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Criminal Law Act 1977

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9 Trespassing on premises of foreign missions, etc.E+W

(1)Subject to subsection (3) below, a person who enters or is on any premises to which this section applies as a trespasser is guilty of an offence.

(2)This section applies to any premises which are or form part of—

(a)the premises of a diplomatic mission within the meaning of the definition in Article 1(i) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations signed in 1961 as that Article has effect in the United Kingdom by virtue of section 2 of and Schedule 1 to the M1Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964;

[F1(aa)the premises of a closed diplomatic mission;]

(b)consular premises within the meaning of the definition in paragraph 1(j) of Article 1 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations signed in 1963 as that Article has effect in the United Kingdom by virtue of section 1 of and Schedule 1 to the M2Consular Relations Act 1968;

[F2(bb)the premises of a closed consular post;]

(c)any other premises in respect of which any organisation or body is entitled to inviolability by or under any enactment; and

(d)any premises which are the private residence of a diplomatic agent (within the meaning of Article 1(e) of the Convention mentioned in paragraph (a) above) or of any other person who is entitled to inviolability of residence by or under any enactment.

[F3(2A)In subsection (2) above—

  • the premises of a closed diplomatic mission” means premises which fall within Article 45 of the Convention mentioned in subsection (2)(a) above (as that Article has effect in the United Kingdom by virtue of the section and Schedule mentioned in that paragraph); and

  • the premises of a closed consular post” means premises which fall within Article 27 of the Convention mentioned in subsection (2)(b) above (as that Article has effect in the United Kingdom by virtue of the section and Schedule mentioned in that paragraph);]

(3)In any proceedings for an offence under this section it shall be a defence for the accused to prove that he believed that the premises in question were not premises to which this section applies.

(4)In any proceedings for an offence under this section a certificate issued by or under the authority of the Secretary of State stating that any premises were or formed part of premises of any description mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (d) of subsection (2) above at the time of the alleged offence shall be conclusive evidence that the premises were or formed part of premises of that description at that time.

(5)A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding [F4level 5 on the standard scale] or to both.

(6)Proceedings for an offence under this section shall not be instituted against any person except by or with the consent of the Attorney General.

(7)A constable in uniform may arrest without warrant any one who is, or whom he, with reasonable cause, suspects to be, in the act of committing an offence under this section.

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