SECTION 69 OF THE AA 1955

#1
If they couldnt get you on anything else there was always Sect 69. I was wondering how it would have stood up in todays era of the Courts of Human Rights.

Am sure there are many stories to be told about this little bit of Military Law and how it was used or alledgedly used to bring the inoccent and not so innocent to book.

Alway useful for a stickman who couldnt get you on anything else.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#2
I did three months training in the RMP cos Sutton Coldfield decided I was overqualified to be a tank crewman. I was taught that Section 69 was known by them (no not Them) as The Ways and Means Act.

Fast-forward some years past telling RMP where to stick their truncheons and re-enlisting in a cavalry regiment to a new RSM who told the NCOs of his regiment that if they could not find a better section to charge somebody under, he (the RSM) would have to think hard about whether the NCO was fit to be one.
 
#3
Was Sect 69 the "Conduct predujicial to good order and military discipline" or "Bringing the Army into disrepute"?
I seem to recall both phrases being mentioned by my OC whilst standing in front of him but can`t recall if they were two separate charges or the same one.
 
#4
Peanutbreath said:
Was Sect 69 the "Conduct predujicial to good order and military discipline" or "Bringing the Army into disrepute"?
I seem to recall both phrases being mentioned by my OC whilst standing in front of him but can`t recall if they were two separate charges or the same one.
I can assure Peanut that Sect 69 could be made to cover anything you can think of,I remember being told once that the MOD would pay you if you could find anything in the Manual of Military Law that was not already covered,Sect 69 being the catch all section.Used it a few times myself to good effect. :)
 
#6
In a manner Section 69 manifests itself in AGAI 67 (or is it the other way round?) and the values and standards of the British Army.

As we know, 252 action used to be a case of march the guilty b'stard in. Then some namby pamby got soft and brought up human rights, so, God forbid, things had to be proven.

AGAI 67 is on the balance of probability and therefore nothing has to be proven. It is however there for minor indiscretions, much as Section 69 was under the old system - I've never heard of anyone getting nailed to the wall with Section 69.

Peanut, I think S69 is "Conduct predujicial to good order and military discipline". I think S70 is "Bringing the Army into disrepute" - this is the one IIRC they tend to do you with when you are in trouble with civvy law. So much for double jeapody - GITS
 
#7
AGAI 67 is a formal way of doing things although I certainly don't agree with the manner in which it can be used. Proper catch all.
 
#8
Yep. S69 AA1955 was Conduct predujical. Covered anything and everything. Even if you were perceived to have upset someone in the CoC that fell under that remit. After all, your mere presence on the planet was deemed to be predjuicial!
 
#9
conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline contrary to section 69 of the army act 1955 in that he at did whatever on that date, march the guilty party in. Section 70 was committing a civil offence contrary to section 70 of the army act 1955. Whichever you were fu-ked as soon as you were called to attention.
 
#10
dorsetgeorge said:
conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline contrary to section 69 of the army act 1955 in that he at did whatever on that date, march the guilty party in. Section 70 was committing a civil offence contrary to section 70 of the army act 1955. Whichever you were fu-ked as soon as you were called to attention.
My bold

Did not need to be that specific! 'On, or about, the 20th Century' did......(insert what ever you wanted)
 
#11
"Stepping on the cracks in the pavement" contrary to section 69 of the Army Act 1955....
 
#12
dorsetgeorge said:
conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline contrary to section 69 of the army act 1955 in that he at did whatever on that date, march the guilty party in. Section 70 was committing a civil offence contrary to section 70 of the army act 1955. Whichever you were fu-ked as soon as you were called to attention.
. . . which is why, eventually, the powers of OCs to administer summary justice were curtailed in the 1990s.

If the officer corps in general had been more scrupulous in its adherence to due process, and to rules of evidence at OCs Orders, then there would have been no case for for that curtailment.

As it was, too many OCs and COs were of a "March in the Guilty B*stard" mindset - and it was that which damaged the system, and led soldiers (rightly, in my view) to distrust the disciplinary process.

Once trust is gone, so too is respect, and without respect there can be no real discipline. Absolute fairness should be the touchstone of every officer and NCO.

