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

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Act current to 2022-09-22 and last amended on 2022-06-20. Previous Versions

National Defence Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. N-5

An Act respecting national defence

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the National Defence Act.

  • R.S., c. N-4, s. 1

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) In this Act,

    aircraft

    aircraft means flying machines and guided missiles that derive their lift in flight chiefly from aerodynamic forces, and flying devices that are supported chiefly by their buoyancy in air, and includes any aeroplane, balloon, kite balloon, airship, glider or kite; (aéronef)

    aircraft material

    aircraft material means engines, fittings, armament, ammunition, bombs, missiles, gear, instruments and apparatus, used or intended for use in connection with aircraft or the operation thereof, and components and accessories of aircraft and substances used to provide motive power or lubrication for or in connection with aircraft or the operation thereof; (matériel aéronautique)

    civil court

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

    civil custody

    civil custody means the holding under arrest or in confinement of a person by the police or other competent civil authority, and includes confinement in a penitentiary or civil prison; (garde civile)

    civil prison

    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, and, if sentenced outside Canada, any prison, jail or other place in which a person, sentenced to that term of imprisonment by a civil court having jurisdiction in the place where the sentence was passed, can for the time being be confined; (prison civile)

    Code of Service Discipline

    Code of Service Discipline means the provisions of Part III; (code de discipline militaire)

    court martial

    court martial includes a General Court Martial and a Standing Court Martial; (cour martiale)

    Court Martial Appeal Court

    Court Martial Appeal Court means the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada established by section 234; (Cour d’appel de la cour martiale)

    criminal organization

    criminal organization has the same meaning as in subsection 467.1(1) of the Criminal Code; (organisation criminelle)

    criminal organization offence

    criminal organization offence means

    • (a) an offence under section 467.11, 467.111, 467.12 or 467.13 of the Criminal Code, or a serious offence committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a criminal organization, or

    • (b) a conspiracy or an attempt to commit, being an accessory after the fact in relation to, or any counselling in relation to, an offence referred to in paragraph (a); (infraction d’organisation criminelle)

    defence establishment

    defence establishment means any area or structure under the control of the Minister, and the materiel and other things situated in or on any such area or structure; (établissement de défense)

    Department

    Department means the Department of National Defence; (ministère)

    Deputy Minister

    Deputy Minister means the Deputy Minister of National Defence; (sous-ministre)

    detention barrack

    detention barrack means a place designated as such under subsection 205(1); (caserne disciplinaire)

    emergency

    emergency means an insurrection, riot, invasion, armed conflict or war, whether real or apprehended; (état d’urgence)

    enemy

    enemy includes armed mutineers, armed rebels, armed rioters and pirates; (ennemi)

    enrol

    enrol means to cause any person to become a member of the Canadian Forces; (Version anglaise seulement)

    finding of not responsible on account of mental disorder

    finding of not responsible on account of mental disorder means a finding made under subsection 202.14(1); (verdict de non-responsabilité pour cause de troubles mentaux)

    Grievance Board

    Grievance Board[Repealed, 2013, c. 24, s. 2]

    Grievances Committee

    Grievances Committee means the Military Grievances External Review Committee continued by subsection 29.16(1); (Comité des griefs)

    Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship

    Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship means any vessel of the Canadian Forces commissioned as a vessel of war; (navire canadien de Sa Majesté)

    Her Majesty’s Forces

    Her Majesty’s Forces means the armed forces of Her Majesty wherever raised, and includes the Canadian Forces; (forces de Sa Majesté)

    man

    man[Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 42]

    materiel

    materiel means all public property, other than real property, immovables and money, provided for the Canadian Forces or for any other purpose under this Act, and includes any vessel, vehicle, aircraft, animal, missile, arms, ammunition, clothing, stores, provisions or equipment so provided; (matériels)

    mental disorder

    mental disorder means a disease of the mind; (troubles mentaux)

    military

    military shall be construed as relating to all or any part of the Canadian Forces; (militaire)

    military judge

    military judge includes a reserve force military judge; (juge militaire)

    military justice

    military justice means all aspects of the application of the Code of Service Discipline; (justice militaire)

    military justice system participant

    military justice system participant means a person who plays a role in the administration of military justice, including

    • (a) the Minister,

    • (b) the Judge Advocate General,

    • (c) an officer and non-commissioned member who acts under the supervision of the Judge Advocate General,

    • (d) a prosecutor and counsel for an accused person,

    • (e) a military judge,

    • (f) a superior commander, a commanding officer and a delegated officer, as defined in section 162.3,

    • (g) a custody review officer, as defined in section 153,

    • (h) a member of a panel of a General Court Martial and an officer and non-commissioned member who has been appointed to be a member of a such a panel,

    • (i) an officer and non-commissioned member who is appointed by a commanding officer for the purpose of supporting a court martial,

    • (j) an officer and non-commissioned member who is authorized to lay or refer a charge,

    • (k) a prospective witness, a witness who has been summoned to appear and a witness who has testified,

    • (l) an officer and non-commissioned member referred to in paragraph (g) of the definition peace officer in section 2 of the Criminal Code,

