Security of Gabon Act 2018 — in force
Security of Gabon Act 2018
An Act to regulate hostilities in which Gabon is involved, and for other purposes
- Chapter 1 Introductory
- Chapter 2 Effect of state of war
- Part 1 Use of force
- Part 2 Offences
- Part 3 Council
- Chapter 3 Truces and cessation of war
- Chapter 4 Department of Defence
- Chapter 5 Royal Guard
- Part 1 Introductory
- Part 2 Office of Chief of Royal Guard
- Part 3 Service in the Royal Guard
- Chapter 6 Criminal liability
- Schedule 1
Chapter 1 Introductory
In this Act—
declaration of war by Gabon means a proclamation anonymously issued by the Council of Ministers pursuant to Constitution section 11 in the form prescribed in schedule 1 stating at a minimum—
- The fact that Gabon is in a state of war; and
- The relevant foreign nation against which war has been declared; and
- A précis of the casus belli prompting the declaration; and
- Precautions peaceful citizens of Gabon should take to protect their property and lives.
enemy alien means a member of a relevant foreign nation.
member means a person who reasonably appears to be sufficiently connected, associated or attached to the thing mentioned so as to appear as belonging to or having joined that thing.
relevant foreign nation means a foreign nation which—
- Has declared war against Gabon or is actively aggressing against Gabon; or
- Gabon has declared war against; or
- Gabon is actively aggressing against as a result of a decision by the Council of Ministers.
state of war means a situation when war has been declared on or by Gabon or when war is in progress aggressed by or against Gabon.
Chapter 2 Effect of state of war
Part 1 Use of force
2 Use of organised force generally prohibited
- It shall be a misdemeanour for any citizen of Gabon to engage in an organised use of force against any foreign nation.
- In this section, organised use of force means a use of force which is made by a citizen of Gabon in a group of more than one person including groups some or all of whose members are not citizens of Gabon.
- To remove any doubt, the definition of ‘relevant foreign nation’ does not apply to this subsection (1).
- To remove any doubt, a use of force is not against a foreign nation if, despite being a use of force in a foreign nation, it is a use of force against an alien to the foreign nation.
3 Use of force authorised by declaration
When a declaration of war has been proclaimed, section 2 does not apply.
This defence does not apply when Gabon is in a state of war but a declaration of war has not been proclaimed.
Part 2 Offences
4 Defence to causing physical harm to enemy
- If a person is charged with an offence relating to an act causing physical harm to an enemy alien it is a defence that the act was done during a state of war.
- To remove any doubt, during a state of war all citizens of Gabon are authorised to commit acts causing physical harm against all of the members of the relevant foreign nation in every place controlled by Gabon and under every circumstance.
This includes Crimes Act 2016 section 25 (murder) and section 27 (grievous bodily harm). Generally persons should seek the direction of the Chief of the Royal Guard.
5 Presence of foreign nationals
When Gabon is in a state of war, it shall be a crime for an enemy alien to be physically present in any territory of Gabon.
6 Secrecy of communications
- When Gabon is in a state of war, all communications in a channel marked with any security level or a voice channel shall be considered a secret.
- At any time, all communications in a channel marked with a security level of ‘secret’ or higher shall be considered secret.
- In this section, security level means a privacy level of ‘private’, ‘confidential’, ‘secret’ or ‘top secret’ in ascending order of privacy.
This section invokes the offence in Crimes Act 2016 section 21 (disclosure of secrets).
7 Duty of notification by holders of dual citizenship
- If a citizen of Gabon holds citizenship in a relevant foreign nation it is a misdemeanour for them to fail, in a reasonable time after notification of a state of war, to—
- Inform the Council of Ministers of their citizenship in the relevant foreign nation; and
- Renounce their citizenship in the relevant foreign nation effective immediately or renounce their Gaboner citizenship effective immediately.
- This section does not apply to members of the Council of Ministers.
Part 3 Council
8 Direction to imprison
- When Gabon is in a state of war, any member of the Council of Ministers may direct a citizen of Gabon, or all citizens of Gabon generally, to cause an alien to be imprisoned.
- Any action reasonably ancillary to giving effect to a direction under this section shall not constitute an offence.
9 Duties of Council of Ministers
Within a reasonable time after the commencement of a state of war the Council of Ministers must—
- Notify citizens of Gabon of the state of war; and
- Inform citizens of Gabon of their duties during a state of war and the consequences of a state of war; and
- Determine delegation of immediate tasks.
Chapter 3 Truces and cessation of war
Part 1 Cessation of war
10 Revocation of declaration
- The Council of Ministers attaining at least a 65 per cent supermajority may revoke a declaration of war made under this Act.
- The Council may in its revocation provide conditions that must be met before the revocation has effect.
