“All murders and manslaughters committed or that shall be committed 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 by any person sailing therein 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 .. may be tried, adjudged and punished … in the same manner as if such offence or offences had been committed on the high seas."
Why the name? Well criminal law afficionados will recognise the phrase 'oblique intent' as referring to a problem of mens rea:can a person who intends to do x (such as setting fire to a building to scare the occupants) also be said to have an intention to kill if one of the occupants dies? This is a problem that has consumed an inordinate amount of time in the appeal courts and in the legal journals, and can be taken to represent a certain kind of approach to legal theory. My approach is intended to be more oblique to this mainstream approach, and thus to raise different kinds of questions and issues. Hence the name.
Thursday, 31 May 2012
On the Murders Abroad Act 1817
Here is the text of this Act passed by the British Parliament in 1817: