The Full Wiki

Breach of the peace: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Breach of the peace is a legal term used in constitutional law in English-speaking countries, and in a wider public order sense in Britain.

Contents

Constitutional law

In the United States, the Speech or Debate Clause of Article One of the United States Constitution provides that members of Congress shall be immune from arrest in going to and departing from sessions and while Congress is in session except for cases of "Treason, Felony, and Breach of the Peace."

The first two are somewhat self-explanatory; it has been suggested that the third is deliberately somewhat vague. The doctrine thus established is called congressional immunity; it arose out of the necessity to prevent a vengeful executive from arresting members of the legislature as a pretext to prevent them from taking actions that the executive might find to be displeasing. In recent years, this doctrine has been used to prevent members from being stopped and held for speeding on their way to sessions; this apparently is not a "breach of the peace", whereas perhaps another misdemeanor such as "drunk and disorderly" might be construed to be such.

Most states of the United States and most other English-speaking jurisdictions have extended this privilege to members of their legislatures on the theory outlined above.

Public order

The concept of a "breach of the peace" is more widely used in English law, however. Theoretically all criminal offences cognizable by English law involve "a breach of the Queen's peace", and all indictments conclude "against the peace of our Lady the Queen, her crown and dignity".

Historically this phrase, now legally superfluous, represents the last trace of the process by which the royal courts assume jurisdiction over all offences, and gradually eroded the jurisdiction of the sheriff and of lords of manor and franchises, making crime a matter of national concern as distinguished from civil wrongs or infractions of the rights of local magnates. The Peace of the King was sworn on his accession or full recognition, and the jurisdiction of his courts to punish all violations of that peace was gradually asserted. The completion of this process is marked by the institution of the office of Justice of the Peace.

In the United Kingdom, although not a statutory offence but a common law offence, "breach of the peace" is widely used.[1] In the United Kingdom, constables (or citizens) are permitted to arrest a person to "prevent a further breach of the peace" which allows to the police or the public to arrest a person before a breach of the peace has occurred. This is permitted when it is reasonable to believe should the person remain, that they would continue with their course of conduct and that a Breach of the Peace would occur. Breach of the Peace is usually used to remove violent or potentially violent offenders from a scene rapidly; the only punishment that can be inflicted by a court for this offence is to bind over the offender to keep the peace. There are some minor differences between English law and Scots law in relation to breach of the peace. One of the leading cases in Scots Law is that of Smith v Donnelly, a case concerning a Faslane protester. [2]

The conclusion has also found its way into constitutional law in many United States state constitutions, which mandate that indictments within the state end in a similar manner to the above, usually omitting the "crown" part or substituting "government". For example New Jersey's is "against the peace of this State, the government and dignity of the same".[3]

See also

References


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BREACH OF THE. PEACE Theoretically all criminal offences cognizable by English law involve a breach of the king's peace, and all indictments whether for offences against the common law or by statute conclude "against the peace of our lord the king, his crown and dignity." Historically this phrase, now legally superfluous, represents the last trace of the process by which the royal courts assume jurisdiction over all offences, and gradually extruded the jurisdiction of the sheriff and of lords. of manors and franchises, making crime a matter of national concern as distinguished from civil wrongs or infractions of the rights of local magnates, or of the rights of the tribal chiefs of the Teutonic conquerors of Britain. The peace of the king was sworn on his accession or full recognition, and the jurisdiction of his courts to punish all violations of that peace was gradually asserted. The completion of this process is marked by the institution of the office of justice of the peace.

In modern times the expression "breach of the peace" is usually limited to offences involving actual tumult, disturbances or disorder. As regards such offences, although they do not fall into the class of grave crimes described as felonies, officers of police and even private persons have larger powers and duties, as to immediate arrest without waiting for judicial warrant, than they possess as to other minor offences (see Arrest). Justices of the peace have under early statutes and the commission of the peace power to take sureties of the peace from persons who are threatening to commit a breach of the peace, and it is within the power of any court on conviction of any misdemeanour and of many felonies to require the offender to enter into a recognizance to keep the peace.


<< Peace

Peace Conferences >>








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message