Officers - Discipline

Order in Council
7 May 1858

Subordinate Officers — Punishment of, by Courts of Inquiry

Whereas we are humbly of opinion that it would tend to the advantage of Your Majesty's Naval Service that adequate punishment should be awarded in cases of serious or continued misconduct on the part of certain subordinate officers, viz., Midshipmen, Naval Cadets, Masters' Assistants, Clerks, and Clerks' Assistants, without in all cases having recourse to Court-martial; we would humbly propose that Your Majesty would be graciously pleased to authorize us to extend to Commanders-in-Chief, and Senior Officers of two or more «hips of Your Majesty's Fleet, under such provisions and restrictions as we may deem it desirable to adopt, the power to order and appoint Courts of Inquiry for the investigation and punishment of such misconduct.

Such Courts of Inquiry to consist of not fewer than two Captains or Commanders.

The said Courts to be empowered by us to inflict no other punishment than loss of sea servitude; and in no case to award a loss of sea servitude exceeding two years.

The award of such Court to be submitted for the approval of the Commander-in-chief, who is to have full power, if he thinks fit, to mitigate the award of the Court.

The decision of the Commander-in-chief is to take effect from the date of the original award without further reference to us.

Order in Council,
26 Oct 1860.

Admiralty may place an Officer Retired by Reason of Misconduct, &c., on the lowest or any other intermediate Half-Pay of his Rank.

Whereas it has always been considered that half-pay is awarded to the Officers of Your Majesty's Fleet on the principle of its being a reward for past service as well as a retaining fee for the future; we would therefore humbly propose to Your Majesty that in future when any Officer shall be placed on half-pay who shall have been proved to have been negligent of the duties with which he was entrusted, or who shall have been proved to have been guilty of any other misconduct, or when an Officer shall be retired from active service by reason of misconduct, or of unfitness for service occasioned by irregular habits of life, we be empowered to place such Officer on the lowest or any other intermediate rate of half-pay that we may think fit and proper.

Order in Council,
7 Jan 1864.

Admiralty may place an officer who by intemperate habits may have rendered himself Unfit for Further Service on a lower scale of Half-Pay than the minimum rate of Half-Pay of his Rank.

Whereas by Your Majesty's Order in Council of the 26th of October, 1860, Your Majesty was graciously pleased to empower us to place on the lowest or any intermediate rate of half-pay such Officers of Your Majesty's Fleet as by misconduct or irregular habits might from time to time render themselves unworthy to enjoy the higher rates of half-pay allowed to their brother Officers; and whereas instances have occasionally occurred in which, in consequence of intemperate or irregular habits, Officers of Your Majesty's Navy and Marines have been pronounced by medical evidence to have unfitted themselves for further active employment; we would humbly submit to Your Majesty that in future, when we shall have fully satisfied ourselves after due inquiry that an Officer's incapacity for further active service has been occasioned by his own irregular and imprudent conduct, we be authorized to reduce such Officer's half-pay to a still lower scale than is sanctioned by Your Majesty's aforesaid Order in Council, viz., to such an amount below the minimum rate of the half-pay of his rank as we may consider to be adapted to the circumstances of the case.

^ back to top ^