Scrutiny of Arms Export Controls (2011): UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report 2009, Quarterly Reports for 2010, licensing policy and review of export control legislation - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

Annex 3: Extra-territoriality (offences)

The following is a list of offences committed overseas for which a British citizen could be prosecuted in this country. The list is based on Archbold Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice 2007:

a)  Sexual offences committed against children and young people under the age of 16 (Sexual Offences (Conspiracy and Incitement) Act 1996 and Sexual Offences Act 2003 s.72 and Schedule 2);

b)  Offences of dishonesty and blackmail where property is despatched from, or received at, a place in England and Wales; or where there is a communication of information etc. sent by any means from a place in England and Wales to a place elsewhere, or from a place elsewhere to a place in England and Wales (Criminal Justice Act 1993 ss.1-6);

c)  Offences connected with aircraft (Civil Aviation Act 1982 s.92);

d)  Homicide (Offences Against the Person Act 1861 s.9-10);

e)  Offences in connection with taxation etc. within the European Community (Criminal Justice Act 1993, s.71);

f)  Offences by servants of the Crown (Criminal Justice Act 1948 s.31(1);

g)  Offences in connection with the slave trade (Slave Trade Act 1873);

h)  Offences under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (Merchant Shipping Act 1995 ss.279-281) offences committed by British seamen (Merchant Shipping Act 1995 s.282) and offences in the Admiralty jurisdiction;

i)  Offences on offshore installations (Petroleum Act 1998 s.22);

j)  Bribery and corruption committed outside the UK (Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001, s.109)

k)  Torture (Criminal Justice Act 1988, ss.134-135);

l)  International Criminal Offences (International Criminal Court Act 2001);

m)  Offences against the Geneva Convention (Geneva Convention Act 1957);

n)  Explosives offences (Explosive Substances Act 1883 ss.2-3);

o)  Treason

p)  Offences under the Terrorism Act 2000:

  Membership of a proscribed organisation (Terrorism Act 2000 s.11)

  Weapons training (Terrorism Act 2000 s.54)

  Directing a terrorist organisation (Terrorism Act 2000 s.56)

  Collecting information likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism (Terrorism Act 2000 s.58)

  Inciting terrorism overseas (Terrorism Act 2000 s.59)

  Terrorist bombing (Terrorism Act 2000 s.62)

q)  Offences under the Terrorism Act 2006:

  Encouragement of terrorism and dissemination of terrorist publications (Terrorism Act 2006 ss1-2)

  Preparation of terrorist acts (Terrorism Act 2006 s.5)

  Terrorist training and attendance at a place used for terrorist training (Terrorism Act 2006 ss.6, 8)

r)  Offences against United Nations personnel (United Nations Personnel Act 1997)

s)  Offences against the safety of Channel Tunnel trains and the tunnel system (Channel Tunnel (Security) Order 1994 [S.I.1994/570])

t)  Offences against the Foreign Enlistment Act 1870

u)  Offences against the Official Secrets Acts 1920 and 1989

v)  Fraudulent evasion of duty etc. (Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 s.170(2) (b))

w)  Bigamy (Offences against the Person Act 1861 s.57)

x)  Offences covered by the War Crimes Act 1991

y)  Offences involving the supply or delivery of restricted goods without a licence from the Secretary of State (Trade in Goods (Control) Order 2003 SI 2003/2765)

z)  Corporate manslaughter (Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, s28)

The report of the Home Office Steering Committee's Review of Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction includes the following list of criteria used by the Government in deciding whether or not to take extra-territorial jurisdiction in respect of particular offences:

Against this background, it is suggested that consideration should be given to taking extra-territorial jurisdiction only where at least one of the following tests was satisfied:

  Where the offence is serious (this might be defined, in respect of existing offences, by reference to the length of sentence currently available);

  Where, by virtue of the nature of the offence, the witnesses and evidence necessary for the prosecution are likely to be available in UK territory, even though the offence was committed outside the jurisdiction;

  Where there is international consensus that certain conduct is reprehensible and that concerted action is needed involving the taking of extra-territorial jurisdiction;

  Where the vulnerability of the victim makes it particularly important to be able to tackle instances of the offence;

  Where it appears to be in the interests of the standing and reputation of the UK in the international community;

  Where there is a danger that the offences would otherwise not be justiciable.

The fact that an offence satisfied one or more of the above guidelines would

not positively determine the extension of jurisdiction. But it would suggest that action

might be justified, particularly if the practical enforcement issues did not appear to be


Source: This Note is supplied by the House of Commons Library

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Prepared 5 April 2011