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Report No. 43

2.12. Anglo-American practice.-

It will be useful to refer the well-known case of Joyce v. D.P.P., (1946) 1 All ER 186 (192) (HL). In that case the Lord Chancellor Lord Jowitt referred in wide terms to the following principle of exterritoriality in respect of the crime of treason in the following terms:

"No principle of comity demands that a State should ignore the crime of treason committed against it outside its territory. On the contrary, a proper regard for its own security requires that those who committed that crime whether they committed within or without the realm should be amenable to its laws."

Having laid down this general proposition, the House of Lords, however, convicted Joyce of treason on the ground that, though he was an alien who committed the act outside Britain, nevertheless during the relevant period he held a British passport and thereby owed allegiance to the British Crown. It is, true that this judgement has raised some controversy in legal circles. But neither England nor the United States appears to have gone to the extreme limit of applying the law of treason for aliens committing the crime outside their territories, unless allegiance to the country could be established either by the holding of a passport or otherwise.

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