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Contents

Long Title

Part I PRELIMINARY

Part II ORGANISATION OF SINGAPORE ARMED FORCES

Part III MILITARY OFFENCES

Part IV SUMMARY TRIAL BY DISCIPLINARY OFFICERS

Part V TRIAL BY SUBORDINATE MILITARY COURTS

Supplementary provisions as to trial

Review of findings and sentences of subordinate military courts

Part VI PUNISHMENTS OF MILITARY OFFENCES AND EXECUTION OF SENTENCES

Punishments

Execution of sentences

Part VII MILITARY COURT OF APPEAL

General provisions

Powers of Military Court of Appeal

Supplementary provisions

Part VIII ARRESTS, SEARCHES AND INVESTIGATIONS

Arrests

Searches

Investigations

Part IX BAIL AND BONDS

Part X BOARDS OF INQUIRY

Part XI PAY

Part XII EMERGENCY POWERS

Part XIIA AID TO CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES

Part XIII MISCELLANEOUS

THE SCHEDULE Specified offences

Legislative History

Comparative Table

 
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Singapore Armed Forces Act
(CHAPTER 295)

(Original Enactment: Act 7 of 1972)

REVISED EDITION 2000
(30th December 2000)
An Act to provide for the raising, maintenance and discipline of the Singapore Armed Forces and for matters connected therewith.
[15th June 1972*]
*   Sections 199 and 200 are not in operation. See G.N. No. S 159/72.
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title and commencement
1.
—(1)  This Act may be cited as the Singapore Armed Forces Act and shall, with the exception of sections 199 and 200, come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
(2)  Sections 199 and 200 shall come into operation on such date as the Minister may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint.
Interpretation
2.
—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“aircraft” means any machine for flying whether propelled by mechanical means or not and includes any description of balloon;
“Armed Forces Council” means the Armed Forces Council established under section 8;
“arms” includes parts and accessories of arms, ammunition, explosives whether encased or not and instruments used as aids to operation or adjustment of arms, whether the arms are serviceable or not;
“arrest” includes open arrest;
“before the enemy”, in relation to a person, means that he is in action against the enemy or about to go into action against the enemy or is under attack or threat of imminent attack by the enemy;
“civil court” means a court of ordinary criminal jurisdiction constituted under any written law in force relating to courts;
“civil offence” means an offence punishable under any written law in force other than a military offence;
“civil prison” means a prison declared as such under section 3 of the Prisons Act (Cap. 247);
“commander”, in relation to any person subject to military law, means an officer of or above the rank of captain or a senior military expert for the time being commanding a unit or units or part of a unit of the Singapore Armed Forces;
[28/2009 wef 01/04/2010]
“convening authority” means —
(a)
in the case of a general court martial, the officer of or above the rank of major, or the senior military expert of or above the rank of ME5, appointed by the Armed Forces Council for the purpose of being the convening authority for general courts martial; or
(b)
in the case of a field general court martial, a convening officer;
[17/2004 wef 31/12/2004]
“convening officer” means a commander referred to in section 83(1);
[17/2004 wef 31/12/2004]
“detention barracks” means any building or part of a building which is set apart by the Armed Forces Council for the purpose of persons serving sentences of detention;
“Director, Legal Services of the Singapore Armed Forces” means the person appointed by the Armed Forces Council under section 82(5)(a);
“disciplinary barrack” means any premises or place set apart by the Armed Forces Council for the purposes of persons serving sentences of special detention in a disciplinary barrack;
“disciplinary officer” means a junior disciplinary officer, a senior disciplinary officer and a superior commander each being qualified to be such or being designated as such pursuant to the provisions of Part IV and includes a Service Chief and the Chief of Defence Force;
“enemy” includes persons engaged in violent operations against the Singapore Armed Forces, armed mutineers, armed rebels, armed rioters or pirates;
“general courts martial panel” means the panel appointed by the convening authority under section 80A;
[17/2004 wef 31/12/2004]
“general orders” includes orders of the Armed Forces Council, General Orders of the Ministry of Defence, standing orders, routine orders and other general orders published in writing in accordance with military usage;
“Military Court of Appeal” means the Court established under Part VII;
“military custody” means any place designated by the Armed Forces Council pursuant to regulations made under this Act which according to military usage is used for keeping offenders under arrest awaiting trial or on remand;
“military documents” includes reports, certificates, returns, pay lists, forms and any other documents in use in the Singapore Armed Forces;
“military expert” means a serviceman in the military domain experts service;
[28/2009 wef 01/04/2010]
“military offence” means an offence punishable under this Act;