Sec 69 was too often a catch-all, used by NCOs and Officers too idle to to determine whether a real offence had been committed, or what was its real nature in law.
 
#13
Taff71 said:
If they couldnt get you on anything else there was always Sect 69. I was wondering how it would have stood up in todays era of the Courts of Human Rights.
OK I do realise that this is the Old'n'Bold forum, but once again the Human Rights Act/ECHR have not actually had the effect which people imagine.

The offence of "Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline" has NOT been abolished. It was never removed from the AA 1955, and is still contained in section 19 of the tri-service Armed Forces Act 2006, which is progressively replacing the single service discipline acts:

19 Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline
(1) A person subject to service law commits an offence if he does an act that is prejudicial to good order and service discipline.
(2) In this section “act” includes an omission and the reference to the doing of an act is to be read accordingly.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, but any sentence of imprisonment imposed in respect of the offence must not exceed two years.
PS Stonker (previous post) is right on what has hopefully changed, and why.
 
#14
Ah what the hell!! I was young, rough round the edges and I probably deserved it.

It was the way the RSM used to wave at me that was the limiter on my young soldiering social life. Night on night off for a month on top of normal working hours - give me OC's any day.

By comparison 252's were a breeze and yes, they usually were section 69.

I got done once for serving over a single tot in the sqn bar, in contravention of BAOR standing orders - the OC's and SSM both favoured a double G & T - but they still put me through the mill on orders - go figure !!
 
#15
Stonker.
Sad post. I can't think of a time when Jocks mistrusted their OCs (but then I left in the mid eighties). Most soldiers knew they were guilty before they were marched in by the CSM, indeed a good CSM would have weeded out the innocent - and discussed the 'Docket' with the OC before Orders commenced. Likewise on COs Orders.
Of course Buffalo Bill and Perry Mason would enter a tear jerking plea of mitigation, quote QRs or appeal to the 'Major's' Regimental pride (in the case of fighting with civilians or members of other regiments - at one time if they'd won lightened the sentence!) - great entertainment - and they knew it!

When did the integrity of the Officer Corps diminish to the extent soldiers stopped trusting them?

A Man's A Man For a' That! (Pipe tune (words by Robt Burns) played in all Scottish Regiments to announce COs Orders).
 
#16
dingerr said:
In a manner Section 69 manifests itself in AGAI 67 (or is it the other way round?) and the values and standards of the British Army.

As we know, 252 action used to be a case of march the guilty b'stard in. Then some namby pamby got soft and brought up human rights, so, God forbid, things had to be proven.

AGAI 67 is on the balance of probability and therefore nothing has to be proven.
The 'balance of probability' is an evidential standard of proof which is not satisfied unless the legal burden of proving it has been discharged by the applicant submitting the case for determination by the competent authority.

Moreover, the degree of proof required within that standard will vary with the seriousness of the event complained of.

Lord Lloyd of Berwick gave some useful guidance on this in the case of Re H [1996] AC 563 which went to the House of Lords:

"The balance of probability standard means that a court is satisfied an event occurred if the court considers that, on the evidence, the occurrence of the event was more likely than not.

When assessing the probabilities the court will have in mind as a factor, to whatever extent is appropriate in the particular case, that the more serious the allegation the less likely it is that the event occurred and, hence, the stronger should be the evidence before the court concludes that the allegation is established on the balance of probability.

Fraud is usually less likely than negligence. Deliberate physical injury is usually less likely than accidental physical injury. A step-father is usually less likely to have repeatedly raped and had non-consensual oral sex with his under age stepdaughter than on some occasion to have lost his temper and slapped her. Built into the preponderance of probability standard is a generous degree of flexibility in respect of the seriousness of the allegation.

Although the result is much the same, this does not mean that where a serious allegation is in issue the standard of proof required is higher. It means only that the inherent probability or improbability of an event is itself a matter to be taken into account when weighing the probabilities and deciding whether, on balance, the event occurred. The more improbable the event, the stronger must be the evidence that it did occur before, on the balance of probability, its occurrence will be established.

Ungoed-Thomas J. expressed this neatly in In re Dellow's Will Trusts [1964] 1 W.L.R. 451 , 455: "The more serious the allegation the more cogent is the evidence required to overcome the unlikelihood of what is alleged and thus to prove it."


