Search Legislation

Armed Forces Act 2006

Section 12: Disobedience to lawful commands

67.Obedience to lawful commands is central to service discipline. A person who is subject to service law and intentionally or recklessly disobeys a lawful command commits an offence. A command in the armed forces means any order apart from routine and standing orders, which are dealt with in section 13. A person who is negligent in carrying out a command (by failing, for example, to consider what the order really meant) does not commit an offence under this section. There is a separate offence which applies to negligent breaches of duty (section 15).

68.An order must be lawful; an order to do something which would amount to a crime, for example, would not be lawful.

69.The maximum penalty for this offence is ten years’ imprisonment, which reflects the fact that obedience to some commands may be vital to the success of an operation. (This may be contrasted with the maximum penalty of two years’ imprisonment for contravening standing orders, which are more routine in character.)

Back to top


Print Options


Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources