Information Circular No 9 – Summoning of Civilian Witnesses for the Purposes of Summary Investigation of Charges

By Industrial Relations Officer

PDFORRA wishes to draw members’ attention to the provisions of Section 183 (1) of the Defence Act 1954 (as amended) and the obligations/entitlements of Commanding Officers in respect of the hearings of summary charges.

Section 183(1) of the Act, provides as follows:
“Every person not subject to military law required to give evidence before an authorised officer or a commanding officer investigating a charge under this Chapter may be summoned or ordered in the prescribed manner to attend as a witness before the authorised officer or the commanding officer.”

Military Authorities have confirmed to PDFORRA that Statutory Instrument 297/1954 remains the defining provision regarding the summoning of civilian witnesses. Section 2 of this Instrument provides:
“Where a person not subject to military law is required to give evidence before an authorised officer or a commanding officer investigating a charge under Chapter IV of Part V of the Act, such person shall be summoned or ordered to attend by summons under the hand of that officer”

The rights afforded to a soldier at a summary investigation are outlined in Section 2 of Appendix D to DFR A7 (i.e. the Charge Sheet). Among those rights is a right to “have called and examined any reasonably available witnesses that he or she wishes”. The military authorities have confirmed that: “This should be facilitated as best possible.”

Issued on: 06/04/2018

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