1817: 57 George 3 c.53: Murders outside British Dominions.

1817: 57 George 3 c.53: An Act for the more effectual Punishment of Murders and Manslaughters committed in Places not within His Majesty’s Dominions.

[27th June 1817.]

WHEREAS grievous Murders and Manslaughters have been committed at the Settlement in the Bay of Honduras in South America, the same being a Settlement, for certain Purposes, in the Possession and under the Protection of His Majesty, but not within the Territory and Dominion of His Majesty, by Persons residing and being within the said Settlement; and the like Offences have also been committed in the South Pacific Ocean, as well on the High Seas as on Land, in the Islands of New Zealand and Otaheite, and in other Islands, Countries and Places not within His Majesty’s Dominions, by the Masters and Crews of British Ships, and other Persons who have for the most Part deserted from or left their Ships, and have continued to live and reside amongst the Inhabitants of those Islands; whereby great Violence has been done, and a general Scandal and Prejudice raised against the Name and Character of British and other European Traders: And Whereas such Crimes and Offences do escape unpunished, by reason of the Difficulty of bringing to Trial the Persons guilty thereof: For Remedy whereof 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,

[Murders and Manslaughters committed in certain Foreign Parts not within His Majesty’s Dominions, may be tried in any of His Majesty’s Foreign Plantations, in same manner as Offences committed on the High Seas.]

That from and after the passing of this Act all Murders and Manslaughters committed or that shall be committed on Land at the said Settlement in the Bay of Honduras by any Person or Persons residing or being within the said Settlement, and all Murders and Manslaughters committed or that shall be committed in the said Islands of New Zealand and Otaheite, or within any other Islands, Countries, or Places not within His Majesty’s Dominions, nor subject to any European State or Power, nor within the Territory of the United States of America, by the Master or Crew of any British Ship or Vessel, or any of them, or by any Person sailing in or belonging thereto, or that shall have sailed in or belonged to and have quitted any British Ship or Vessel to live in any of the said Islands, Countries, or Places, or either of them, or that shall be there living, shall and may be tried, adjudged and punished in any of His Majesty’s Islands, Plantations, Colonies, Dominions, Forts or Factories, under or by virtue of The King’s Commission or Commissions, which shall have been or which shall hereafter be issued under and by virtue and in pursuance of the Powers and Authorities of an Act passed in the Forty-sixth Year of His present Majesty,

[46 G. 3. c. 54.]

intituled An Act for the more speedy Trial of Offences committed in distant Parts upon the Sea, in the same manner as if such Offence or Offences had been committed on the High Seas.

[Proviso for Stat. 33. H. 8. c. 23.]

II. Provided always, That nothing herein contained shall repeal or affect, or be construed to repeal or affect, the Provisions of an Act made and passed in the Thirty third Year of King Henry the Eighth, intituled An Act to proceed by Commission of Oyer and Terminer against such Persons as shall confess Treason, etc. without remanding the same to be tried in the Shire where the Offence was committed.

[Act may be altered, &c. this Session.]

III. And be it further enacted, That this Act may be altered, amended or repealed by any Act or Acts to be passed in this present Session of Parliament.

Source: The Statutes of the United Kingdom, 1817.