- A revocation under this section must be proclaimed prior to its date of effect.
- If a revocation made under this section contains conditions the proclamation of the revocation must list the conditions.
11 Power to determine whether conditions met
- The Court of Chancery may, on the application of the Council of Ministers or of a relevant foreign nation named by a revocation, determine—
- Whether a revocation has come into effect; and
- If the revocation came into effect—on what date the revocation came into effect.
- If an application is made under this section by a relevant foreign nation the Court must adjourn until the earliest of—
- When the Council of Ministers evinces readiness to appear; or
- Five days.
- If an application is made under this section by the Council of Ministers the relevant foreign nation need not be notified of the proceeding or given an opportunity to enter an appearance in the proceeding.
Part 2 Truces
12 Suspension by truce
- The Council of Ministers attaining at least an 85 per cent supermajority may suspend a declaration of war temporarily.
- The Council may only suspend a declaration of war for up to 14 days.
- A suspension made under this section must be proclaimed.
- A proclamation under this section must name the relevant foreign nation with which the truce has been entered.
13 Effect of truce
Immediately after a truce has been proclaimed and for the duration of the truce the declaration of war against the relevant foreign nation does not have effect.
Due to Crimes Act 2016 section 26, during a truce a citizen of Gabon may still retaliate against certain persons who attacks the citizen.
14 Revocation of truce
- The Council of Ministers may revoke a truce.
- To revoke a truce, the Council must attain—
- If the Council reasonably believes the truce has not or will not be complied with—a simple majority; or
- Otherwise—at least an 85 per cent supermajority.
- A revocation under this section must be proclaimed.
- A proclamation under this section must name the relevant foreign nation with which the truce has been revoked.
Chapter 4 Department of Defence
Part 1 Department
15 Department of Defence
There shall be a department of the Council of Ministers named the Department of Defence.
16 Duties of Department of Defence
The Department of Defence must—
- Ensure the continued safety and peacefulness of Gabon and its citizens; and
- Provide advice to the Council on request; and
- Deliver and sustain defence capability and conduct operations; and
- Develop the future capability the Department of Defence needs to conduct operations.
Part 2 Minister
17 Minister for Defence
- There shall be a Minister for Defence.
- Where the position of Minister is vacant the Sovereign in Council must, within a reasonable time of the vacancy, appoint a Minister.
- When the position of Minister is filled, the appointment must be proclaimed.
- The Minister must ensure that the duties of the Department of Defence are carried out.
- To remove any doubt, this section is not intended to affect the Sovereign’s power to demarcate ministerial powers.
Part 3 Reports
18 Requirement to report
- Whenever there is a conflict in which Gabon is directly or indirectly involved, the Minister for Defence or the Chief of the Royal Guard must provide a report on the conflict to the Council of Ministers within 24 hours of the conflict.
- If neither the Minister for Defence or the Chief of the Royal Guard were present for the conflict, the Minister for Defence and the Chief of the Royal Guard must—
- Attempt in good faith to gather information from citizens of Gabon involved in the conflict to create a report to provide to the Council of Ministers within 72 hours of the conflict; and
- If, within 72 hours of the conflict, a report cannot be created—notify, at the end of the 72 hour period, the Council of Ministers that a report could not be created.
- A report for this section must be in the form prescribed in schedule 1 and, at minimum, contain—
- A list of the citizens of Gabon who were involved in the conflict; and
- A list of any citizens of Gabon who were killed in the conflict, including those killed by citizens of Gabon; and
- A précis of the cause of the conflict; and
- The outcome of the conflict.
- In this section, conflict includes any armed struggle and any incursion into the territory of Gabon by a group of persons who reasonably appear ready to engage in conflict.
Chapter 5 Royal Guard
Part 1 Introductory
19 Royal Guard
There shall be a group of people named the Royal Guard.
Part 2 Office of Chief of Royal Guard
20 Chief of Royal Guard
- There shall be a Chief of the Royal Guard.
- The Chief shall be appointed by the Minister for Defence.
- The appointment of a Chief must be proclaimed.
- The Chief may by writing addressed to the Sovereign resign their place which shall become vacant at its earliest five days after service.
- Where the position of the Chief is vacant, the Minister for Defence shall be the Chief of the Royal Guard.
- The Chief is ex officio a member of the Royal Guard.
21 Qualifications of Chief of Royal Guard
- To be appointed Chief of the Royal Guard a person must—
- Be a citizen of Gabon; and
- Not be currently serving a court-imposed sentence in relation to a criminal offence against Gabon’s laws; and
- Ordinarily have been a resident of Gabon for at least three weeks immediately preceding appointment.
- A person appointed as the Chief of the Royal Guard ceases to hold office if they cease to be qualified for the office.
