High Treason: Killing the Sovereign or Her Judges

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Abstract:

Recently, the Law Commission has indicated that it will be considering the abolition of the crime of high treason. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the interesting legal history of two of the offences which go to make up high treason – killing the sovereign or killing certain of her judges - and to argue for their abolition. This is on the basis that the modern law of murder (including conspiracy and attempt) better covers such crimes. Also, that the relevant wording of the Treason Act 1351 is obscure and raises many problems.

Keywords: HIGH TREASON; KILLING CERTAIN JUDGES; KILLING THE SOVEREIGN; TREASON ACT 1351

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.
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