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

Act current to 2015-11-16 and last amended on 2015-06-01. Previous Versions


Establishment of the Department

Marginal note:Formation of department

 There is hereby established a department of the Government of Canada called the Department of National Defence over which the Minister of National Defence appointed by commission under the Great Seal shall preside.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 3.


Marginal note:Duties

 The Minister holds office during pleasure, has the management and direction of the Canadian Forces and of all matters relating to national defence and is responsible for

  • (a) the construction and maintenance of all defence establishments and works for the defence of Canada; and

  • (b) research relating to the defence of Canada and to the development of and improvements in materiel.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 4;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 6 (4th Supp.), s. 10.
Marginal note:Designation of person to execute Minister’s functions

 The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister, may designate any other person in addition to the Minister to exercise any power or perform any duty or function that is vested in or that may be exercised or performed by the Minister under this Act.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 5.
Marginal note:Associate Minister

 The Governor General may, by commission under the Great Seal, appoint an Associate Minister of National Defence to hold office during pleasure and to exercise and perform such powers, duties and functions of the Minister as may be assigned to the Associate Minister by the Governor in Council.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 6.

Deputy Minister

Marginal note:Appointment

 There shall be a Deputy Minister of National Defence who shall be appointed by the Governor in Council to hold office during pleasure.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 7.
Marginal note:Associate Deputy Ministers

 The Governor in Council may appoint not more than three Associate Deputy Ministers of National Defence, each of whom shall have the rank and status of a deputy head of a department and as such shall, under the Minister and the Deputy Minister, exercise and perform such powers, duties and functions as deputy of the Minister and otherwise as the Minister may specify.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 8.

Judge Advocate General

Marginal note:Appointment
  •  (1) The Governor in Council may appoint an officer who is a barrister or advocate with at least ten years standing at the bar of a province to be the Judge Advocate General of the Canadian Forces.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of office

    (2) The Judge Advocate General holds office during pleasure for a term not exceeding four years.

  • Marginal note:Re-appointment

    (3) The Judge Advocate General is eligible to be re-appointed on the expiry of a first or subsequent term of office.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 9;
  • 1998, c. 35, s. 2.