Law:Visiting Forces Act

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R.s.c., 1985, c. V-2

An Act respecting the armed forces of countries visiting Canada


Contents

Short Title

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Visiting Forces Act.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 1.


Interpretation

Definitions

2. In this Act,

“Canadian Forces”

« Forces canadiennes »

“Canadian Forces” means the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada;

“civil court”

« tribunal civil »

“civil court” means a court of ordinary criminal jurisdiction in Canada and includes a court of summary jurisdiction;

“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;

“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;

“designated state”

« État désigné »

“designated state” means a state, other than Canada, that is designated under section 4;

“detention barrack”

« caserne disciplinaire »

“detention barrack” means a place designated as such under the National Defence Act;

“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;

“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;

“service prison”

« prison militaire »

“service priso” means a place designated as such under the National Defence Act;

“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.

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


Part I. Application Of Act

Application of Act

3. 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.

Proclamations

4. 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 Ii. Disciplinary Jurisdiction Of Visiting Forces

Primary right of civil courts to exercise jurisdiction

5. (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.

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., c. V-6, s. 5.

Jurisdiction of service courts

6. (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.

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.

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).

Previous VersionTrial by court having primary right

7. (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.

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., c. V-6, s. 7.

Witnesses

8. 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.

Sentences

9. (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.

Detention

(2) Any member of a visiting force or any dependant who is detained in custody

(a) in pursuance of 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,

shall, for the purposes of any legal proceedings within Canada, be deemed to be in lawful custody.

Certificate

(3) For the purposes of any legal proceedings within Canada, a certificate under the hand of 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 under the hand of 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 his detention, but not of his being a member of the visiting force or a dependant.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 9.

Arrest

10. For the purpose of enabling the service authorities and service courts of a visiting force to exercise more effectively the powers conferred on them by this Act, the Minister of National Defence, if so requested by the officer in command of the visiting force or by the designated state, may from time to time by general or special orders to the Canadian Forces, or any part thereof, direct the officers and non-commissioned members thereof to arrest members of the visiting force or dependants alleged to have been guilty of offences against the law of the designated state and to hand over any person so arrested to the appropriate authorities of the visiting force.

R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 10; R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 61.

Place of incarceration

11. (1) Where a member of a visiting force or a dependant of any such member has been sentenced by a service court to undergo a punishment involving incarceration, the incarceration may, at the request of the officer in command of the visiting force and in accordance with the regulations, be served wholly or partly in a penitentiary, civil prison, service prison or detention barrack, and the provisions of the National Defence Act respecting the carrying out of punishments of incarceration imposed on officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Forces apply with such modifications as the circumstances require.

Idem

(2) The Minister of National Defence shall, in accordance with the regulations and having regard to the nature of the place of incarceration to which the offender would have been committed under the law of the designated state, determine whether the offender’s punishment is to be served in whole or in part in a penitentiary, civil prison, service prison or detention barrack.

R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 11; R.S., 1985, c. 31 (1st Supp.), s. 61.

Police functions

12. (1) The authority of members of a visiting force to perform police functions, including the power of arrest, shall be as prescribed in the regulations, but no such regulation shall empower a member of a visiting force to perform police functions in respect of any person who is not a member of the visiting force or a dependant.

Citizen arrest

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed so as to prevent a member of a visiting force from exercising the power of arrest given by subsections 494(1) and (2) of the Criminal Code.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 12; 1972, c. 13, s. 75.

Application of provisions of National Defence Act

13. (1) Subject to such limitations as may be prescribed in the regulations, subsections 249.22(1) to (3) and section 251.2 of the National Defence Act apply in relation to courts martial of a visiting force, except that a person required to give evidence before a court martial of a visiting force may be summoned only by a provincial court judge or justice of the peace whose authority in that respect shall be exercised in accordance with the regulations.

Idem

(2) Section 302 of the National Defence Act applies to any person duly summoned under subsection (1) as though the court martial before which that person is summoned to appear were a court martial within the Canadian Forces.

R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 13; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 203; 1998, c. 35, s. 127.

Firearms and drilling

14. Members of a visiting force acting in the course of their duties, except civilian personnel,

(a) may, if authorized to do so by orders of the service authorities of the visiting force, possess and carry explosives, ammunition and firearms; and

(b) are not subject to the provisions of the Criminal Code relating to unlawful drilling or the making or possessing of explosives.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 14.


