Search Legislation

The Hijacking Act 1971 (Overseas Territories) Order 1971

 Help about what version

What Version

  • Latest available (Revised)
  • Original (As made)

More Resources


This is the original version (as it was originally made). This item of legislation is currently only available in its original format. The electronic version of this UK Statutory Instrument has been contributed by Westlaw and is taken from the printed publication. Read more


1.—(1) A person on board an aircraft in flight who unlawfully, by the use of force or by threats of any kind, seizes the aircraft or exercises control of it commits the offence of hijacking, whatever his nationality, whatever the State in which the aircraft is registered and whether the aircraft is in the Territory or elsewhere, but subject to subsection (2) of this section.

(2) If—

(a)the aircraft is used in military, customs or police service; or

(b)both the place of take-off and the place of landing are in the territory of the State in which the aircraft is registered;

subsection (1) of this section shall not apply, unless—

(i)the person seizing or exercising control of the aircraft is such a person as is mentioned in subsection (3) of this section; or

(ii)his act is committed in the Territory; or

(iii)the aircraft is registered in the United Kingdom or in any Territory or is used in the military or customs service of the United Kingdom or of any Territory or in the service of any police force in the United Kingdom or in any Territory.

(3) The persons referred to in subsection (2)(i) of this section are the following, namely,—

(a)a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies;

(b)a British subject by virtue of section 2 of the British Nationality Act 1948;

(c)a British subject without citizenship by virtue of section 13 or section 16 of that Act;

(d)a British subject by virtue of the British Nationality Act 1965; and

(e)a British protected person within the meaning of the British Nationality Act 1948.

(4) A person who

(a)commits the offence of hijacking; or

(b)in the Territory induces or assists the commission elsewhere of an act which would be the offence of hijacking but for subsection (2) of this section;

shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for life.

(5) For the purposes of this section the period during which an aircraft is in flight shall be deemed to include any period from the moment when all its external doors are closed following embarkation until the moment when any such door is opened for disembarkation, and, in the case of a forced landing, any period until the competent authorities take over responsibility for the aircraft and for persons and property on board.

(6) For the purposes of this section the territorial waters of any State shall be treated as part of its territory.

(7) In this section “military service” includes naval and air-force service.

Back to top


Print Options


Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.


Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources