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APPENDIX OF STATUTES.
7 & 8 GEO. 4, c. 28.
An Act for further improving the Administration of Justice in Criminal
[21st June, 1827.]
'Whereas trials for criminal offences in that part of the United Kingdom called England are attended with some forms which frequently impede the due administration of justice, and it is therefore expedient to abolish such forms, and also to abolish the benefit of clergy, and to make better provision for the punishment of offenders in certain cases :' be it therefore enacted by, &c., that if any person, not having privilege of peerage, being arraigned upon any indictment for treason, felony, or piracy, shall plead thereto a plea of Not guilty,' he shall by such plea, without any further form, be deemed to have put himself upon the country for trial; and the court shall, in the usual manner, order a jury for the trial of such person accordingly.
2. If any person, being arraigned upon or charged with any indictment or information for treason, felony, piracy, or misdemeanor, shall stand mute of malice, or will not answer directly to the indictment or information, in every such case it shall be lawful for the court, if it shall so think fit, to order the proper officer to enter a plea of Not guilty' on behalf of such person; and the plea so entered shall have the same force and effect as if such person had actually pleaded the same.
3. If any person, indicted for any treason, felony, or piracy, shall challenge peremptorily a greater number of the men returned to be of the jury than such person is entitled by law so to challenge in any of the said cases, every peremptory challenge beyond the number allowed by law in any of the said cases shall be entirely void, and the trial of such person shall proceed as if no such challenge had been made.
4. No plea setting forth any attainder shall be pleaded in bar of any indictment, unless the attainder be for the same offence as that charged
in the indictment.
5. Where any person shall be indicted for treason or felony, the jury empanelled to try such person shall not be charged to inquire concerning his lands, tenements, or goods, nor whether he fled for such treason or felony.
6. Benefit of clergy, with respect to persons convicted of felony, shall be abolished; but that nothing herein contained shall prevent the joinder in any indictment of any counts which might have been joined before the passing of this Act.
7. No person convicted of felony shall suffer death unless it be for some felony which was excluded from the benefit of clergy before or on the first day of the present session of Parliament, or which hath been or shall be made punishable with death by some statute passed after that day.
A plea of Not guilty,' without more, shall put the prisoner on his trial by jury.
If he refuses to plead,
court may order a plea of 'Not guilty' to be entered.
Every challenge beyond the legal number shall
Benefit of clergy
What felonies only shall be capital.
capital punishable under the
Acts, if any relating
8. Every person convicted of any felony, not punishable with death, shall be punished in the manner prescribed by the statute or statutes specially relating to such felony; and that every person convicted of any felony, for which no punishment hath been or hereafter may be specially provided, shall be deemed to be punishable under this Act, and shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to be transported beyond the seas under this Act. for the term of seven years, or to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years; and, if a male, to be once, twice, or thrice publicly or privately whipped (if the court shall so think fit), in addition to such imprisonment.
The court may order hard labour or
solitary confinement as part of the
9. And with regard to the place and mode of imprisonment for all offences punishable under this Act, be it enacted, that where any person shall be convicted of any offence punishable under this Act, for which imprisonment may be awarded, it shall be lawful for the court to sentence the offender to be imprisoned, or to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour, in the common gaol or house of correction, and also to direct that imprisonment. the offender shall be kept in solitary confinement for the whole or any portion or portions of such imprisonment, or of such imprisonment with hard labour as to the court in its discretion shall seem meet.
Punishment for a subsequent felony.
Form of indictment for
What shall be
sufficient proof of the first conviction.
10. See vol. i. p. 81.
11. And whereas it is expedient to provide for the more exemplary punishment of offenders who commit felony after a previous conviction for felony, whether such conviction shall have taken place before or after the commencement of this Act; be it therefore enacted, that if any person shall be convicted of any felony, not punishable with death, committed after a previous conviction for felony, such person shall, on such subsequent conviction, be liable, at the discretion of the court, to be transported beyond the seas for life, or for any term not less than seven years, or to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding four years; and, if a male, to be once, twice, or thrice publicly or privately whipped (if the court shall so think fit), in addition to such imprisonment; and in an indictment for any such felony committed after a previous conviction for the subsequent felony, it shall be sufficient to state that the offender was at a certain time and place convicted of felony, without otherwise describing the previous felony; and a certificate containing the substance and effect only (omitting the formal part) of the indictment and conviction for the previous felony, purporting to be signed by the clerk of the court, or other officer having the custody of the records of the court where the offender was first convicted, or by the deputy of such clerk or officer (for which certificate a fee of six shillings and eightpence, and no more, shall be demanded or taken), shall, upon proof of the identity of the person of the offender, be sufficient evidence of the first conviction, without proof of the signature or official character of the person appearing to have signed the same; and if any such clerk, officer, or deputy shall utter a false certificate of any indictment and conviction for a previous felony, or if any person other than such clerk, officer, or deputy shall sign any such certificate as such clerk, officer, or deputy, or shall utter any such certificate with a false or counterfeit signature thereto, every such offender shall be guilty of felony, and, being lawfully convicted thereof, shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to be transported beyond the seas for the term of seven years, or to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding two years; and, if a male, to be once, twice, or thrice publicly or privately whipped (if the court shall so think fit), in addition to such imprisonment.
