Defence (Amendment) Act 2007

Insertion of new sections: Courts-Martial Rules Committee, etc.

71.— (1) The following sections are inserted after section 240 but in Chapter IX of the Principal Act:

“Courts-Martial Rules Committee.

240A.— (1) There is hereby established a committee to be known as Coiste Rialacha na nArmchúirteanna or in the English language as the Courts-Martial Rules Committee (in this Chapter referred to as the ‘Committee’).

(2) The functions of the Committee shall be, with the concurrence of the Minister, to make rules of court (in this Act referred to as ‘court-martial rules’) in accordance with section 240B.

(3) The Committee shall consist of two ex-officio members and six nominated members.

(4) The ex-officio members of the Committee shall be—

(a) the Judge Advocate-General, and

(b) the military judge or, where there is more than one, the Chief Military Judge, who shall be the deputy chairperson of the Committee.

(5) The nominated members of the Committee shall be—

(a) a judge of the Circuit Court nominated by the President of the Circuit Court, who shall be the chairperson of the Committee,

(b) a practising barrister nominated by the General Council of the Bar of Ireland,

(c) a practising solicitor nominated by the Law Society of Ireland,

(d) an officer of the Attorney General, nominated by the Attorney General,

(e) an officer of the Department of Defence, not below the rank of principal officer, nominated by the Minister, and

(f) an officer of the Permanent Defence Force, not below the rank of commandant, nominated by the Chief of Staff, who shall act as secretary to the Committee.

(6) Every nominated member of the Committee shall, unless that member sooner dies, resigns or ceases to be, as the case may be, a judge of the Circuit Court, a practising barrister, a practising solicitor or an officer referred to in subsection (5)(d) to (f) of this section, hold office as such member for five years from the date of nomination.

(7) A nominated member of the Committee whose membership expires with the passage of time shall be eligible for renomination.

(8) Subject to subsection (9) of this section, the Committee may act notwithstanding one or more vacancies in its membership.

(9) The quorum for a meeting of the Committee shall be four.

(10) The chairperson of the Committee shall preside at all meetings of the Committee at which he is present and in the absence of the chairperson the deputy chairperson shall preside at the meeting.

(11) Subject to subsection (12) of this section, the Committee shall hold such and so many meetings as may be necessary for the performance of its functions but in any case shall meet not less frequently than once in each year.

(12) The first meeting of the Committee shall be held within one month after the commencement of this section.

(13) Subject to this Act, the Committee shall regulate the practice and procedure of the Committee.

Court-martial rules.

240B.— (1) The Committee may, with the concurrence of the Minister, make court-martial rules for the purpose of regulating the pleading, practice and procedure generally in all proceedings before courts-martial under this Part of this Act, including rules in relation to all or any of the matters set out in the Twelfth Schedule to this Act.

(2) Court-martial rules shall be deemed to be a statutory instrument to which the Statutory Instruments Act 1947 primarily applies.”.

(2) The Schedule set out in Schedule 7 is inserted after the Eleventh Schedule (inserted by section 20 ) to the Principal Act.