Part Iii. Claims For Personal Injuries And Property Damage

Claims against designated states

15. For the purposes of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act,

(a) in the Province of Quebec

(i) a fault committed by a member of a visiting force while acting within the scope of their duties or employment shall be deemed to have been committed by a servant of the Crown while acting within the scope of their duties or employment,

(ii) property owned by or in the custody of a visiting force shall be deemed to be owned by or in the custody of the Crown, and

(iii) a service motor vehicle of a visiting force shall be deemed to be owned by the Crown; and

(b) in any other province,

(i) a tort committed by a member of a visiting force while acting within the scope of their duties or employment shall be deemed to have been committed by a servant of the Crown while acting within the scope of their duties or employment,

(ii) property owned, occupied, possessed or controlled by a visiting force shall be deemed to be owned, occupied, possessed or controlled by the Crown, and

(iii) a service motor vehicle of a visiting force shall be deemed to be owned by the Crown.

R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 15; 1993, c. 34, s. 135; 2001, c. 4, s. 172.

No proceedings lie where pension payable

16. No proceedings lie against the Crown by virtue of section 15, or against any member of a visiting force who is deemed a servant of the Crown under section 15, in respect of a claim by a member of a visiting force or a dependant, or by a person who acts in the name of and for the benefit of the member or their estate or succession, arising out of the death, or injury to the person, of the member, if compensation has been paid or is payable by a designated state, or out of any funds administered by an agency of a designated state, for the death or injury.

R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 16; 2004, c. 25, s. 181.

Previous VersionEnforcement of judgment

17. A member of a visiting force is not subject to any proceedings for the enforcement of any judgment given against him in Canada in respect of a matter that arose while the member was acting within the scope of his duties or employment.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 17.

Ships

18. Except as section 15 may be made applicable by order of the Governor in Council in respect of the ships of any particular designated state, that section does not apply to a claim arising out of or in connection with the navigation, operation or salvage of a ship or the loading, carriage or discharge of a cargo, unless the claim is a claim arising out of death or injury to the person.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 18.

Official duty

19. (1) Where a question that cannot be settled by negotiation between the parties arises under this Part as to whether

(a) a member of a visiting force was acting within the scope of his duties or employment, or

(b) a matter in respect of which judgment was given against a member of a visiting force arose while the member was acting within the scope of his duties or employment,

the question shall be submitted to an arbitrator appointed in accordance with subsection (2), and for the purposes of this Part the decision of the arbitrator is final and conclusive.

Appointing arbitrator

(2) An arbitrator shall be appointed for the purposes of this section by agreement between the designated state concerned and Canada from among the nationals of Canada who hold or have held high judicial office, and if the designated state and Canada are unable, within two months, to agree on the arbitrator, either the designated state or Canada may request any person designated in an agreement with the designated state or acceptable to the designated state and Canada to appoint the arbitrator from among the nationals of Canada who have held high judicial office.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 19.


Part Iv. Security Provisions

Security of Information Act applicable

20. Subject to section 21, the Security of Information Act applies and shall be construed as applying in respect of a designated state as though

(a) a reference in that Act to "office under Her Majesty" included any office or employment in or under any department or branch of the government of a designated state;

(b) a reference in that Act to "prohibited place" included

(i) any work of defence belonging to or occupied or used by or on behalf of a designated state including arsenals, armed forces establishments or stations, factories, dockyards, mines, minefields, camps, ships, aircraft, telegraph, telephone, wireless or signal stations or offices, and places, other than diplomatic premises of designated states, used for the purpose of building, repairing, making or storing any munitions of war or any sketches, plans, models or documents relating thereto, or for the purpose of getting any metals, oil or minerals of use in time of war, and

(ii) any place, not belonging to a designated state, where any munitions of war or any sketches, plans, models or documents relating thereto are being made, repaired, obtained or stored under contract with, or with any person on behalf of, a designated state, or otherwise on behalf of a designated state;

(c) a reference in that Act to "safety or interests of the state" or to "interest of the state" or to "public interest" included the safety and security interests of a designated state;

(d) a reference in that Act to "contract made on behalf of Her Majesty" included a contract made on behalf of a designated state;

(e) the expression "appointed by or acting under the authority of Her Majesty" in that Act included the expression "appointed by or acting under the authority of the government of a designated state"; and

(f) a reference in that Act to "any member of Her Majesty’s forces" included a member of the visiting force of a designated state.

R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 20; 2001, c. 41, s. 37.

Exception

21. Section 26 of the Security of Information Act does not apply in respect of a designated state.

R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 21; 2001, c. 41, s. 38.


