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12 Cambridge L.J. 232 (1954)
The Army Act and Murder Aboard

handle is hein.journals/camblj1954 and id is 244 raw text is: THE ARMY ACT AND MURDER ABROAD1
M. J. PRICHARD
PAGE was not the first British soldier to murder a foreigner
on foreign soil, nor was he the first to be tried and convicted by
a court-martial for so doing. He was, however, the first to take
advantage of the passing of the Courts-Martial (Appeals) Act, 1951,
upon such a conviction.2 His case thus provided at last an autho-
ritative ruling on a point which had previously been the silent
responsibility of the Judge Advocate General, namely, whether
such a killing could indeed be murder within the meaning of
section 41 of the Army Act, 1881.
An acting corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals, Page was
stationed in the Canal Zone of Egypt in the troubled days of 1952
and was there convicted by a General Court-Martial of the murder
of an Egyptian national in an Egyptian village. The sentence of
death was commuted by the confirming officer to one of seven
years' imprisonment.2 Page was convicted of an offence against
military law: by section 41 of the Army Act,  every person who,
whilst he is subject to military law, shall commit any of the offences
in this section mentioned shall be deemed to be guilty of an offence
against military law, and if charged under this section with any
such offence (in this Act referred to as a civil offence) shall be
liable to be tried by court-martial, and on conviction to be
punished as follows: . . . (2) If he is convicted of murder, be
liable to suffer death. As a member of the British Forces Page
was immune from the criminal jurisdiction of the courts of Egypt,4
but that same status undoubtedly rendered him subject to military
law and therefore to the jurisdiction of a court-martial under this
section. Equally undoubted was the jurisdiction of the particular
I This subject was first suggested by Mr. E. Garth Moore, whose help has
been invaluable. The writer is also indebted to Lt.-Col. G. I. D. Draper
for his kind assistance, and to the Librarian of the War Office for permission
to use its Library.
2 R. v. Page [1954] 1 Q.B. 170.
3 The sentence has since been suspended, and Page released, The Times,
December 16, 17, 1953.
4 Art. 4, British-Egyptian Convention concerning the Immunities and Privileges
to be enjoyed by the British Forces in Egypt, annexed to the Treaty of
Alliance, T.S. No. 6 (1937).

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