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Computer Misuse Act 1990

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JurisdictionE+W+S+N.I.

4 Territorial scope of [F1 offences under [F2this Act]].E+W+S+N.I.

(1)Except as provided below in this section, it is immaterial for the purposes of any offence under [F3section 1, 3 or 3ZA] above—

(a)whether any act or other event proof of which is required for conviction of the offence occurred in the home country concerned; or

(b)whether the accused was in the home country concerned at the time of any such act or event.

(2)Subject to subsection (3) below, in the case of such an offence at least one significant link with domestic jurisdiction must exist in the circumstances of the case for the offence to be committed.

(3)There is no need for any such link to exist for the commission of an offence under section 1 above to be established in proof of an allegation to that effect in proceedings for an offence under section 2 above.

(4)Subject to section 8 below, where—

(a)any such link does in fact exist in the case of an offence under section 1 above; and

(b)commission of that offence is alleged in proceedings for an offence under section 2 above;

section 2 above shall apply as if anything the accused intended to do or facilitate in any place outside the home country concerned which would be an offence to which section 2 applies if it took place in the home country concerned were the offence in question.

[F4(4A)It is immaterial for the purposes of an offence under section 3A whether the accused was in the home country concerned at the time of any act or other event proof of which is required for conviction of the offence if there is a significant link with domestic jurisdiction in relation to the offence.]

(5)This section is without prejudice to any jurisdiction exercisable by a court in Scotland apart from this section.

(6)References in this Act to the home country concerned are references—

(a)in the application of this Act to England and Wales, to England and Wales;

(b)in the application of this Act to Scotland, to Scotland; and

(c)in the application of this Act to Northern Ireland, to Northern Ireland.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1S. 4 heading: words substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and 1.10.2008 otherwise) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 18; S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2; S.I. 2008/2503, art. 2

F2Words in s. 4 heading substituted (3.5.2015) by Serious Crime Act 2015 (c. 9), s. 88(1), Sch. 4 para. 9; S.I. 2015/820, reg. 2(r)(iii)

F3Words in s. 4(1) substituted (3.5.2015) by Serious Crime Act 2015 (c. 9), ss. 43(2), 88(1) (with s. 86(10)); S.I. 2015/820, reg. 2(c)

5 Significant links with domestic jurisdiction.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)The following provisions of this section apply for the interpretation of section 4 above.

[F5(1A)In relation to an offence under section 1, 3, 3ZA or 3A, where the accused was in a country outside the United Kingdom at the time of the act constituting the offence there is a significant link with domestic jurisdiction if—

(a)the accused was a United Kingdom national at that time; and

(b)the act constituted an offence under the law of the country in which it occurred.

(1B)In subsection (1A)—

  • country” includes territory;

  • United Kingdom national” means an individual who is—

    (a)

    a British citizen, a British overseas territories citizen, a British National (Overseas) or a British Overseas citizen;

    (b)

    a person who under the British Nationality Act 1981 is a British subject; or

    (c)

    a British protected person within the meaning of that Act.]

(2)In relation to an offence under section 1, either of the following is a significant link with domestic jurisdiction—

(a)that the accused was in the home country concerned at the time when he did the act which caused the computer to perform the function; or

[F6(b)that any computer containing any program or data to which the accused secured or intended to secure unauthorised access by doing that act was in the home country concerned at that time.]

[F6(b)that any computer containing any program or data to which the accused by doing that act secured or intended to secure unauthorised access, or enabled or intended to enable unauthorised access to be secured, was in the home country concerned at that time.]

(3)In relation to an offence under section 3, either of the following is a significant link with domestic jurisdiction—

(a)that the accused was in the home country concerned at the time when [F7he did the unauthorised act (or caused it to be done)] ; or

[F8(b)that the unauthorised act was done in relation to a computer in the home country concerned.]

[F9(3A)In relation to an offence under section 3ZA, any of the following is also a significant link with domestic jurisdiction—

(a)that the accused was in the home country concerned at the time when he did the unauthorised act (or caused it to be done);

(b)that the unauthorised act was done in relation to a computer in the home country concerned;

(c)that the unauthorised act caused, or created a significant risk of, serious damage of a material kind (within the meaning of that section) in the home country concerned.]

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Amendments (Textual)

F6S. 5(2)(b) (as second appearing) substituted (S.) (1.10.2007) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 19(2) (with s. 38(1)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2 (the substituting provision being repealed for E.W.N.I. (1.10.2008) by 2007 c. 27, ss. 61(5), 92, 94, Sch. 14 (with Sch. 13 para. 5); S.I. 2008/2504, art. 2(a))

F7Words in s. 5(3)(a) substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and 1.10.2008 otherwise) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 19(3)(a) (with s. 38(4)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2; S.I. 2008/2503, art. 2

F8S. 5(3)(b) substituted (1.10.2007 for S. and 1.10.2008 otherwise) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 19(3)(b) (with s. 38(4)); S.S.I. 2007/434, art. 2; S.I. 2008/2503, art. 2

6 Territorial scope of inchoate offences related to [F10 offences under [F11this Act]].E+W+N.I.

(1)On a charge of conspiracy to commit an [F12offence under [F13this Act]] the following questions are immaterial to the accused’s guilt—

(a)the question where any person became a party to the conspiracy; and

(b)the question whether any act, omission or other event occurred in the home country concerned.