    • (m) a commanding officer of a service prison or detention barrack and a person who acts under the supervision of such a commanding officer, and

    • (n) a person who acts under the supervision of the Chief Military Judge or the Court Martial Administrator; (personne associée au système de justice militaire)

    military police

    military police means the officers and non-commissioned members appointed under regulations made for the purposes of section 156; (police militaire)

    Minister

    Minister means the Minister of National Defence; (ministre)

    mutiny

    mutiny means collective insubordination or a combination of two or more persons in the resistance of lawful authority in any of Her Majesty’s Forces or in any forces cooperating therewith; (mutinerie)

    non-commissioned member

    non-commissioned member means any person, other than an officer, who is enrolled in, or who pursuant to law is attached or seconded otherwise than as an officer to, the Canadian Forces; (militaire du rang)

    non-public property

    non-public property means

    • (a) all money and property, other than issues of materiel, received for or administered by or through messes, institutes or canteens of the Canadian Forces,

    • (b) all money and property contributed to or by officers, non-commissioned members, units or other elements of the Canadian Forces for the collective benefit and welfare of those officers, non-commissioned members, units or other elements,

    • (c) by-products and refuse and the proceeds of the sale thereof to the extent prescribed under subsection 39(2), and

    • (d) all money and property derived from, purchased out of the proceeds of the sale of, or received in exchange for, money and property described in paragraphs (a) to (c); (biens non publics)

    officer

    officer means

    • (a) a person who holds Her Majesty’s commission in the Canadian Forces,

    • (b) a person who holds the rank of officer cadet in the Canadian Forces, and

    • (c) any person who pursuant to law is attached or seconded as an officer to the Canadian Forces; (officier)

    penitentiary

    penitentiary

    • (a) means a penitentiary established under Part I of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act,

    • (b) includes, in respect of any punishment of imprisonment for life or for two years or more imposed outside Canada pursuant to the Code of Service Discipline, any prison or place in which a person sentenced to imprisonment for life or 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, and

    • (c) means, in any place outside Canada where there is no prison or place for the confinement of persons sentenced to imprisonment for life or for two years or more, a civil prison; (pénitencier)

    personal equipment

    personal equipment means all materiel issued to an officer or non-commissioned member for the personal wear or other personal use of that officer or non-commissioned member; (équipement personnel)

    possession

    possession[Repealed, 1995, c. 39, s. 175]

    Provost Marshal

    Provost Marshal[Repealed, 2013, c. 24, s. 2]

    public property

    public property means all money and property of Her Majesty in right of Canada; (biens publics)

    regular force

    regular force means the component of the Canadian Forces that is referred to in subsection 15(1); (force régulière)

    release

    release means the termination of the service of an officer or non-commissioned member in any manner; (libération)

    reserve force

    reserve force means the component of the Canadian Forces that is referred to in subsection 15(3); (force de réserve)

    scale of punishments

    scale of punishments means the scale of punishments as set out in subsection 139(1); (échelle des peines)

    serious offence

    serious offence means an offence under this Act or an indictable offence under any other Act of Parliament, for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more, or an offence that is prescribed by regulation under subsection 467.1(4) of the Criminal Code; (infraction grave)

    serious personal injury offence

    serious personal injury offence means

    • (a) a serious offence, or an offence referred to in section 77, 86, 87, 92, 95, 113, 120, 124 or 127, involving

      • (i) the use or attempted use of violence against another person, or

      • (ii) conduct endangering or likely to endanger the life or safety of another person or inflicting or likely to inflict severe psychological damage upon another person, or

    • (b) an offence punishable under section 130 that is an offence under section 151, 152, 153, 153.1, 155, 160, 170, 171, 172, 271, 272 or 273 of the Criminal Code, or an attempt to commit such an offence; (infraction grave contre la personne)

    service convict

    service convict means a person who is under a sentence that includes a punishment of imprisonment for life or for two years or more imposed on that person pursuant to the Code of Service Discipline; (condamné militaire)

    service custody

    service custody means the holding under arrest or in confinement of a person by the Canadian Forces, and includes confinement in a service prison or detention barrack; (garde militaire)

    service detainee

    service detainee means a person who is under a sentence that includes a punishment of detention imposed on that person pursuant to the Code of Service Discipline; (détenu militaire)

    service infraction

    service infraction means a service infraction created by regulations made by the Governor in Council; (manquement d’ordre militaire)

    service offence

    service offence means an offence under this Act, the Criminal Code or any other Act of Parliament, committed by a person while subject to the Code of Service Discipline; (infraction d’ordre militaire)

    service prison

    service prison means a place designated as such under subsection 205(1); (prison militaire)

    service prisoner

    service prisoner means a person who is under a sentence that includes a punishment of imprisonment for less than two years imposed on that person pursuant to the Code of Service Discipline; (prisonnier militaire)

    service tribunal

    service tribunal[Repealed, 2019, c. 15, s. 2]

    special force

    special force means such component of the Canadian Forces as may be established pursuant to subsection 16(1); (force spéciale)

    summary hearing

    summary hearing means a hearing conducted under section 163; (audience sommaire)

    summary trial

    summary trial[Repealed, 2019, c. 15, s. 2]

    superior officer

    superior officer means any officer or non-commissioned member who, in relation to any other officer or non-commissioned member, is by this Act, or by regulations or custom of the service, authorized to give a lawful command to that other officer or non-commissioned member; (supérieur)

    terrorism offence

    terrorism offence means

    • (a) an offence under any of sections 83.02 to 83.04 or 83.18 to 83.23 of the Criminal Code,

