Opinion Number. 733

Subject

NAVAL FORCES OF COMMONWEALTH COMPULSORY VACCINATION: WHETHER CIVILIANS RESIDING AT ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVAL COLLEGE CAN BE COMPULSORILY VACCINATED: POWER OF COMMANDING OFFICER TO ISSUE NECESSARY ORDER

Key Legislation

REGULATIONS FOR THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVAL COLLEGE, regs 24, 25, 37

Date
Client
The Naval Secretary

The Naval Secretary has asked for advice as to whether the Commanding Officer of the Royal Australian Naval College is empowered to issue orders for the compulsory vaccination of civilians residing at the Naval College, or, if not, as to what steps should be taken to give him such power.

Regulations 24 and 25 of the Naval College Regulations read as follows:

24. The College shall be under the command of the Officer appointed from time to time by the Naval Board for that purpose.

25. He will report direct to the Naval Board on all matters connected with the College.

In the absence of the Captain, the next senior commissioned Naval Officer, of the Military Branch, on duty at the time, will control the establishment.

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Regulation 37 authorises the Captain 'to issue such Standing and Routine Orders and Instructions as he may deem necessary, provided that they are not opposed to anything contained in the Naval Defence Act or these Regulations'.

In my opinion, the Commanding Officer, being in control of the Naval College, is empowered to issue orders requiring all persons residing at the Naval College to be vaccinated, if he thinks it necessary, and may order the removal from the College of any civilians who refuse to obey such orders.

If it is desired that the Commanding Officer should have greater powers than these, I suggest that the safest course is to proceed by way of a short Bill amending the Naval Defence Act.

[Vol. 14, p. 410]