Fugitive Offenders Act 1967

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1967 c. 68


Fugitive Offenders Act 1967

1967 CHAPTER 68

An Act to make fresh provision for the return from the United Kingdom to other Commonwealth countries and United Kingdom dependencies of persons accused or convicted of offences in those countries and dependencies; to regulate the treatment of persons accused or convicted of offences in the United Kingdom who are returned from such countries and dependencies; to authorise the making of corresponding provisions for United Kingdom dependencies, including provisions for the return from such dependencies of persons accused or convicted in the Republic of Ireland; and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[27th July 1967]

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, as follows:—

Return of offenders to Commonwealth countries and dependencies

Return of offenders to Commonwealth countries and dependencies

S-1 Persons liable to be returned.

1 Persons liable to be returned.

1. Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person found in the United Kingdom who is accused of a relevant offence in any other country being—

a ) a Commonwealth country designated for the purposes of this section under subsection (1) of section 2 of this Act; or
b ) a United Kingdom dependency as defined by subsection (2) of that section

or who is alleged to be unlawfully at large after conviction of such an offence in any such country, may be arrested and returned to that country as provided by this Act.

S-2 Designated Commonwealth countries and United Kingdom dependencies.

2 Designated Commonwealth countries and United Kingdom dependencies.

(1) Her Majesty may by Order in Council designate for the purposes of section 1 of this Act any country for the time being mentioned in subsection (3) of section 1 of the British Nationality Act 1948 (countries having separate citizenship), or any other country within the Commonwealth; and any country so designated is in this Act referred to as a designated Commonwealth country.

(2) In this Act the expression ‘United Kingdom dependency’ means—

(a ) any colony (not being a colony for whose external relations a country other than the United Kingdom is responsible);

(b ) any associated state within the meaning of the West Indies Act 1967 ; and

(c ) any country outside Her Majesty's dominions (being a country in which Her Majesty has jurisdiction, or over which She extends protection, in right of Her Government in the United Kingdom) to which Her Majesty may by Order in Council apply this subsection,

not being in any case a country which is or forms part of a designated Commonwealth country.

(3) Her Majesty may by Order in Council direct that this Act shall have effect in relation to the return of persons to, or in relation to persons returned from, any designated Commonwealth country or United Kingdom dependency subject to such exceptions, adaptations or modifications as may be specified in the Order.

(4) For the purposes of any Order in Council under subsection (1) of this section, any territory for the external relations of which a Commonwealth country is responsible may be treated as part of that country or, if the Government of that country so requests, as a separate country.

(5) Any Order in Council under this section, other than an Order to which subsection (6) applies, shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(6) No recommendation shall be made to Her Majesty in Council to make an Order containing any such direction as is authorised by subsection (3) of this section unless a draft of the Order has been laid before Parliament and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.

S-3 Relevant offences.

3 Relevant offences.

(1) For the purposes of this Act an offence of which a person is accused or has been convicted in a designated Commonwealth country or United Kingdom dependency is a relevant offence if—

(a ) in the case of an offence against the law of a designated Commonwealth country, it is an offence which, however described in that law, falls within any of the descriptions set out in Schedule 1 to this Act, and is punishable under that law with imprisonment for a term of twelve months or any greater punishment;

(b ) in the case of an offence against the law of a United Kingdom dependency, it is punishable under that law, on conviction by or before a superior court, with imprisonment for a term of twelve months or any greater punishment; and

(c ) in any case, the act or omission constituting the offence, or the equivalent act or omission, would constitute an offence against the law of the United Kingdom if it took place within the United Kingdom or, in the case of an extra-territorial offence, in corresponding circumstances outside the United Kingdom.

(2) In determining for the purposes of this section whether an offence against the law of a designated Commonwealth country falls within a description set out in the said Schedule 1, any special intent or state of mind or special circumstances of aggravation which may be necessary to constitute that offence under the law shall be disregarded.

(3) The descriptions set out in the said Schedule 1 include in each case offences of attempting or conspiring to commit, of assisting, counselling or procuring the commission of or being accessory before or after the fact to the offences therein described, and of impeding the apprehension or prosecution of persons guilty of those offences.

(4) References in this section to the law of any country (including the United Kingdom) include references to the law of any part of that country.

S-4 General restrictions on return.

4 General restrictions on return.

(1) A person shall not be returned under this Act to a designated Commonwealth country, or committed to or kept in custody for the purposes of such return, if it appears to the Secretary of State, to the court of committal or to the High Court or High Court of Justiciary on an application for habeas corpus or for review of the order of committal—

(a ) that the offence of which that person is accused or was convicted is an offence of a political character;

(b ) that the request for his return (though purporting to be made on account of a relevant offence) is in fact made for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing him on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions; or

(c ) that he might, if returned, be prejudiced at his trial or punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty by reason of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions.

(2) A person accused of an offence shall not be returned under this Act to any country, or committed to or kept in custody for the purposes of such return, if it appears as aforesaid that if charged with that offence in the United Kingdom he would be entitled to be discharged under any rule of law relating to previous acquittal or conviction.

(3) A person shall not be returned under this Act to any country, or committed to or kept in custody for the purposes of such return, unless provision is made by the law of that country, or by an arrangement made with that country, for securing that he will not, unless he has first been restored or had an opportunity of returning to the United Kingdom, be dealt with in that country for or in respect of any offence committed before his return under this Act other than—

(a ) the offence in respect of which his return under this Act is requested;

(b ) any lesser offence proved by the facts proved before the court of committal; or

(c ) any other offence being a relevant offence in respect of which the Secretary of State may consent to his being so dealt with.

(4) Any such arrangement as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section may be an arrangement made for the particular case or an arrangement of a more general nature; and for the purposes of that subsection a certificate issued by or under the authority of the Secretary of State confirming the existence of an arrangement with any country and stating its terms shall be conclusive evidence of the matters contained in the certificate.

(5) The reference in this section to an offence of a political character does not include an offence against the life or person of the Head of the Commonwealth or any related offence described in subsection (3) of section 3 of this Act.

Proceedings for return

Proceedings for return

S-5 Authority to proceed.

5 Authority to proceed.

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act relating to provisional warrants, a person shall not be dealt with thereunder except in pursuance of an order of the Secretary of State (in this Act referred to as an authority to proceed), issued in pursuance of a request made to the Secretary of State by or on behalf of the Government of the designated Commonwealth country, or the Governor of the United Kingdom dependency, in which the person to be returned is accused or was convicted.

(2) There shall be furnished with any request made for the purposes of this section on behalf of any country—

(a ) in the case of a person accused of an offence, a warrant for his arrest issued in that country;

(b ) in the case of a person unlawfully at large after conviction of an offence, a certificate of the conviction and sentence in that country, and a statement of the amount if any of that sentence which has been served,

together (in each case) with particulars of the person whose return is requested and of the facts upon which and the law under which he is...

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