strikes or attempts to strike, or draws or lifts up a weapon against, or uses, attempts to use or offers violence against, a superior officer is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 74

Marginal note:Insubordinate behaviour

 Every person who uses threatening or insulting language to, or behaves with contempt toward, a superior officer is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty’s service or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 75

Marginal note:Quarrels and disturbances

 Every person who

  • (a) quarrels or fights with any other person who is subject to the Code of Service Discipline, or

  • (b) uses provoking speeches or gestures toward a person so subject that tend to cause a quarrel or disturbance,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for less than two years or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 76

Marginal note:Resisting or escaping from arrest or custody

 Every person who

  • (a) being concerned in a quarrel, fray or disorder,

    • (i) refuses to obey an officer, though of inferior rank, who orders the person into arrest, or

    • (ii) strikes or uses or offers violence to any such officer,

  • (b) strikes or uses or offers violence to any other person in whose custody he is placed, whether or not that other person is his superior officer and whether or not that other person is subject to the Code of Service Discipline,

  • (c) resists an escort whose duty it is to apprehend him or to have him in charge, or

  • (d) breaks out of barracks, station, camp, quarters or ship,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for less than two years or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 77

Desertion

Marginal note:Offence

  •  (1) Every person who deserts or attempts to desert is guilty of an offence and on conviction, if the person committed the offence on active service or under orders for active service, is liable to imprisonment for life or to less punishment and, in any other case, is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to less punishment.

  • Marginal note:Definition

    (2) A person deserts who

    • (a) being on or having been warned for active service, duty during an emergency or other important service, is absent without authority with the intention of avoiding that service;

    • (b) having been warned that his vessel is under sailing orders, is absent without authority with the intention of missing that vessel;

    • (c) absents himself without authority from his place of duty with the intention of remaining absent from his place of duty;

    • (d) is absent without authority from his place of duty and at any time during such absence forms the intention of remaining absent from his place of duty; or

    • (e) while absent with authority from his place of duty, with the intention of remaining absent from his place of duty, does any act or omits to do anything the natural and probable consequence of which act or omission is to preclude the person from being at his place of duty at the time required.

  • Marginal note:Presumption of desertion

    (3) A person who has been absent without authority for a continuous period of six months or more shall, unless the contrary is proved, be presumed to have had the intention of remaining absent from his place of duty.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 78

Marginal note:Connivance at desertion

 Every person who

  • (a) being aware of the desertion or intended desertion of a person from any of Her Majesty’s Forces, does not without reasonable excuse inform his superior officer forthwith, or

  • (b) fails to take any steps in his power to cause the apprehension of a person whom he knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe, to be a deserter,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for less than two years or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 79

Absence without Leave

Marginal note:Offence

  •  (1) Every person who absents himself without leave is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for less than two years or to less punishment.

  • Marginal note:Definition

    (2) A person absents himself without leave who

    • (a) without authority leaves his place of duty;

    • (b) without authority is absent from his place of duty; or

    • (c) having been authorized to be absent from his place of duty, fails to return to his place of duty at the expiration of the period for which the absence of that person was authorized.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 80

Marginal note:False statement in respect of leave

 Every person who knowingly makes a false statement in respect of prolongation of leave of absence is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for less than two years or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 81

Disgraceful Conduct

Marginal note:Scandalous conduct by officers

 Every officer who behaves in a scandalous manner unbecoming an officer is guilty of an offence and on conviction shall suffer dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty’s service or dismissal from Her Majesty’s service.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 82

Marginal note:Cruel or disgraceful conduct

 Every person who behaves in a cruel or disgraceful manner is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 83

Marginal note:Traitorous or disloyal utterances

 Every person who uses traitorous or disloyal words regarding Her Majesty is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 84

Marginal note:Abuse of subordinates

 Every person who strikes or otherwise ill-treats any person who by reason of rank or appointment is subordinate to him is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for less than two years or to less punishment.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 85

Marginal note:Making false accusations or statements or suppressing facts

 Every person who

  • (a) makes a false accusation against an officer or non-commissioned member, knowing the accusation to be false, or

  • (b) when seeking redress under section 29, knowingly makes a false statement affecting the character of an officer or non-commissioned member or knowingly, in respect of the redress so sought, suppresses any material fact

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to imprisonment for less than two years or to less punishment.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 96
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 60

Marginal note:Drunkenness

  •  (1) Drunkenness is an offence and every person convicted thereof is liable to imprisonment for less than two years or to less punishment, except that, where the offence is committed by a non-commissioned member who is not on active service or on duty or who has not been warned for duty, no punishment of imprisonment, and no punishment of detention for a term in excess of ninety days, shall be imposed.

  • Marginal note:When committed

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), the offence of drunkenness is committed where a person, owing to the influence of alcohol or a drug,

    • (a) is unfit to be entrusted with any duty that the person is or may be required to perform; or

    • (b) behaves in a disorderly manner or in a manner likely to bring discredit on Her Majesty’s service.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 97
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 60
 
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