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Hms "Danae"

Volume 930: debated on Friday 29 April 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Defence under what article of Queen's Regulations Mr. Ronald Biggs was invited to leave HMS "Danae", rather than being arrested.

Under the Queen's Regulations for the Royal Navy J 2406, the commanding officer of one of Her Majesty's ships is responsible for the issue of orders governing the admission of visitors. Mr. Biggs would have been asked to leave under these instructions.Since Mr. Biggs did not commit an offence while on board HMS "Danae" the only powers under which he could have been arrested would have been the powers of "citizen's arrest" under the provisions of the Criminal Law Act 1967 The relevant provisions of this Act, however, apply only to England and Wales.Whilst one of Her Majesty's ships in a foreign port has extraterritoriality—that is, it is immune from local jurisdiction and enforcement of local laws—it is not correct to regard it as floating United Kingdom territory, and all laws of the United Kingdom do not necessarily apply to all persons on board that ship. The relevant provisions of the Criminal Law Act are such an example.