Dereliction of duty

Dereliction of duty

Dereliction of duty is a specific offense in military law. It includes various elements centered around the avoidance of any duty which may be properly expected.

In the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), dereliction of duty is addressed within the regulations governing the failure to obey an order or regulation. It means that one willfully, through negligence or culpable inefficiency, fails to perform one's expected duties. Ineptitude is a defense against the charge. The maximum penalty in the U.S. is a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of pay and six months confinement. Acts which are derelict may be charged under more specific offenses such as missing movement, noncompliance with procedural rules, misbehavior, malingering, self-injury with intent to avoid service, or straggling.

Civilian dereliction is usually classed in common law as criminal or civil negligence, recklessness or malpractice.

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