Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939

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Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939
Long title An Act to confer on His Majesty certain powers which it is expedient that His Majesty should be enabled to exercise in the present emergency; and to make further provision for purposes connected with the defence of the realm.
Citation 2 & 3 Geo. 6 c. 62
Royal assent 24 August 1939
Other legislation
Repealed by Emergency Laws (Repeal) Act 1959
Status: Repealed

The Emergency Powers (Defence) Act 1939 was emergency legislation passed just prior to the outbreak of World War II by the Parliament of the United Kingdom to enable the British Government to take up emergency powers to prosecute the war effectively. It contained clauses giving the government wide powers to create Defence Regulations which regulated almost every aspect of everyday life in the country. Two offences under the regulations were punishable with death.[1]

The Act was passed in reaction to the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 23 August 1939 and provided the government with powers from 24 August 1939.


  1. ^ Archbold, 31st ed. (1943), pp. 1524-1525

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