VISITING FORCES ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

2. Application of Act.

3. Discipline and internal administration of Visiting Forces.

4. Powers as to armed forces of Sri Lanka may upon request be exercised as to Visiting Forces.

5. Deserters and Absentees from Visiting Forces.

6. Attachment of personnel with mutual powers of command.

7. Limitation of penalties.

8. Saving for jurisdiction of civil courts.

9. Visiting Forces may maintain special police forces.

10. Regulations.

11. Interpretation.

31 of 1949,

36 of 1950.

AN ACT to make provision with respect to the command and discipline and other matters relating to Visiting Forces of any foreign power.

[Date of Commencement: 10th October. 1949]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Visiting Forces Act.

2. Application of Act.

(1) The succeeding provisions of this Act shall apply to, and in relation to, a Visiting Force if, and only so long as, an Order made by the President is in force declaring that those provisions shall apply to that Visiting Force.

(2) An Order under subsection (1) may declare that all the succeeding sections of this Act or any specified sections shall apply in relation to any Visiting Force.

(3) Every Order under subsection (1) shall be published in the Gazette and shall come into operation on the date of such publication or on such later date as may be specified therein.

3. Discipline and internal administration of Visiting Forces.

(1) When a Visiting Force is present in Sri Lanka or is on board any ship or aircraft of the territory to which that Visiting Force belongs, it shall be lawful for the naval, military and air-force courts and authorities (hereinafter referred to as the "service courts” and "service authorities”) of the territory to which that Visiting Force belongs to exercise within Sri Lanka, in relation to members of that Visiting Force in matters concerning discipline and in matters concerning internal administration of that Visiting Force, all such powers as are conferred upon them by the law of that territory.

(2) The members of any service court exercising jurisdiction by virtue of this Act, and witnesses appearing before such court shall enjoy the like immunities and privileges as are enjoyed by a service court exercising jurisdiction by virtue of the laws of Sri Lanka and by witnesses appearing before such a court.

(3) Where any sentence has, whether within or without Sri Lanka, been passed upon a member of a Visiting Force by a service court of the territory to which that Visiting Force belongs, then for the purposes of any legal proceedings within Sri Lanka the court shall be deemed to have been properly constituted, and its proceedings shall be deemed to have been regularly conducted, and the sentence shall be deemed to be within the jurisdiction of the court and in accordance with the law of that territory, and if executed according to the tenor thereof shall be deemed to have been lawfully executed, and any member of a Visiting Force who is detained in custody in pursuance of any such sentence, or pending the determination by a service court of the territory to which that Visiting Force belongs of a charge brought against him, shall, for the purposes of any such proceedings, be deemed to be in lawful custody.

(4) For the purposes of any legal proceedings referred to in subsection (3), a certificate under the hand of the officer commanding a Visiting Force that a member of that Visiting Force is being detained for either of the causes referred to in that subsection shall be conclusive evidence of the cause of his detention, but not of his being such a member, and a certificate under the hand of such an officer that the persons specified in the certificate sat as a service court of the territory to which that Visiting Force belongs shall be conclusive evidence of that fact.

(5) No proceedings in respect of the pay, terms of service or discharge of a member of a Visiting Force shall be entertained by any civil court in Sri Lanka.

(6) For the purposes of enabling service courts and service authorities to exercise more effectively the powers conferred upon them by this section, the Minister, if so requested by the officer commanding a Visiting Force or by the Government of the territory to which that Visiting Force belongs, may, from time to time, by general or special order to any armed force of Sri Lanka direct the members thereof to arrest members of the Visiting Force alleged to have been guilty of offences against the law of that territory and to hand over any person so arrested to the appropriate authorities of that Visiting Force.

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