22 Termination of Chief of Royal Guard
The Sovereign on the recommendation of the Council may terminate the appointment of the Chief of the Royal Guard.
23 Command of Royal Guard
- The Chief of the Royal Guard has command of the Royal Guard.
- The Chief must advise the Minister on matters relating to the command of the Royal Guard.
- The Chief must, in giving an authorisation or carrying out their command, have regard to Gabon’s international obligations.
- The Chief may only command the Royal Guard to enter combat situations when—
- The combat is with a relevant foreign nation against whom a declaration of war has been issued under this Act; or
- The Chief is empowered to enter combat by the Council of Ministers attaining at least an 85 per cent supermajority.
24 Ministerial directions
- The Minister for Defence may provide the Chief of the Royal Guard directions which must be complied with.
- The Minister must, in giving a direction, have regard to Gabon’s international obligations.
- To remove any doubt, the Minister may not direct the Chief to engage in combat.
Part 3 Service in the Royal Guard
25 Voluntary entry
Members of the Royal Guard must be persons who volunteer and are accepted for service in the Royal Guard.
26 Power of Chief of Royal Guard to determine entry
- Upon application by a qualified person to enter the Royal Guard, the Chief of the Royal Guard may determine whether, in the Chief’s belief, the person is suitable for entry to the Royal Guard.
- The Chief may at any time terminate a person’s membership in the Royal Guard.
- The Chief must—
- When accepting a suitable person’s application—give the person access to the Royal Guard channel;
- When terminating a person’s membership—ensure the person no longer has access to the Royal Guard channel.
27 Qualifications of members
All members of the Royal Guard must be citizens of Gabon.
28 Powers of members
- A member of the Royal Guard who is being utilised by the Chief of the Royal Guard may, under the command of the Chief—
- Prevent, or put an end to, acts of violence;
- Protect persons from acts of violence;
- Free any person who is not an enemy alien from imprisonment in a non-allied foreign nation;
- If the member finds a person whom the member believes on reasonable grounds to have committed an offence against a law of Gabon—detain the person for the purpose of placing the person in the custody of the Council at the earliest practicable time;
- A member may also do anything incidental to any aforementioned thing.
- This section applies to any territory including territories not owned by Gabon.
Chapter 6 Criminal liability
29 Criminal liability of Royal Guard generally
It shall be an defence to any offence that the act or omission was made or omitted to be made in accordance with a direction or authorisation by the Chief of the Royal Guard.
30 Criminal liability of Chief generally
In the course of what the Chief of the Royal Guard reasonably believed was lawful combat the Chief shall not be liable for—
- Any act or omission made or omitted to be made; or
- Any act or omission made or omitted to be made by a member of the Royal Guard ancillary to a direction or authorisation by the Chief; or
- Any act or omission made or omitted to be made made by a citizen of Gabon ancillary to a direction or authorisation, or subjective belief thereof, by the Chief.
31 Presentation by Council
- This section applies notwithstanding any provision in this Act.
- The Council of Ministers attaining at least a 65 per cent supermajority may present an act or omission by a member of the Royal Guard or the Chief of the Royal Guard to the Court of Chancery to be adjudicated.
- Any defence in this Act shall not apply to an adjudication made under this section.
Form 1—Declaration of war
Gabon has declared war against [state] and as such is in a state of war. [casus belli] The Council advises all peaceful citizens to— [directions]
Form 2—State of war
**Gabon is in a state of war with [state/group name (create if there is not one)].** Citizens should not engage in organised use of force without the authorisation and direction of the Chief of the Royal Guard. **It is an offence to share the content of any communication in a text channel marked as ‘private’, ‘confidential’, ‘secret’ or ‘top secret’ or a voice channel with any non-citizen or non-ally.** *Due to this state of war, it is no longer an offence to cause physical harm to a member of [state] if they are in territory controlled by Gabon.* It is an offence for a member of [state] to be present in Gabon territory. Please notify the Council if you see a member present. A member of the Council of Ministers may direct you to pearl a non-citizen. Any action reasonably ancillary to completing this direction shall not be an offence against Gabon law. [omit below if the state of war is not with a foreign nation] **Any Gabon citizen who is also a citizen of [state] is advised that they are *required* to immediately inform the Council that they hold citizenship in [state]. Such persons are also required to either renounce their citizenship in [state] or their citizenship in Gabon.**
Form 3—Report of conflict
**Report of Conflict** *Summary of cause:* *Gabon citizens involved:* *Gabon citizens killed:* *Outcome:*
This Act was originally tabled to Her Majesty’s Privy Council on 9 November 2018.
This Act was enacted by Her Majesty with the advice of Her Privy Council, and entered into force, on 9 November 2018.