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

Act current to 2017-05-11 and last amended on 2015-06-01. Previous Versions

Marginal note:Regular force
  •  (1) There shall be a component of the Canadian Forces, called the regular force, that consists of officers and non-commissioned members who are enrolled for continuing, full-time military service.

  • Marginal note:Composition of regular force

    (2) The maximum numbers of officers and non-commissioned members in the regular force shall be as authorized by the Governor in Council, and the regular force shall include such units and other elements as are embodied therein.

  • Marginal note:Reserve force

    (3) There shall be a component of the Canadian Forces, called the reserve force, that consists of officers and non-commissioned members who are enrolled for other than continuing, full-time military service when not on active service.

  • Marginal note:Composition of reserve force

    (4) The maximum numbers of officers and non-commissioned members in the reserve force shall be as authorized by the Governor in Council, and the reserve force shall include such units and other elements as are embodied therein.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 15;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 60.
Marginal note:Special force
  •  (1) In an emergency, or if considered desirable in consequence of any action undertaken by Canada under the United Nations Charter or the North Atlantic Treaty, the North American Aerospace Defence Command Agreement or any other similar instrument to which Canada is a party, the Governor in Council may establish and authorize the maintenance of a component of the Canadian Forces, called the special force, consisting of

    • (a) officers and non-commissioned members of the regular force who are placed in the special force under conditions prescribed in regulations;

    • (b) officers and non-commissioned members of the reserve force who, being on active service or having applied and been accepted for continuing, full-time military service, are placed in the special force under conditions prescribed in regulations; and

    • (c) officers and non-commissioned members not of the regular force or the reserve force who are enrolled in the special force for continuing, full-time military service.

  • Marginal note:Composition of special force

    (2) The maximum numbers of officers and non-commissioned members in the special force shall be as authorized by the Governor in Council, and the special force shall include such units and other elements as are embodied therein.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 16;
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 60;
  • 2004, c. 15, s. 75.

Units and Other Elements

Marginal note:Organization
  •  (1) The Canadian Forces shall consist of those of the following elements that are from time to time organized by or under the authority of the Minister:

    • (a) commands, including the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force;

    • (b) formations;

    • (c) units; and

    • (d) other elements.

  • Marginal note:Components

    (2) A unit or other element organized under subsection (1), other than a command or a formation, shall from time to time be embodied in a component of the Canadian Forces as directed by or under the authority of the Minister.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 17;
  • 2014, c. 20, s. 168.

Chief of the Defence Staff

Marginal note:Appointment, rank and duties of Chief of Defence Staff
  •  (1) The Governor in Council may appoint an officer to be the Chief of the Defence Staff, who shall hold such rank as the Governor in Council may prescribe and who shall, subject to the regulations and under the direction of the Minister, be charged with the control and administration of the Canadian Forces.

  • Marginal note:Responsibility and channels of communication

    (2) Unless the Governor in Council otherwise directs, all orders and instructions to the Canadian Forces that are required to give effect to the decisions and to carry out the directions of the Government of Canada or the Minister shall be issued by or through the Chief of the Defence Staff.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 18.
Marginal note:Vice Chief of the Defence Staff

 There shall be an officer appointed by the Chief of the Defence Staff to be the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff.

  • 1998, c. 35, s. 6.
Marginal note:Absence or incapacity of Chief of the Defence Staff

 In the event of the absence or incapacity of the Chief of the Defence Staff, the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, or any other officer that is specified by the Minister or the Chief of the Defence Staff, has the control and administration of the Canadian Forces.

  • 1998, c. 35, s. 6.

Canadian Forces Provost Marshal

Marginal note:Appointment
  •  (1) The Chief of the Defence Staff may appoint an officer who has been a member of the military police for at least 10 years to be the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (in this Act referred to as the “Provost Marshal”).

  • Marginal note:Rank

    (2) The Provost Marshal holds a rank that is not less than colonel.

  • Marginal note:Tenure of office and removal

    (3) The Provost Marshal holds office during good behaviour for a term not exceeding four years. The Chief of the Defence Staff may remove the Provost Marshal from office for cause on the recommendation of an inquiry committee established under regulations made by the Governor in Council.

  • Marginal note:Powers of inquiry committee

    (4) An inquiry committee has the same powers, rights and privileges — other than the power to punish for contempt — as are vested in a superior court of criminal jurisdiction with respect to

    • (a) the attendance, swearing and examination of witnesses;

    • (b) the production and inspection of documents;

    • (c) the enforcement of its orders; and

    • (d) all other matters necessary or proper for the due exercise of its jurisdiction.

  • Marginal note:Reappointment

    (5) The Provost Marshal is eligible to be reappointed on the expiry of a first or subsequent term of office.

  • 2013, c. 24, s. 4.
Marginal note:Duties and functions

 The Provost Marshal’s responsibilities include

  • (a) investigations conducted by any unit or other element under his or her command;

  • (b) the establishment of selection and training standards applicable to candidates for the military police and the ensuring of compliance with those standards;

  • (c) the establishment of training and professional standards applicable to the military police and the ensuring of compliance with those standards; and

  • (d) investigations in respect of conduct that is inconsistent with the professional standards applicable to the military police or the Military Police Professional Code of Conduct.

  • 2013, c. 24, s. 4.
Marginal note:General supervision
  •  (1) The Provost Marshal acts under the general supervision of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in respect of the responsibilities described in paragraphs 18.4(a) to (d).

  • Marginal note:General instructions or guidelines

    (2) The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff may issue general instructions or guidelines in writing in respect of the responsibilities described in paragraphs 18.4(a) to (d). The Provost Marshal shall ensure that they are available to the public.

  • Marginal note:Specific instructions or guidelines

    (3) The Vice Chief of the Defence Staff may issue instructions or guidelines in writing in respect of a particular investigation.

  • Marginal note:Availability to public

    (4) The Provost Marshal shall ensure that instructions and guidelines issued under subsection (3) are available to the public.

  • Marginal note:Exception

    (5) Subsection (4) does not apply in respect of an instruction or guideline, or of a part of one, if the Provost Marshal considers that it would not be in the best interests of the administration of justice for the instruction or guideline, or that part of it, to be available to the public.

  • 2013, c. 24, s. 4.
 
Date modified: