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Armed Forces Act 1971

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

2Misconduct in action, assisting the enemy, obstructing operations, etc.

(1)The following provisions shall be substituted for sections 24 to 28 of the Army Act 1955:— Misconduct in action and other offences arising out of military service Misconduct in action.

24(1)A person subject to military law shall be guilty of an offence against this section if, without lawful excuse, he—

(a)surrenders any place or thing to the enemy,

or

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

(2)A person subject to military law shall be guilty of an offence against this section if, being in the presence or vicinity of the enemy, or being engaged in any action or operation against the enemy or under orders to be prepared for any action or operation by or against the enemy, he—

(a)fails to use his utmost exertions to carry the lawful orders of his superior officers into execution, or

(b)while on guard duty and posted or ordered to patrol, or while on watch, sleeps or, without having been regularly relieved, leaves any place where it is his duty to be, or

(c)behaves in such a manner as to show cowardice, or induces any other person so to behave at a time when that other person, being a member of Her Majesty's forces or of a force co-operating with Her Majesty's forces, is in the presence or vicinity of the enemy, or is engaged in any action or operation against the enemy or under orders to be prepared for any action or operation by or against the enemy, or

(d)uses words likely to cause despondency or unnecessary alarm.

(3)A person guilty of an offence against this section shall, on conviction by court-martial, be liable—

(a)if the offence consisted in an act or omission falling within subsection (1) or paragraph (a) of subsection (2) and was committed with intent to assist the enemy, to suffer death or any less punishment provided by this Act;

(b)in any other case, to imprisonment or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(4)The reference in subsection (2)(a) above to superior officers shall be construed in accordance with section 33(2) of this Act. Assisting the enemy.

25(1)A person subject to military law shall be guilty of an offence against this section if, knowingly and without lawful excuse, he—

(a)communicates with, or gives intelligence to, the enemy, or

(b)fails to make known to the proper authorities any information received by him from the enemy, or

(c)furnishes the enemy with supplies of any description, or

(d)having been captured by the enemy, serves with or aids the enemy in the prosecution of hostilities or of measures likely to influence morale, or in any other manner whatsoever not authorised by international usage, or

(e)having been captured by the enemy, fails to take, or prevents or discourages any other person subject to service law who has been captured by the enemy from taking, any reasonable steps to rejoin Her Majesty's service which are available to him or, as the case may be, to that other person, or

(f)harbours or protects an enemy not being a prisoner of war.

(2)A person guilty of an offence against this section shall, on conviction by court-martial, be liable—

(a)if the offence consisted in an act or omission falling within paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d) or (f) of subsection (1) and was committed with intent to assist the enemy, to suffer death or any less punishment provided by this Act,

(b)in any other case, to imprisonment or any less punishment provided by this Act. Obstructing operations, giving false air signals, etc.

26(1)A person subject to military law shall be guilty of an offence against this section if he does any act likely to imperil the success of any action or operation on the part of any of Her Majesty's forces, or wilfully delays or discourages upon any pretext whatsoever any such action or operation.

(2)A person subject to military law shall be guilty of an offence against this section if, knowingly and without lawful excuse, he gives any false air signal, or alters or interferes with any air signal or any apparatus for giving an air signal.

(3)A person guilty of an offence against this section shall, on conviction by court-martial, be liable—

(a)if the offence was committed with intent to assist the enemy, to suffer death or any less punishment provided by this Act;

(b)in any other case, to imprisonment or any less punishment provided by this Act.

(2)The provisions set out in subsection (1) above shall also be substituted for sections 24 to 28 of the Air Force Act 1955, but modified for that purpose by the substitution throughout of

air-force servicefor " military service " and " air-force law " for " military law ".

(3)The said provisions shall also be substituted for sections 2 to 5 of the Naval Discipline Act 1957, being numbered respectively as sections 2, 3 and 4 of that Act, and being modified for that purpose—

(a)by the substitution throughout of

naval servicefor " military service ", of " person subject to this Act ", for " person subject to military law ", and of " punishment authorised by this Act" for " punishment provided by this Act ", and

(b)by the omission of subsection (4) of the first of those provisions, and the omission throughout of " on conviction by court-martial".

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