Dereliction Law and Legal Definition

Dereliction is the act of abandonment especially through neglect. It includes the abandoning of a ship which then becomes a derelict.

Dereliction is a term usually associated with duty also. Dereliction of duty widely refers to failure, through negligence or obstinacy, to perform one's legal or moral duty to a reasonable expectation. In actuality, dereliction of duty is a specific offense under military law. Under the various regulations of military law, avoidance of a duty or failure to follow an order from a superior can result in a charge of dereliction of duty. 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.