Offences at Sea Act 1799

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Offences at Sea Act 1799[1]
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act for remedying certain Defects in the Law respecting Offences committed upon the High Seas.
Citation39 Geo. 3. c. 37
Royal assent10 May 1799
Other legislation
Amended byCriminal Law Act 1967
Status: Amended
Text of the Offences at Sea Act 1799 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from

The Offences at Sea Act 1799 (39 Geo. 3. c. 37) is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain. It is still in force. It extended the jurisdiction of British courts to crimes committed by British subjects on the high seas. It does not apply to foreign citizens. (However crimes committed by foreigners in British territorial waters, or on board British ships on the high seas, can be prosecuted in British courts.) Jurisdiction over piracy on the high seas already existed before 1799, whether committed by British subjects or not.[citation needed]

This Act appears to determine the sentence for piracy iure gentium in cases where section 2 of the Piracy Act 1837 does not apply.[2]



The preamble was repealed by Part I of Schedule 3 to the Criminal Law Act 1967.

Section 1[edit]

This section now reads:

All and every offence and offences which after the passing of this Act shall be committed upon the high seas, out of the body of any county of this realm, shall be and they are hereby declared to be offences . . . liable to the same punishments respectively, as if they had been committed upon the shore . . .

The words "of the same nature respectively, and to be" and the words from "and shall be inquired of" onwards were repealed by Part I of Schedule 3 to the Criminal Law Act 1967.

Section 2[edit]

This section was repealed by Part I of Schedule 3 to the Criminal Law Act 1967.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The citation of this Act by this short title was authorised by section 1 of, and Schedule 1 to, the Short Titles Act 1896. Due to the repeal of those provisions it is now authorised by section 19(2) of the Interpretation Act 1978.
  2. ^ Archbold Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice. 1999. Para 25 - 46 at p 1979.