The Articles of War which are at present in force, and which have from time to time been promulgated, are divided into five sections comprising together 160 articles. Many of these correspond exactly to clauses in the Mutiny Act ; others, though relating to subjects in the latter, define the particulars of the crime and the punishment applic able to it with more precision; there are articles which have no counterparts in the act. The rst section relates to the duties and obligations of officers and men, including the forms of enlistment ; the second to crimes and punishments, being necessarily much more specific and detailed than the statute, the object of the latter being generally to confer powers and ascertain the limits of their exercise ; the third to courts-martial ; the fourth to rank among officers ; and the fifth to the persons who are subject to the Articles of War.
The above articles, being made by the crown as head of the army, are to be obeyed as being the commands of a superior officer ; but in the opinion of writers on military law, the legality of the articles may itself become the subject of examination in a court-martial; whereas the Mutiny Act must be obeyed without inquiry.
The Marine Mutiny Act, closely resembling that which has already been described, is also a statute passed annually, and is applicable to the marines when they are on shore.
The Act on which are founded the Articles of War for the Navy was passed in the 22nd Geo. II., and this consolidated all the laws pre viously made for the government of the ships and vessels bearing royal commissions, as also of the forces at sea. Among the offences which in the Act constitute the crime of mutiny, are, the running away with the ship, or with any ordnance, ammunition, or stores belonging to the same ; neglect of duty ; joining in or using means to produce any mutinous assemblage of persons; uttering mutinous or seditious words, or concealing any mutinous intention ; and striking an officer or dis obeying his lawful commands. Of the thirty-six articles, nine relate to crimes for which the punishment of death, without discretion in the court-martial, is awarded; and there are twelve to which are assigned "death, or such other punishment as the nature and degree of the crime shall be found to deserve." Two of these were originally in the former class, and the qualifying clause was added in the 19th Geo. III. Except this alteration, none has been made in the Navy Act since it was passed.