“military policeman” means a serviceman appointed to be a military policeman;
“military prison” means any building or part of a building under the control of the Armed Forces Council which is set apart by the Armed Forces Council for the purpose of persons serving sentences of imprisonment;
“national serviceman” has the same meaning as in the Enlistment Act (Cap. 93);
“non-uniformed serviceman” means a regular serviceman who is not required under his terms of service to wear military uniform;
“officer” means a person appointed by the President of Singapore or the proper authority to hold the rank of officer in the Singapore Armed Forces and includes any person commissioned as an officer under any written law that is repealed by this Act;
“operationally ready national serviceman” means a person liable to render operationally ready national service under the Enlistment Act (Cap. 93);
“proper authority” has the same meaning as in the Enlistment Act;
“publication” and “words” have the same meanings as in the Sedition Act (Cap. 290);
“qualified person” has the same meaning as in the Legal Profession Act (Cap. 161);
“registrar for subordinate military courts” means the person appointed by the Armed Forces Council as registrar for subordinate military courts under section 82(5)(c);
[17/2004 wef 31/12/2004]
“regular serviceman” has the same meaning as in the Enlistment Act;
“senior military expert” means a military expert of or above the rank of ME4;
[28/2009 wef 01/04/2010]
“sentence” means a punishment imposed on a convicted person;
“Service Chief” means the Chief of Air Force, the Chief of Army or the Chief of Navy;
“serviceman” means an officer, a soldier, a military expert or a non-uniformed serviceman of the Singapore Armed Forces, and includes a servicewoman;
[28/2009 wef 01/04/2010]
“sickness” includes permanent or temporary illness, disability or injury;
“Singapore Armed Forces” means the Singapore Armed Forces raised and maintained under section 7;
“Singapore Armed Forces property” includes property in the possession, control or occupancy of the Singapore Armed Forces;
“soldier” means any person, other than an officer, a senior military expert or a non-uniformed serviceman, who is a member of the Singapore Armed Forces, and includes any such person who is a servicewoman;
[28/2009 wef 01/04/2010]
“subordinate military courts” means general courts martial and field general courts martial from the decisions of which by reason of this Act there is a right of appeal to the Military Court of Appeal;
“summary trial” means a trial by a disciplinary officer under Part IV;
“vessel” includes a hovercraft;
“volunteer” means a person accepted by the proper authority as a volunteer in the Singapore Armed Forces;
“warrant officer” means a person appointed by the Armed Forces Council or the proper authority to hold the rank of warrant officer in the Singapore Armed Forces.
[20/75; 1/91; 1/94; 20/94; 10/2000]
(2)  In any written law or any document —
(a)
all references to “the Army Board” shall be construed as references to the Armed Forces Council constituted under this Act;
(b)
all references to “court-martial” shall be construed as references to the subordinate military courts constituted under this Act;
(c)
all references to “Singapore armed forces” “Singapore Army”, “Singapore forces” and “the army, navy or air force of Singapore” shall be construed as references to the Singapore Armed Forces constituted under this Act;
(d)
all references to “a person holding a commission in the armed forces” shall be construed as references to an officer under this Act; and
[28/2009 wef 01/04/2010]
(e)
all references to “a soldier, enlisted personnel, sailor, seaman, rating or airman” shall be construed as references to a serviceman under this Act.
[1/94]
(3)  For the purposes of this Act, if not inconsistent with the context, the expression “on active service” as applied to a person subject to military law means whenever he is attached to or forms part of a force which is engaged in operations against the enemy or is engaged in military operations in a country or place wholly or partly occupied by an enemy, or is in military occupation of any foreign country.
(4)  Notwithstanding subsection (3), where any part of the Singapore Armed Forces is serving, or due to serve, outside Singapore under conditions that do not, or will not, amount to “active service” as defined in subsection (3), the Armed Forces Council may declare that that part of the Singapore Armed Forces shall be temporarily subject to this Act, as if that part of the Forces was on active service.
(5)  On the publication of any declaration under subsection (4), the forces to which the declaration applies shall be deemed to be on active service until the declaration is cancelled by the Armed Forces Council.
Application
3.  The following persons shall be persons subject to military law and this Act shall, subject to such exclusions or variations in relation to non-uniformed servicemen as may be prescribed, apply to them:
(a)
regular servicemen and full-time national servicemen in the Singapore Armed Forces from the time their liability to report for enlistment or service arises until such time as they are lawfully discharged or released;
(b)
