Criminal Justice Act 1948

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The Criminal Justice Act 1948[1]
Long title An Act to abolish penal servitude, hard labour, prison divisions and sentence of whipping ; to amend the law-relating to the probation of offenders, and otherwise to reform existing methods and provide new methods of dealing with offenders and persons liable to imprisonment; to amend the law relating to the proceedings of criminal courts, including the law relating to evidence before such courts; to abolish privilege of peerage in criminal proceedings; to regulate the management of prisons and other institutions and the treatment of offenders and other persons committed to custody; to re-enact certain enactments relating to the matters aforesaid; and for purposes connected therewith.
Citation 11 & 12 Geo 6 c 58
Territorial extent England and Wales[2]
Royal assent 30 July 1948
Text of statute as originally enacted

The Criminal Justice Act 1948 (11 & 12 Geo 6 c 58) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It has been described as "one of the most important measures relating to the reform of the criminal law and its administration."[3] It abolished penal servitude, hard labour and prison divisions for England and Wales (s.1). It also abolished whipping for England and Wales and Scotland (s.2). It further abolished the right of peers to be tried in the House of Lords (s. 30).

Provision corresponding to some of the provisions made by this Act is made by the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 1949 and the Criminal Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 1953 and the Criminal Law Act, 1997.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title is authorised by section 83(1) of this Act
  2. ^ This is the effect of sections 81 and 82 and the presumption that an Act extends to the United Kingdom unless the contrary is specified. Some of the provisions formerly extended to those countries.
  3. ^ Halsbury's Statutes, volume 12(1)

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