Recounting the Memories of the Past

Extraterritorial rights

When the British and the Sultan of Brunei signed the Treaty of Friendship and Commerce 1847, the British gained a considerable control in trade and territories. They also enjoyed extraterritorial rights in Brunei.

So what is extraterritorial rights? Basically they are rights of foreigners outside of (“extra”) their own country. With these rights, the British could get away from harsh punishments in accordance to Hukum Kanun (Islamic law) if they were caught committing any crimes though they would still be tried in the British court.

To demonstrate some examples of punishments according to Hukum kanun, i extract two clauses:

  1. In clause five talks about the punishment of qisas for murder and also for the murderer to be killed in return for his crime;
  2. In clause seven talks about offence of stealing, the punishment of which would be to cut off certain part of his hand.

Now you see how the British made a smart move in 1847 by signing the treaty of friendship and commerce to not only gain exclusive rights in trade and territories in Brunei but also protecting the British subjects in Brunei from any unpleasant treatments and punishments.


One response to “Extraterritorial rights

  1. viviena teng October 6, 2011 at 9:21 am

    my dear,

    i think it’s called “diplomatic immunity” these days.

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