Nuclear Material (Offences) Act 1983

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1983 c. 18


Nuclear Material (Offences)Act 1983

1983 CHAPTER 18

An Act to implement the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material; and for purposes connected therewith.

[9th May 1983]

e it enactedB 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:—

S-1 Extended scope of certain offences.

1 Extended scope of certain offences.

(1) If a person, whatever his nationality, does outside the United Kingdom, in relation to or by means of nuclear material, any act which, had he done it in any part of the United Kingdom, would have made him guilty of—

(a ) the offence of murder, manslaughter, culpable homicide, assault to injury, malicious mischief or causing injury, or endangering the life of the lieges, by reckless conduct, or

(b ) an offence under section 18 or 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 or section 1 of the Criminal Damage Act 1971 or Article 3 of the Criminal Damage (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 or section 78 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1980 , or

(c ) the offence of theft, embezzlement, robbery, assault with intent to rob, burglary or aggravated burglary, or

(d ) the offence of fraud or extortion or an offence under section 15 or 21 of the Theft Act 1968 or section 15 or 20 of the Theft Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 ,

he shall in any part of the United Kingdom be guilty of such of the offences mentioned in paragraphs (a ) to (d ) above as are offences of which the act would have made him guilty had he done it in that part of the United Kingdom.

(2) In this section and in section 2 below, ‘act’ includes omission.

S-2 Offences involving preparatory acts and threats.

2 Offences involving preparatory acts and threats.

(1) If a person, whatever his nationality, in the United Kingdom or elsewhere contravenes subsection (2), (3) or (4) below he shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person contravenes this subsection if he receives, holds or deals with nuclear material—

(a ) intending, or for the purpose of enabling another, to do by means of that material an act which is an offence mentioned in paragraph (a ) or (b ) of subsection (1) of section 1 above; or

(b ) being reckless as to whether another would so do such an act.

(3) A person contravenes this subsection if he—

(a ) makes to another person a threat that he or any other person will do by means of nuclear material such an act as is mentioned in paragraph (a ) of subsection (2) above; and

(b ) intends that the person to whom the threat is made shall fear that it will be carried out.

(4) A person contravenes this subsection if, in order to compel a State, international governmental organisation or person to do, or abstain from doing, any act, he threatens that he or any other person will obtain nuclear material by an act which is an offence mentioned in paragraph (c ) of subsection (1) of section 1 above.

(5) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years and not exceeding the term of imprisonment to which a person would be liable for the offence constituted by doing the contemplated act at the place where the conviction occurs and at the time of the offence to which the conviction relates.

(6) In subsection (5) above ‘contemplated act’ means,—

(a ) where the conviction relates to an offence under subsection (2) above, the act intended or as to the doing of which the person convicted was reckless, as the case may be; and

(b ) where the conviction relates to an offence under subsection (3) or (4) above, the act threatened.

(7) In this section references to an act which is an offence mentioned in paragraph (a ), (b ) or (c ) of subsection (1) of section 1 above are references to an act which, by virtue of that subsection or otherwise, is an offence so mentioned.

S-3 Supplemental

3 Supplemental

(1) Proceedings for an offence which (disregarding the provisions of the Internationally Protected Persons Act 1978 and the Suppression of Terrorism Act 1978 ) would not be an offence apart from the preceding provisions of this Act shall not be begun—

(a ) in England and Wales, except by or with the consent of the Attorney General; or

(b ) in Northern Ireland, except by or with the consent of the Attorney General for Northern Ireland.

(2) Without prejudice to any jurisdiction exercisable apart from this subsection, every sheriff court in Scotland shall have jurisdiction to entertain proceedings for an offence which (disregarding the provisions of the Internationally Protected Persons Act 1978 and the Suppression of Terrorism Act 1978) would not be an offence in Scotland apart from the preceding provisions of this Act.

S-4 Amendments of other Acts.

4 Amendments of other Acts.

(1) In consequence of the provisions of this Act—

(a ) in subsections (1) and (2) of section 2 of the Internationally Protected Persons Act 1978 (which relates to certain offences committed outside the United Kingdom) after the words ‘Suppression of Terrorism Act 1978’ there shall be inserted in each place the words ‘and the Nuclear Material (Offences) Act 1983’; and

(b ) in subsections (4) and (5) of section 4 of the Suppression of Terrorism Act 1978 (which also relates to certain offences committed outside the United Kingdom) after the words ‘Internationally Protected Persons Act 1978’ there shall be inserted in each place the words ‘and the Nuclear Material (Offences) Act 1983’.

(2) In the Schedule to the Visiting Forces Act 1952 (which specifies the offences which are offences against the person and against property for the purposes of section 3 of that Act)—

(a ) at the end of each of paragraphs 1, 2 and 4 there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph—

‘(d ) an offence under section 2 of the Nuclear Material (Offences) Act 1983, where the circumstances are that—

(i)in the case of a contravention of subsection (2), the act falling within paragraph (a ) or (b ) of that subsection would, had it been done, have constituted an offence falling within sub-paragraph (a ) or (b ) of this paragraph, or

(ii) in the case of a contravention of subsection (3) or (4), the act threatened would, had it been done, have constituted such an offence’; and

(b) at the end of paragraph 3 there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph—

‘(k) an offence under section 2 of the Nuclear Material (Offences) Act 1983, where the circumstances are that—

(i)in the case of a contravention of subsection (2), the act falling within paragraph (a ) or (b ) of that subsection would, had it been done, have constituted an offence falling within the foregoing sub-paragraphs, or

(ii) in the case of a contravention of subsection (3) or (4), the act threatened would, had it been done, have constituted such an offence.’

(3) In Part I of Schedule 4 to the Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act 1978 (scheduled offences for the purposes of that Act),—

(a ) in paragraph 12, for the words ‘note 4’...

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