(2)On a charge of attempting to commit an offence under [F14this Act] the following questions are immaterial to the accused’s guilt—

(a)the question where the attempt was made; and

(b)the question whether it had an effect in the home country concerned.

(3)F15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(4)This section does not extend to Scotland.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F10S. 6 heading: words substituted (1.10.2008) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 20(a); S.I. 2008/2503, art. 2

F11Words in s. 6 heading substituted (3.5.2015) by Serious Crime Act 2015 (c. 9), s. 88(1), Sch. 4 para. 10(2) (with s. 86(6)); S.I. 2015/820, reg. 2(r)(iii)

7 Territorial scope of inchoate offences related to offences under external law corresponding to [F16 offences under sections 1 to 3].E+W+S+N.I.

F17(1). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F17(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)The following subsections shall be inserted after section 1(1) of the M1Criminal Attempts Act 1981—

(1A)Subject to section 8 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (relevance of external law), if this subsection applies to an act, what the person doing it had in view shall be treated as an offence to which this section applies.

(1B)Subsection (1A) above applies to an act if—

(a)it is done in England and Wales; and

(b)it would fall within subsection (1) above as more than merely preparatory to the commission of an offence under section 3 of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 but for the fact that the offence, if completed, would not be an offence triable in England and Wales..

(4)F18. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F16S. 7 heading: words substituted (1.10.2008) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 21(a); S.I. 2008/2503, art. 2

F17S. 7(1)(2) repealed (4.9.1998) by 1998 c. 40, s. 9(2), Sch. 2 Pt. II (with s. 9(3))

Marginal Citations

8 Relevance of external law.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)A person is guilty of an offence triable by virtue of section 4(4) above only if what he intended to do or facilitate would involve the commission of an offence under the law in force where the whole or any part of it was intended to take place.

F19(2). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(3)A person is guilty of an offence triable by virtue of section 1(1A) of the M2Criminal Attempts Act 1981 F20. . . only if what he had in view would involve the commission of an offence under the law in force where the whole or any part of it was intended to take place.

(4)Conduct punishable under the law in force in any place is an offence under that law for the purposes of this section, however it is described in that law.

(5)Subject to subsection (7) below, a condition specified in [F21subsection (1) or (3)] above shall be taken to be satisfied unless not later than rules of court may provide the defence serve on the prosecution a notice—

(a)stating that, on the facts as alleged with respect to the relevant conduct, the condition is not in their opinion satisfied;

(b)showing their grounds for that opinion; and

(c)requiring the prosecution to show that it is satisfied.

(6)In subsection (5) above “the relevant conduct” means—

(a)where the condition in subsection (1) above is in question, what the accused intended to do or facilitate;

F19(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c)where the condition in subsection (3) above is in question, what the accused had in view.

(7)The court, if it thinks fit, may permit the defence to require the prosecution to show that the condition is satisfied without the prior service of a notice under subsection (5) above.

(8)If by virtue of subsection (7) above a court of solemn jurisdiction in Scotland permits the defence to require the prosecution to show that the condition is satisfied, it shall be competent for the prosecution for that purpose to examine any witness or to put in evidence any production not included in the lists lodged by it.

(9)In the Crown Court the question whether the condition is satisfied shall be decided by the judge alone.

(10)In the High Court of Justiciary and in the sheriff court the question whether the condition is satisfied shall be decided by the judge or, as the case may be, the sheriff alone.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F19S. 8(2)(6)(b) repealed (4.9.1998) by 1998 c. 40, s. 9(2), Sch. 1 Pt. II para. 6(1)(a)(c), Sch. 2 Pt. II (with s. 9(3))

F21Words in s. 8(5) substituted (4.9.1998) by 1998 c. 40, s. 9(1), Sch. 1 Pt. II para. 6(1)(b) (with s. 9(3))

Marginal Citations

9 British citizenship immaterial.E+W+S+N.I.

(1)[F22Except as provided by section 5(1A),]In any proceedings brought in England and Wales in respect of any offence to which this section applies it is immaterial to guilt whether or not the accused was a British citizen at the time of any act, omission or other event proof of which is required for conviction of the offence.

(2)This section applies to the following offences—

(a)any [F23offence under [F24this Act]] ;

F25(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(c)any attempt to commit an offence under [F26this Act]; and

(d)F27. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Annotations: Help about Annotation
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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F23Words in s. 9(2)(a) substituted (1.10.2008) by Police and Justice Act 2006 (c. 48), ss. 52, 53, Sch. 14 para. 22; S.I. 2008/2503, art. 2

F25S. 9(2)(b) repealed (4.9.1998) by 1998 c. 40, s. 9(1)(2), Sch. 1 Pt. II para. 6(2), Sch. 2 Pt. II (with s. 9(3))

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