Judgment of Death Act 1823

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Judgment of Death Act 1823
Long titleAn Act for enabling Courts to abstain from pronouncing Sentence of Death in certain Capital Felonies
Citation4 Geo. 4 c 48
Territorial extent
Other legislation
Repealed by
Status: Repealed

The Judgment of Death Act 1823 (sic)[1] (c.48; repealed) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (although it did not apply to Scotland). Passed at a time when there were over 200 offences in English law which carried a mandatory sentence of death, it gave judges the discretion to pass a lesser sentence for the first time. It did not apply to treason or murder. The Act required judges to enter a sentence of death on the court record, but then allowed them to commute the sentence to imprisonment.

The Act was repealed in England and Wales by the Courts Act 1971,[1] in the Republic of Ireland by the Statute Law Revision Act 1983[2] and repealed in 1980 in Northern Ireland.[citation needed] Since piracy with violence was still a capital crime, this had the (presumably unintended) effect of making the death penalty for that offence mandatory again,[citation needed] until the death penalty was totally abolished in 1998.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Courts Act 1971, Schedule 11: Repeals, Part IV
  2. ^ Statute Law Revision Act 1983, Schedule: Repeals, Part IV

Further reading[edit]