Thus, in a case where, for example, an individual stands accused of having 'brought the Army into disrepute' then some tangible evidence must be adduced to a standard which satisfies the trier of fact that what has been alleged existed at the material time as a matter of demonstrable reality and not some mere speculative assertion!

The suggestion that 'nothing need be proved' on the balance of probability is, with respect, both manifestly false and potentially very dangerous since the Army is not immune from judicial review of its administrative decisions particularly when taken in a quasi-judicial capacity.

Regards
 
#17
Wasn't the full wording of Sect 69 AA1955:
"An act, conduct or neglect prejudicial to good order or military discipline"

That will catch more things than scallop dredger.

I remember as a lowly Lance Jack I put a young scrote on orders for riding round camp without a crash helmet. (I'd already bullocked him about 4 times for it) I got to the Razman next morning with a 252 nicking him for 'Committing a Civil Offence contrary to Sect *** of the Road Traffic Act. Razman was very confused, reckoned that no one else had ever come to him with anything other than Sect 69. He tried to get me to change it but I insisted. He finished up having to chat with the RMP, Civpol god knows who. Me popular, not................Scrote was still found guilty though.
 
#18
Iolis said:
Thus, in a case where, for example, an individual stands accused of having 'brought the Army into disrepute' then some tangible evidence must be adduced to a standard which satisfies the trier of fact that what has been alleged existed at the material time as a matter of demonstrable reality and not some mere speculative assertion!
All well and good, but the "offence" of 'bringing the Army into disrepute' does not exist, it is a figment of the imagination of generations of Barrack Room Lawyers and Army Urban Myth.

Section 69 however has survived into the Armed Forces Act as Section 19

19 Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline
(1) A person subject to service law commits an offence if he does an act that is prejudicial to good order and service discipline.
(2) In this section “act” includes an omission and the reference to the doing of an act is to be read accordingly.
(3) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable to any punishment mentioned in the Table in section 164, but any sentence of imprisonment
imposed in respect of the offence must not exceed two years.
OFFENCES

1 Assisting an enemy
2 Misconduct on operations
3 Obstructing operations
4 Looting
5 Failure to escape etc
6 Mutiny
7 Failure to suppress mutiny
8 Desertion
9 Absence without leave
10 Failure to cause apprehension of deserters or absentees Insubordination etc
11 Misconduct towards a superior officer
12 Disobedience to lawful commands
13 Contravention of standing orders
14 Using force against a sentry etc Neglect of duty and misconduct
15 Failure to attend for or perform duty etc
16 Malingering
17 Disclosure of information useful to an enemy
18 Making false records etc
19 Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline
20 Unfitness or misconduct through alcohol or drugs
21 Fighting or threatening behaviour etc
22 Ill-treatment of subordinates
23 Disgraceful conduct of a cruel or indecent kind Property offences
24 Damage to or loss of public or service property
25 Misapplying or wasting public or service property
26 Sections 24 and 25: “public property” and “service property” Offences against service justice
27 Obstructing or failing to assist a service policeman
28 Resistance to arrest etc
29 Offences in relation to service custody
30 Allowing escape, or unlawful release, of prisoners etc Ships and aircraft
31 Hazarding of ship
32 Giving false air signals etc
33 Dangerous flying etc
34 Low flying
35 Annoyance by flying
36 Inaccurate certification
37 Prize offences by officer in command of ship or aircraft
38 Other prize offences Attempts, incitement, and aiding and abetting
39 Attempts
40 Incitement
41 Aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring Criminal conduct
42 Criminal conduct
43 Attempting criminal conduct
44 Trial of section 42 offence of attempt
45 Conspiring to commit criminal conduct
46 Inciting criminal conduct
47 Aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring criminal conduct
48 Provision supplementary to sections 43 to 47
49 Air Navigation Order offences
 
#19
Phew! Been more years than I care to remember since I attended a Military Law course (all forgot!) and you remember ALL THAT? Well done...... unless, of course, you retired with your Orderly Room's (do they still call it the Orderly Room?) fully amended copy of QRs!
 
#20
Google "Armed Forces Act" and it pops up like magic.
 

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