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R v Stevens Raymond Christian [2006] UKPC 47

The laws under which the appellants had been convicted of rape, indecent assault and incest on Pitcairn Island were valid and their prosecution and conviction had not been an abuse of process.

10 November 2006

The appellants (C) appealed against the decision of the Pitcairn Court of Appeal affirming their convictions on charges of rape, indecent assault and incest. In 1898, the secretary of state had directed that the Pacific Order in Council made under the British Settlements Act 1887 should apply to Pitcairn, a small and remote island in the South Pacific. The Order was replaced by a 1952 Order and then by the Pitcairn Order 1970, which provided for a governor to make and publish laws for the government of the island. The governor made the Judicature Ordinance 1970 which provided that the statutes of general application in force in England applied on the island so far as local circumstances permitted. The Ordinance was duly published in accordance with the 1970 Order and was in force when the offences by C were committed. C had been charged under provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 1956, which was a law of general application in force in England at the time of commencement of the Ordi...

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