10 1939

No. 10/1939:

TREASON ACT, 1939


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE PUNISHMENT OF TREASON AND CERTAIN ANCILLARY OFFENCES.

[30th May, 1939.]

WHEREAS it is provided by Article 39 of the Constitution that treason shall consist only in levying war against the State, or assisting any State or person or inciting or conspiring with any person to levy war against the State, or attempting by force of arms or other violent means to overthrow the organs of government established by the Constitution, or taking part or being concerned in or inciting or conspiring with any person to make or to take part or be concerned in any such attempt:

AND WHEREAS, in order that the said Article 39 may be fully effective, it is necessary that provision should be made by statute for the punishment of persons who commit or are accessories to the commission of treason:

BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:—

Punishment of treason.

1. —(1) Every person who commits treason within the State shall be liable on conviction thereof to suffer death.

(2) Every person who, being an Irish citizen or ordinarily resident within the State, commits treason outside the State shall be liable on conviction thereof to suffer death.

(3) Whenever a person charged with treason is indicted therefor before the Central Criminal Court, he shall be so indicted in the same manner in all respects as a person charged with murder is required by law to be indicted, and every person who is indicted in manner aforesaid for treason shall be arranged and tried in the same manner and according to the same course and order of trial as a person indicted for murder is required by law to be arraigned and; tried, and every person who, on such arraignment and trial, is found guilty of treason shall be convicted thereof and sentenced therefor in like manner in all respects as a person found guilty of murder is required by law to be convicted and sentenced.

(4) No person shall be convicted of treason on the uncorroborated evidence of one witness.

Encouraging, harbouring, or comforting persons guilty of treason.

2. —(1) Every person who encourages, harbours, or comforts any person whom he knows or has reasonable grounds for believing to be engaged in committing treason shall be guilty of felony and on conviction thereof shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds or, at the discretion of the Court, to penal servitude for a term not exceeding twenty years or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such penal servitude or imprisonment.

(2) No person shall be convicted of felony under this section on the uncorroborated evidence of one witness.

Misprision of treason.

3. —Every person who, knowing that any act the commission of which would be treason is intended or proposed to be, or is being, or has been committed, does not forthwith disclose the same, together with all particulars thereof known to him, to a Justice of the District Court, or an officer of the Gárda Síochána, or some other person lawfully engaged on duties relating to the preservation of peace and order shall be guilty of the felony of misprision of treason and shall be liable on conviction thereof to penal servitude for a term not exceeding five years or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

Short title.

4. —This Act may be cited as the Treason Act, 1939 .