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The Slave Trade Felony Act 1811 (51 Geo. III, c. 23) was a piece of British legislation that made engagement in the slave trade a felony. The earlier Slave Trade Act 1807 merely imposed fines that were insufficient to deter entrepreneurs from engaging in such a profitable business. The contexts in which it could be applied and how these sat within international criminal law gave rise to controversy.[1] Henry Brougham was the principal proponent of the act.[1]

Long titleAn Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade
Citation51 Geo III c. 23
Introduced byHenry Brougham
Territorial extentBritish Empire
Royal assentMay 1811

The first case brought under the act was that of Samuel Samo, who was tried by Chief Justice Robert Thorpe at the Vice-Admiralty Court in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The case was heard from 8 April to 11 April 1812.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Haslam, Emily (2012). "Redemption, Colonialism and International Criminal Law". In Kirkby, Diane (ed.). Past Law, Present Histories. Canberra, ACT: ANU E Press. ISBN 9781922144034.