1794: 34 Geo. 3 c. 54: An act to empower his Majesty to secure and detain such persons as his Majesty shall suspect are conspiring against his person and government.
[23 May 1794.]
Whereas a traitorous and detestable conspiracy has been formed for subverting the existing laws and constitution, and for introducing the system of anarchy and confusion which has so totally prevailed in France: therefore, for the better preservation of his Majesty’s sacred person, and for securing the peace and the laws and liberties of this kingdom; be it enacted by the King’s most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That every person or persons that are or shall be in prison within the kingdom of Great Britain at or upon the day on which this act shall receive his Majesty’s royal assent, or after, by warrant of his said Majesty’s most honourable privy council, signed by six of the said privy council, for high treason, suspicion of high treason, or treasonable practices, or by warrant, signed by any of his Majesty’s secretaries of state, for such causes as aforesaid, may be detained in safe custody, without bail or mainprize, until the first day of February one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five; and that no judge or justice of the peace shall bail or try any such person or persons so committed, without order from his said Majesty’s privy council, signed by six of the said privy council, till the said first day of February one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five; any law or statute to the contrary notwithstanding.
II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the act made in Scotland in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and one, (intituled, An act for preventing wrongous imprisonment, and against undue delays in trials), in so far as the same may be construed to relate to cases of treason and suspicion of treason, be suspended until the said first day of February one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five; and that until the said day no judge, justice of peace, or other officer of the law in Scotland, shall liberate, try, or admit to bail, any person or persons that is, are, or shall be, in prison within Scotland, for such causes as aforesaid, without order from his said Majesty’s privy council, signed by six of the said privy council; provided always, That, from and after the said first day of February one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, the said persons so committed shall have the benefit and advantage of all laws and statutes any way relating to or providing for the liberty of the subjects of this realm, and that this present act shall continue until the said first day of February one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, and no longer.
III. Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing in this act shall be construed to extend to invalidate the ancient rights and privileges of Parliament, or to the imprisonment or detaining of any member of either house of Parliament during the sitting of such Parliament, until the matter of which he stands suspected be first communicated to the house of which he is a member, and the consent of said house obtained for his commitment or detaining.
Source: Napoleon Series