Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Banishment, expulsion from any country or place by the judgment of some Court or other competent authority. The term has its root in the word "ban." Banishment as a punishment is unknown to the ancient unwritten law of England, although voluntary exile in order to avoid other punishment has been at times permitted. The Crown has always, in certain cases, exercised its prerogative of restraining a subject from quitting the kingdom, but it is a legal maxim that no subject shall be sent out of it unless by authority of Parliament. It is declared by Magna Charta "that no freeman shall be exiled unless by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land." There are, however, some instances of banishment of an obnoxious subject by the authority of the Crown alone; and in the case of Parliamentary impeachment for a misdemeanour, perpetual exile has formed part of the sentence of the House of Lords, with the assent of the Crown. Aliens and Jews (formerly regarded as aliens) have also often been banished by royal proclamation. Banishment as a punishment was introduced by a statute passed in the thirty-ninth year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth, by which it was enacted that "such rogues as were dangerous to the inferior people should be banished the realm." At a much later period the punishment of transportation was sanctioned by the legislature.