HL Deb 03 May 1994 vol 554 cc63-4WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will study laws passed in Sweden, Germany and Australia to enable citizens of those countries who commit sexual offences against children abroad to be prosecuted in their domestic courts; and whether they will consider introducing similar legislation in Britain.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Earl Ferrers)

The Government deplore the sexual abuse of children wherever it occurs, and our own laws against such abuse are, accordingly, rightly severe. We are always ready to learn from the experiences of other countries, and we will examine the legislation to which the noble Lord refers.

Our courts, though, exercise a territorial jurisdiction rather than a general jurisdiction over British nationals abroad, and we have no current plans to extend the jurisdiction of our courts over paedophile offences which are committed outside the United Kingdom.