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The clanking of medieval chains: extra-judicial banishment in the British Empire


Powell, M, The clanking of medieval chains: extra-judicial banishment in the British Empire, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 44, (2) pp. 352-371. ISSN 0308-6534 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/03086534.2016.1160688


Banishment in English law was circumscribed by the Magna Carta and habeas corpus and prohibited except by legal procedure. The Transportation Act of 1718 legalised exile and enshrined convictism in law. The case of Bancoult (No.2), 2008, which considered the banishment of the Ilois of Chagos Island in the 1960s, brought consideration of banishment into the twentieth century and opened the royal prerogative to modern scrutiny. What becomes clear from this case is that banishment relied on royal prerogative without resort to legal process and was surprisingly routine throughout the British Empire. This article considers the implications of this case and some of the wider history of banishment in the empire.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:British empire, English Law, banishment, Chagos Island
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:British history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Powell, M (Dr Michael Powell)
ID Code:108570
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:School of Humanities
Deposited On:2016-04-26
Last Modified:2018-03-08

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