operationally ready national servicemen from the time that they are ordered to report for enlistment or service, whether they have complied with such order or not, and while in uniform or performing service in the Singapore Armed Forces or the People’s Defence Force pursuant to section 14 of the Enlistment Act (Cap. 93), and while called out for mobilised service pursuant to sections 16 and 17 of that Act or when called out to duty in aid of the civil power;
(c)
all civilians who are in the service of the Singapore Armed Forces when engaged on active service;
(d)
all civilians, not otherwise subject to military law, who are followers of, or accompany, the Singapore Armed Forces when engaged on active service;
(e)
officers and soldiers belonging to a Commonwealth or foreign force when attached to or seconded for service with or otherwise acting as part of or with any portion of the Singapore Armed Forces; and
(f)
volunteers during the period that they are ordered to report for service, whether they have complied with such order or not.
[1/91; 20/94]
Liability for military offences
4.  All persons subject to military law by virtue of section 3 shall be liable to be tried by subordinate military courts for all the military offences in this Act and by a disciplinary officer for the offences specified in the Schedule.
Liability for offences under Emergency (Essential Powers) Act
5.
—(1)  A person, who was subject to military law under section 3(a) or (b) and —
(a)
who is liable to render operationally ready national service as a person subject to the Enlistment Act (Cap. 93); or
(b)
who is exempted from liability to render operationally ready national service under section 28 of that Act, but comes within the definition of a person subject to the Enlistment Act in section 2 of that Act,
shall be regarded as continuing to be subject to military law and, where such person was a member of the Singapore Armed Forces, be regarded as continuing to be a member of the Singapore Armed Forces, for the purposes of proceedings for such offence under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act (Cap. 90) as may be prescribed under subsection (5), notwithstanding that he has been discharged or released from the Singapore Armed Forces or has otherwise ceased to be subject to military law at the time of the commission of the offence.
[17/78; 20/94]
(2)  Subject to section 111(1), where such offence under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act as may be prescribed under subsection (5) has been committed or is reasonably suspected of having been committed by a person who was, at the time of the commission of the offence, subject to military law under subsection (1), such person shall —
(a)
be liable to be tried by a subordinate military court for the offence; and
(b)
in relation to that offence, be treated for the purposes of the provisions of this Act relating to arrest, keeping in custody, investigation of offences, trial and punishment by a subordinate military court, and execution of sentences as continuing to be subject to military law,
notwithstanding that he has been discharged or released from the Singapore Armed Forces or has otherwise ceased to be subject to military law at any time.
(3)  Where a person, who is subject to military law by virtue of subsection (1), is sentenced by a subordinate military court to imprisonment, special detention or detention for such offence under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act (Cap. 90) as may be prescribed under subsection (5), this Act shall apply to him during the term of his sentence, notwithstanding that he has been discharged or released from the Singapore Armed Forces, or has otherwise ceased to be subject to military law; and he may be kept, removed, imprisoned, made to undergo special detention or detention, and punished accordingly as if he continued to be subject to military law.
(4)  For the purposes of subsections (2) and (3), a person shall —
(a)
subject to paragraph (c), where he was a regular serviceman, be regarded as having the rank or service grade that he held on the day of his discharge or release as a regular serviceman;
[28/2009 wef 01/04/2010]
(b)
where he was a full-time national serviceman or an operationally ready national serviceman, be regarded as having the rank that he held on the day of his release as a full-time national serviceman or as an operationally ready national serviceman, if he is no more liable for full-time service or operationally ready national service, as the case may be, under the Enlistment Act (Cap. 93); or
(c)
where he remains liable to render operationally ready national service under the Enlistment Act, be regarded as having the rank that he holds as an operationally ready national serviceman in the Singapore Armed Forces or the People’s Defence Force at the date of the trial for such offence.
[20/94]
(5)  For the purposes of this section, the Minister may, by order* published in the Gazette, prescribe the offences under the Emergency (Essential Powers) Act (Cap. 90), for which a person, who commits any of those offences, may be tried and punished under this Act.
*   G.N. No. S 96/78.
Jurisdiction of civil courts
6.  Nothing in this Act shall affect the jurisdiction of civil courts to try a person subject to military law for any civil offence.