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In order to constitute a murder, the killing must occur ‘within the Queen’s Peace.’ If it does not, then the killing is incapable of amounting to murder regardless of whether the other actus reus elements are present.

The requirement that the unlawful killing take place within the Queen’s Peace has been taken by the courts to mean that alien enemies killed during the heat of wartime are not murder victims. However, the courts have been quick to limit this to actual wartime conflict and have resisted any attempts to extend this plea in recent years.

The cases in this section will look at circumstances falling within and outside the Queen’s Peace.

Cases

R v Page [1954]
In R v Page the Court suggested that the ‘Under the Queen’s peace’ requirement prevents the killing of alien enemies in the course of war from being classified as murder.

Maria v Hall (1807)
Maria v Hall illustrates that it will be considered to amount to homicide if an alien enemy is killed outside of the course of warfare. The deliberate and unjustified shooting of prisoners of war will not be viewed as taking place outside of the Queen’s Peace…

R v Adebolajo & Adebowale [2014]
Adebolajo and Adebowale establishes that the Court will look at the status of the victim when asking whether the killing occurred under the Queen’s peace, not the beliefs of the killer(s).

Section 9 OAOA 1861
This provision states that any murder committed by a British citizen in territory which is not inside the United Kingdom can still be tried and punished and England.

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