Uttering false certificate of conviction.
12. All offences prosecuted in the High Court of Admiralty of England shall, upon every first and subsequent conviction, be subject to the same punishments, whether of death or otherwise, as if such offences had been committed upon the land.
to a convict.
13. Where the King's Majesty shall be pleased to extend his royal Effect of a mercy to any offender convicted of any felony punishable with death or free or condiotherwise, and by warrant under his royal sign manual, countersigned tional pardon by one of his principal secretaries of state, shall grant to such offender either a free or a conditional pardon, the discharge of such offender out of custody in the case of a free pardon, and the performance of the condition in the case of a conditional pardon, shall have the effect of a pardon under the Great Seal for such offender, as to the felony for which such pardon shall be so granted: provided always, that no free pardon, nor Proviso. any such discharge in consequence thereof, nor any conditional pardon, nor the performance of the condition thereof in any of the cases aforesaid, shall prevent or mitigate the punishment to which the offender might otherwise be lawfully sentenced on a subsequent conviction for any felony committed after the granting of any such pardon.
14. Wherever this or any other statute relating to any offence, whether punishable upon indictment or summary conviction, in describing or referring to the offence or the subject-matter on or with respect to which it shall be committed, or the offender or the party affected or intended to be affected by the offence, hath used or shall use words importing the singular number or the masculine gender only, yet the statute shall be understood to include several matters as well as one matter, and several persons as well as one person, and females as well as males, and bodies corporate as well as individuals, unless it be otherwise specially provided, or there be something in the subject or context repugnant to such construction; and wherever any forfeiture or penalty is payable to a party aggrieved, it shall be payable to a body corporate in every case where such body shall be the party aggrieved.
16. Nothing herein contained shall extend to Scotland or Ireland.
1 VICT. c. 84, (a).
1. Recites the 2 & 3 Will. 4, c. 59, s. 19 [see vol. 2, p. 813], the 2 & 3 Will. 4, c. 125, s. 64 [see vol. 2, p. 793], the 5 & 6 Will. 4, c. 45, s. 12 [see vol. 2, p. 793], and the 5 & 6 Will. 4, c. 51, s. 5 [see vol. 2, p. 793]; and enacts, that if any person shall after the commencement of this Act be convicted of any of the offences hereinbefore mentioned, such person shall not suffer death, or have sentence of death awarded against him or her for the same, but shall be liable, at the discretion of the court, to be transported beyond the seas for life, or for any term not less than seven years, or to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding four years nor less than two years.
The Acts recited in sec. 2 are repealed by the 8 & 9 Vict. c. 84, and 24 & 25 Vict. c. 95.
3. And be it enacted, that when any person shall be convicted of any offence punishable under this Act for which imprisonment may be awarded, it shall be lawful for the court to sentence the offender to be imprisoned, with or without hard labour, in the common gaol or house of correction, and also to direct that the offender shall be kept in solitary confinement for any portion or portions of such imprisonment, not exceeding one month at any one time, and not exceeding three months in any one year, as to the court in its discretion shall seem meet.
(a) The 37 & 38 Vict. c. 35 (the Statute Law Revision Act, 1874), repeals this Act in part; namely,
So much as relates to the punishment of offences formerly punishable under the Acts 11 Geo. 4 & 1 Will. 4, c. 66, 5 & 6 Will. 4, c. 45, or 3 & 4 Will. 4, c. 51.
Also, except as to Scotland, so much as relates to the punishment of offences formerly punishable under the Acts 2 & 3 Will. 4, c. 123 or 3 & 4 Will. 4, c. 44. Section four from "or in an Act" to the end of that section.
Rule for the interpretation of all criminal
Not to extend to Scotland or Ireland.
Persons convicted of any of the offences
herein before mentioned to
be liable to be transported.