    • (b) an offence under this Act for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more, or an offence punishable under section 130 that is an indictable offence under the Criminal Code or any other Act of Parliament, that is committed for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group,

    • (c) an offence under this Act for which the maximum punishment is imprisonment for five years or more, or an offence punishable under section 130 that is an indictable offence under the Criminal Code or any other Act of Parliament, where the act or omission constituting the offence also constitutes a terrorist activity, or

    • (d) a conspiracy or an attempt to commit, being an accessory after the fact in relation to, or any counselling in relation to, an offence referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c); (infraction de terrorisme)

    terrorist activity

    terrorist activity has the same meaning as in subsection 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code; (activité terroriste)

    terrorist group

    terrorist group has the same meaning as in subsection 83.01(1) of the Criminal Code; (groupe terroriste)

    unfit to stand trial

    unfit to stand trial means unable on account of mental disorder to conduct a defence at any stage of a trial by court martial before a finding is made or to instruct counsel to do so, and in particular, unable on account of mental disorder to

    • (a) understand the nature or object of the proceedings,

    • (b) understand the possible consequences of the proceedings, or

    • (c) communicate with counsel; (inaptitude à subir son procès)

    unit

    unit means an individual body of the Canadian Forces that is organized as such pursuant to section 17, with the personnel and materiel thereof; (unité)

    victim

    victim means a person against whom a service offence has been committed, or is alleged to have been committed, who has suffered, or is alleged to have suffered, physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss as a result of the commission or alleged commission of the offence and includes, for the purposes of Division 1.1 of Part III and sections 202.201, 203.6 and 203.7, a person who has suffered physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss as a result of the commission of a service offence against any other person. (victime)

  • Marginal note:Acting on victim’s behalf

    (1.1) Any of the following individuals may exercise a victim’s rights under Division 1.1 of Part III or may act on a victim’s behalf for the purposes of sections 189.1, 202.201, 203.6, 203.7 and 203.81:

    • (a) if the victim is dead or is incapable, other than for operational reasons, of acting on their own behalf,

      • (i) the victim’s spouse or the individual who was at the time of the victim’s death their spouse,

      • (ii) the individual who is, or was at the time of the victim’s death, cohabiting with them in a conjugal relationship, having so cohabited for a period of at least one year,

      • (iii) a relative or dependant of the victim,

      • (iv) an individual who has in law or fact custody of, or is responsible for the care or support of, the victim, and

      • (v) an individual who has in law or fact custody of, or is responsible for the care or support of, a dependant of the victim; and

    • (b) if, for operational reasons, the victim is unable to act on their own behalf and has requested the appointment of a member of the Canadian Forces to act on their behalf, a member appointed by the Chief of the Defence Staff or any officer authorized by the Chief of Defence Staff.

  • Marginal note:Exception — not a victim

    (1.2) An individual is not a victim in relation to a service offence, or entitled to exercise a victim’s rights under Division 1.1 of Part III, if the individual is charged with the offence, found guilty of the offence or found unfit to stand trial or not responsible on account of mental disorder in respect of the offence.

  • Marginal note:Exception — acting on victim’s behalf

    (1.3) An individual is not entitled to act on a victim’s behalf for the purposes of sections 189.1, 202.201, 203.6, 203.7 and 203.81 if the individual is an accused person in relation to the offence or alleged offence that resulted in the victim suffering harm or loss or is an individual who is found guilty of that offence or who is found not responsible on account of mental disorder or unfit to stand trial in respect of that offence.

  • Marginal note:Meaning of possession

    (2) For the purposes of the Code of Service Discipline and Part VII,

    • (a) a person has anything in possession when the person has it in the person’s personal possession or knowingly

      • (i) has it in the actual possession or custody of another person, or

      • (ii) has it in any place, whether or not that place belongs to or is occupied by the person, for the use or benefit of the person or of another person; and

    • (b) where one of two or more persons, with the knowledge and consent of the rest, has anything in the person’s custody or possession, it shall be deemed to be in the custody and possession of each and all of them.

  • R.S., 1985, c. N-5, s. 2
  • R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), ss. 42, 60
  • 1991, c. 43, s. 11
  • 1992, c. 20, s. 216
  • 1993, c. 34, s. 91(F)
  • 1995, c. 39, s. 175
  • 1998, c. 35, s. 1
  • 2001, c. 32, s. 67, c. 41, s. 97
  • 2004, c. 15, s. 74
  • 2007, c. 5, s. 1
  • 2008, c. 29, s. 1
  • 2013, c. 24, s. 2
  • 2014, c. 17, s. 17
  • 2019, c. 15, s. 2
  • 2019, c. 15, s. 64
  • 2019, c. 15, s. 65
 
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