Visiting Forces Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. V-2)

Act current to 2017-09-27 and last amended on 2015-02-26. Previous Versions

Visiting Forces Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. V-2

An Act respecting the armed forces of countries visiting Canada

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Visiting Forces Act.

  • R.S., c. V-6, s. 1.

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

 In this Act,

Canadian Forces

Forces canadiennes

Canadian Forces means the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada; (Forces canadiennes)

civil court

tribunal civil

civil court means a court of ordinary criminal jurisdiction in Canada and includes a court of summary jurisdiction; (tribunal civil)

civil prison

prison civile

civil prison means any prison, jail or other place in Canada in which offenders sentenced by a civil court in Canada to imprisonment for less than two years can be confined; (prison civile)

dependant

personne à charge

dependant means, with reference to a member of a visiting force or to a member of the armed forces of a designated state, a person who forms part of the member’s household and depends on the member for support; (personne à charge)

designated state

État désigné

designated state means a state, other than Canada, that is designated under section 4; (État désigné)

detention barrack

caserne disciplinaire

detention barrack means a place designated as such under the National Defence Act; (caserne disciplinaire)

penitentiary

pénitencier

penitentiary means a penitentiary within the meaning of Part I of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, and includes any prison or place in which a person sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more by a civil court having jurisdiction in the place where the sentence is imposed can, for the time being, be confined; (pénitencier)

service court

tribunal militaire

service court means a court martial and includes the service authorities of a designated state who are empowered by the laws of that state to deal with charges; (tribunal militaire)

service prison

prison militaire

service prison means a place designated as such under the National Defence Act; (prison militaire)

visiting force

force étrangère présente au Canada

visiting force means any of the armed forces of a designated state present in Canada in connection with official duties, and includes civilian personnel designated under section 4 as a civilian component of a visiting force. (force étrangère présente au Canada)

  • R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 2;
  • 1992, c. 20, s. 216;
  • 2000, c. 12, s. 316.

PART IApplication of Act

Marginal note:Application of Act

 This Act applies in respect of a designated state when the Governor in Council has pursuant to section 4 declared it to be applicable in respect of that state, and it applies in respect of that state only to the extent declared by the Governor in Council pursuant to that section.

  • R.S., c. V-6, s. 3.
Marginal note:Proclamations

 The Governor in Council may by proclamation

  • (a) designate any country as a designated state for the purposes of this Act;

  • (b) declare the extent to which this Act is applicable in respect of any designated state;

  • (c) designate civilian personnel as a civilian component of a visiting force; and

  • (d) revoke or amend any designation or declaration made under paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

  • R.S., c. V-6, s. 4.

PART IIDisciplinary Jurisdiction of Visiting Forces

Marginal note:Primary right of civil courts to exercise jurisdiction
  •  (1) Except in respect of offences mentioned in subsection 6(2), the civil courts have the primary right to exercise jurisdiction in respect of any act or omission constituting an offence against any law in force in Canada alleged to have been committed by a member of a visiting force or a dependant.

  • Marginal note:Previous trial by service courts

    (2) Where a member of a visiting force or a dependant has been tried by a service court of that visiting force and has been convicted or acquitted, the member or dependant may not be tried again by a civil court for the same offence.

  • R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 5;
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 160(F).
Marginal note:Jurisdiction of service courts
  •  (1) Subject to this Act, the service authorities and service courts of a visiting force may exercise within Canada in relation to members of that force and dependants all the criminal and disciplinary jurisdiction that is conferred on them by the law of the designated state to which they belong.

  • Marginal note:Primary right to exercise jurisdiction

    (2) With respect to the alleged commission by a member of a visiting force of an offence respecting

    • (a) the property or security of the designated state,

    • (b) the person or property of another member of the visiting force or a dependant, or

    • (c) an act done or anything omitted in the performance of official duty,

    the service courts of the visiting force have the primary right to exercise jurisdiction.

  • Marginal note:Previous trial by civil courts

    (3) Where a member of a visiting force or a dependant has been tried by a civil court and has been convicted or acquitted, the member or dependant may not be tried again within Canada for the same offence by a service court of that visiting force, but nothing in this subsection prevents that service court from trying within Canada a member of the visiting force or a dependant for any contravention of rules of discipline arising from an act or omission that constituted an offence for which the member or dependant was tried by a civil court.

  • R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 6;
  • 2004, c. 25, s. 180(F);
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 161(F).
Marginal note:Trial by court having primary right
  •  (1) Where under sections 5 and 6 a civil court or a service court of a visiting force has the primary right to exercise jurisdiction, the court having such primary right has the right to deal with charges against alleged offenders in the first instance, but such right may be waived in accordance with regulations.

  • Marginal note:Certificate

    (2) A certificate of the service authorities of a designated state stating that anything alleged to have been done or omitted by a member of a visiting force of that state was or was not done or omitted in the performance of official duty is admissible in evidence in any civil court and for the purposes of this Act is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, proof of that fact.

  • R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 7;
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 162(F).
Marginal note:Witnesses

 The members of a service court of a visiting force, exercising jurisdiction by virtue of this Act, and witnesses appearing before such a service court, have the like immunities and privileges as a service tribunal exercising jurisdiction under the National Defence Act and witnesses appearing before any such service tribunal.

  • R.S., c. V-6, s. 8.
Marginal note:Sentences
  •  (1) Where any sentence has been passed by a service court within or outside Canada on a member of the armed forces of a designated state, or a dependant, for the purposes of any legal proceedings within Canada,

    • (a) the service court shall be deemed to have been properly constituted;

    • (b) its proceedings shall be deemed to have been regularly conducted;

    • (c) the sentence shall be deemed to have been within the jurisdiction of the service court and in accordance with the law of the designated state; and

    • (d) if the sentence has been executed according to the tenor thereof, it shall be deemed to have been lawfully executed.

  • Marginal note:Detention

    (2) For the purposes of any legal proceedings within Canada, any member of a visiting force or any dependant who is detained in custody is deemed to be in lawful custody if the member or dependant is in custody

    • (a) pursuant to a sentence referred to in subsection (1); or

    • (b) pending the determination by a service court of a charge brought against the member or dependant.

  • Marginal note:Certificate

    (3) For the purposes of any legal proceedings within Canada, a certificate purporting to be signed by the officer in command of a visiting force stating that the persons specified in the certificate sat as a service court is admissible in evidence and is conclusive proof of that fact, and a certificate purporting to be signed by such an officer stating that a member of that force or a dependant is being detained in either of the circumstances described in subsection (2) is admissible in evidence and is conclusive proof of the cause of the person’s detention, but not of the person being a member of the visiting force or a dependant.

  • R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 9;
  • 2015, c. 3, s. 163.
 
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