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Criminal Jurisdiction

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Chapter Summary

This chapter assesses the extent to which Britain's exercise of criminal jurisdiction in Japan affected the British community. British criminal jurisdiction may be divided into two parts: offences committed within Japan or its territorial waters and offences committed upon British flagged merchant vessels. It focuses upon criminal cases with shipping offences. British officials ascribed a sinister motive to several Japanese prosecutions in the mid-1870s when it was well-known that the Japanese authorities were seeking to reduce Japan's dependence upon foreign technical instructors. Fines were the most common punishment followed by varying terms of imprisonment and both particularly where the prosecutor was Japanese were often linked to the payment of damages to the injured Japanese individual. Four classes of gaol were available to the Courts: the local consulate gaols, the British gaol at Yokohama, local Japanese gaols and Victoria Gaol in Hong Kong.

Keywords: Britain; Court; criminal jurisdiction; Japanese prosecutions; Victoria Gaol; Yokoham



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