High treason

High treason

High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's country. Participating in a war against one's country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps the best-known examples of high treason. High treason requires that the alleged traitor have obligations of loyalty in the state they betrayed, such as citizenship, although presence in the state at the time is sufficient. Foreign spies, assassins, and saboteurs, though not suffering the dishonor associated with conviction for high treason, may still be tried and punished judicially for acts of espionage, assassination, or sabotage, though in contemporary times, foreign spies and saboteurs are usually repatriated following capture.

Historically, in common law countries high treason was differentiated from petty treason, which was the act of killing a lawful superior (such as a servant killing his or her master or mistress). It was, in effect, considered a more serious degree of murder. As jurisdictions around the world abolished petty treason, the concept of petty treason gradually faded, and today use of the word "treason" generally refers to "high treason."

Note that while Canadian law describes two separate offences of "treason" and "high treason", both of these in fact fall in the historical category of high treason. [http://www.canlii.org/ca/sta/c-46/sec46.html "Criminal Code of Canada"] , section 46.]

ee also

*List of people convicted of treason


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • High treason — High High, a. [Compar. {Higher}; superl. {Highest}.] [OE. high, hegh, hey, heh, AS. he[ a]h, h?h; akin to OS. h?h, OFries. hag, hach, D. hoog, OHG. h?h, G. hoch, Icel. h?r, Sw. h[ o]g, Dan. h[ o]i, Goth. hauhs, and to Icel. haugr mound, G. h[… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • high treason — See treason. Collins dictionary of law. W. J. Stewart. 2001 …   Law dictionary

  • high treason — noun uncount a crime against your country, for example the crime of trying to take control of the government or helping your country s enemies: TREASON …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • high treason — n. treason against the ruler or government …   English World dictionary

  • high treason — n [U] the crime of putting your country in great danger, for example by giving military secrets to the enemy …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • high treason — noun a crime that undermines the offender s government • Syn: ↑treason, ↑lese majesty • Derivationally related forms: ↑treasonous (for: ↑treason), ↑treasonist (for: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • high treason — n. to commit high treason * * * [ˌhaɪ triːz(ə)n] to commit high treason …   Combinatory dictionary

  • high treason — N UNCOUNT High treason is a very serious crime which involves putting your country or its head of state in danger …   English dictionary

  • high treason — high′ trea′son n. treason against the sovereign or state …   From formal English to slang

  • high treason — Treason against the king or the government. See treason …   Ballentine's law dictionary