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Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016

Section 9 – Commission of certain sexual offences outside the United Kingdom

69.Section 9 amends section 55 of the 2009 Act, which provides Scottish courts with extra-territorial jurisdiction (beyond the United Kingdom) over certain sexual offences committed against children. Sections 9(2) adds new subsections 55(2A) and 55(2B), which provide that a person who was not a UK resident or a UK national at the time they did an act outside the UK which would, if it had been done in Scotland, constitute a listed offence, can be prosecuted for that offence if they subsequently become a UK national or UK resident and the act constituted a criminal offence under the law in force in the country in which it was done.

70.Section 9(5) and (6) amend the definitions of UK national and UK resident in section 55 of the 2009 Act so as to provide that a person is to be regarded as a UK national or resident for the purpose of this section only if they were a UK national or resident at the time at which the act constituting an offence is alleged to have taken place. Read with new section 55(2A), the effect is that a person who was not a UK national or UK resident at the time they did an act constituting a listed offence cannot be prosecuted in the Scottish courts if the act did not amount to a criminal offence in the country where the act took place.

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