Persons convieted of offences punishable by imprisonment may be kept to hard labour and to solitary
Justices in sessions restrained from trying certain offences.
5 & 6 VICT. c. 38. (b)
An Act to define the Jurisdiction of Justices in General and Quarter
[30th June, 1842.]
'Whereas it is expedient that the powers of justices in general and quarter sessions of the peace with respect to the trial of offences be better defined;' be it enacted by the Queen'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 after the passing of this Act neither the justices of the peace acting in and for any county, riding, division, or liberty, nor the recorder of any borough, shall, at any session of the peace, or at any adjournment thereof, try any person or persons for any treason, murder, or capital felony, or for any felony which, when committed by a person not previously convicted of felony, is punishable [by transportation beyond the seas] (c) for life, or for any of the following offences (that is to say) :
1. Misprision of treason:
2. Offences against the Queen's title, prerogative, person, or government, or against either House of Parliament :
3. Offences subject to the penalties of præmunire:
4. Blasphemy, and offences against religion :
5. Administering or taking unlawful oaths:
6. Perjury and subornation of perjury:
7. Making or suborning any other person to make a false oath, affirmation, or declaration, punishable as perjury or as a misde
9. Unlawfully and maliciously setting fire to crops of corn, grain, or pulse, or to any part of a wood, coppice, or plantation of trees, or to any heath, gorse, furze, or fern:
10. Bigamy, and offences against the laws relating to marriage :
11. Abduction of women and girls :
12. Endeavouring to conceal the birth of a child :
13. Offences against any provision of the laws relating to bankrupts and insolvents: (b)
14. Composing, printing, or publishing blasphemous, seditious, or defamatory libels:
16. Unlawful combinations and conspiracies, except conspiracies or combinations to commit any offence which such justices or recorder respectively have or has jurisdiction to try when committed by one person:
17. Stealing or fraudulently taking, or injuring or destroying records or documents belonging to any court of law or equity, or relating to any proceeding therein :
18. Stealing or fraudulently destroying or concealing wills or testamentary papers, or any document or written instrument being or containing evidence of the title to any real estate or any interest in lands, tenements, or hereditaments :
Provided (d) always, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to Proviso as to give authority to the justices of the peace acting in and for the cities of justices acting London and Westminster, the liberty of the Tower of London, the in London and borough of Southwark, and the counties of Middlesex, Essex, Kent, and Surrey, to try any person or persons for any offence committed or alleged to be committed within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, which such justices are restrained from trying under the provisions of an Act passed in the fifth year of the reign of his late Majesty, intituled 4 & 5 Will. 4, 'An Act for establishing a new court for the trial of offences committed c. 36. in the metropolis and parts adjoining.'
6 & 7 VICT. c. 12.
An Act for the more convenient Holding of Coroners' Inquests.
[11th April, 1843.]
'Whereas it often happens that it is unknown where persons lying dead have come by their deaths, and also that such persons may die in other places than those in which the cause of death happened:' be it enacted by the Queen'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 the coroner only within whose jurisdiction the body of any person upon whose death an inquest ought to be holden shall be lying dead shall hold the inquest, notwithstanding that the cause of death did not arise within the jurisdiction of such coroner; and in the case of any body found dead in the sea, or any creek, river, or navigable canal within the flowing of the sea, where there shall be no deputy coroner for the jurisdiction of the Admiralty of England, the inquest shall be holden only by the coroner having jurisdiction in the place where the body shall be first brought to land.
Coroner only within whose
jurisdiction the body is lying dead
shall hold the inquest.
2. For the purpose of holding coroners' inquests every detached part Provision for detached parts of a county, riding, or division shall be deemed to be within that county, of counties. riding, or division by which it is wholly surrounded, or where it is partly surrounded by two or more counties, ridings, or divisions, within that one with which it has the longest common boundary.
3. If a verdict of murder or manslaughter, or as accessory before the fact to any murder, shall be found by the jury at any such inquest, against any person or persons, the coroner holding the said inquest and the justices of oyer and terminer and gaol delivery for the county, city, district, or place in which such inquest shall be holden, and all other persons, shall have the same powers respectively for the commitment, trial, and execution of the sentence of the person or persons so charged as they now by law possess with regard to the commitment, trial, and execution of the sentence upon any person or persons committed and tried within the jurisdiction where the death happened.
7 & 8 VICT. c. 2.
See ss. 1 and 2, as to offences committed on the high seas, vol. 1, p. 16. 3. The justice or justices by whom any information shall be taken
Parties may le
tried on verdicts of
murder or manslaughter.
Where offenders shall
(d) See note (b) ante, p. 640.