Part V. Taxation

Residence or domicile

22. (1) Where the liability for any form of taxation in Canada depends on residence or domicile, a period during which a member of a visiting force is in Canada by reason of his being a member of such visiting force shall, for the purpose of such taxation, be deemed not to be a period of residence in Canada and not to create a change of residence or domicile.

Salaries

(2) A member of a visiting force is exempt from taxation in Canada on the salary and emoluments paid to the member as a member by a designated state and in respect of any tangible personal or corporeal movable property that is in Canada temporarily by reason of the member’s presence in Canada as a member.

Resident Canadian citizens excepted

(3) For the purposes of this section, the term "member of a visiting force" does not include a Canadian citizen resident or ordinarily resident in Canada.

R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 22; 2001, c. 4, s. 127.

Service vehicles

23. No tax or fee is payable in respect of the licensing or registration of service vehicles of a visiting force or in respect of the use of such vehicles on any road in Canada.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 23.

Imports

24. (1) Subject to the regulations, a visiting force may import into Canada, free of duty and tax, equipment for the visiting force and such quantities of provisions, supplies and other goods for the exclusive use of the visiting force as in the opinion of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness are reasonable.

Idem

(2) The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness may authorize the import into Canada, free of duty and tax, of goods for use by dependants of members of a visiting force.

R.S., 1985, c. V-2, s. 24; 2005, c. 38, ss. 142, 145.

Previous VersionPersonal effects and motor vehicles

25. A member of a visiting force may, in accordance with the regulations,

(a) at the time of his first arrival to take up service in Canada and at the time of the first arrival of any dependant to join the member, import his personal effects and furniture free of duty and tax; and

(b) import, free of duty and tax, his private motor vehicle for the personal use of himself and his dependants temporarily, but this paragraph shall not be construed as granting or authorizing the granting of any exemption from taxes or fees in respect of the licensing or registration of private vehicles or the use of the roads by private vehicles in Canada.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 25.

Fuel, oil, etc.

26. Subject to compliance with such conditions as are prescribed by the regulations, no duty or tax is payable on any fuel, oil or lubricants intended for use exclusively in the service vehicles, aircraft or vessels of a visiting force.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 26.


Part Vi. Attachments To And From Canadian Forces

Application of section

27. (1) The forces, other than the Canadian Forces, to which this section applies are the armed forces raised in a country declared by the Governor in Council as a country in respect of which this Part is applicable.

Temporary attachments

(2) The Governor in Council

(a) may attach temporarily to the Canadian Forces a member of another force to which this section applies who is placed at his disposal for the purpose by the service authorities of the country to which the other force belongs; and

(b) subject to anything to the contrary in the conditions applicable to his service, may place any member of the Canadian Forces at the disposal of the service authorities of another country for the purpose of being attached temporarily by those authorities to a force to which this section applies.

Law applicable to member of force attached to Canadian Forces

(3) While a member of another force is by virtue of this section attached temporarily to the Canadian Forces, the member is subject to the law relating to the Canadian Forces in like manner as if he were a member of the Canadian Forces, and shall be treated and have the like powers of command, punishment and, notwithstanding subsection 12(1), arrest over members of the Canadian Forces as if he were a member thereof of relative rank.

Application of Canadian statutes

(4) The Governor in Council may direct that, in relation to members of another force to which this section applies, the statutes relating to the Canadian Forces shall apply with such exceptions and subject to such adaptations and modifications as may be specified by the Governor in Council.

Mutual power of command

(5) When the Canadian Forces and another force to which this section applies are serving together, whether alone or not,

(a) any member of the other force shall be treated and shall have over members of the Canadian Forces the like powers of command as if he were a member of the Canadian Forces of relative rank; and

(b) if the forces are acting in combination, any officer of the other force appointed, by agreement between Her Majesty in right of Canada and the government of the country to which that force belongs, to command the combined force, or any part thereof, shall be treated and shall have over members of the Canadian Forces the like powers of command, punishment and arrest, and may be invested with the like authority as if he were an officer of the Canadian Forces of relative rank and holding the same command.

Forces serving together or in combination

(6) For the purposes of this section, forces shall be deemed to be serving together or acting in combination only if they are declared to be so serving or so acting by order of the Governor in Council, and the relative rank of members of the Canadian Forces and of other forces shall be such as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Governor in Council.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 27.


Part Vii. Regulations

Regulations

28. The Governor in Council may make regulations for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Act.

R.S., c. V-6, s. 28.


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