Transfer of Offenders Act


Published: 1992-07-01

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Transfer of Offenders Act
TRANSFER OF OFFENDERS [CH.102 – 1


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[Original Service 2001] STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

TRANSFER OF OFFENDERS
CHAPTER 102

TRANSFER OF OFFENDERS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation and evidence.
3. Issue of warrant for transfer.
4. Transfer out of The Bahamas.
5. Transfer into The Bahamas.
6. Operation of warrant and retaking prisoners.
7. Revocation, etc., of warrants.
8. Expenses.

SCHEDULE — Operation of Certain Laws in relation to the Offender.

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CHAPTER 102

TRANSFER OF OFFENDERS
An Act to make provision for facilitating the transfer

between The Bahamas and other countries of persons serving
sentences for criminal offences.

[Assent 19th May, 1992]
[Commencement 1st July, 1992]

1. This Act may be cited as the Transfer of Offenders
Act, 1992.

2. (1) In this Act —
“order” includes any sentence, direction, warrant or

other means of giving effect to the decision of a
court or tribunal;

“Minister” means the Minister charged with the
responsibility for prisons; and

“the offender” has the meaning given by section
3(1)(b).

(2) In any proceedings, the certificate of the Minis-
ter —

(a) that a particular country or territory is a party to
any such international arrangements as are
mentioned in section 3(1)(a);

(b) that the appropriate authority of a country or
territory which is such a party has agreed to the
transfer of a particular person in accordance
with any such arrangements; or

(c) that, for the purposes of any provision of this
Act, a particular person is or represents the
appropriate authority of any country or territory,

shall be conclusive of the matter certified.
(3) On the transfer of an offender referred to in

section 5 documents supplied by the foreign state from
which the offender is transferred setting out the finding of
guilt and where the offender has been sentenced, the


11 of 1992

Short title.

Interpretation
and evidence.

CH.102 – 4] TRANSFER OF OFFENDERS





STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

sentence imposed are, if they purport to be signed by a
judicial official or director of place of confinement of the
foreign state, in the absence of evidence to the contrary,
evidence of the facts alleged therein without proof of the
signature or official character of the person by whom they
purport to be signed.

3. (1) Subject to the following provisions of this
section where —

(a) The Bahamas is a party to international
arrangements providing for the transfer between
The Bahamas and a country or territory outside
The Bahamas of persons to whom subsection (7)
applies; and

(b) the Minister and the appropriate authority of that
country or territory have each agreed to the
transfer under those arrangements of a particular
person (in this Act referred to as “the offender”);
and

(c) the offender has consented to being transferred
in accordance with the arrangements,

the Minister shall issue a warrant providing for the transfer
of the offender into or out of The Bahamas.

(2) The Minister shall not issue a warrant under this
Act, and, if he has issued one; shall revoke it, in any case
where after the duty under subsection (1) has arisen and
before the transfer in question takes place circumstances
arise, or are brought to the Minister’s attention, which in
his opinion make it inappropriate that the transfer should
take place.

(3) The Minister shall not issue a warrant under this
Act providing for the transfer of any person into The
Bahamas unless that person is a citizen of The Bahamas or
the holder of a certificate of permanent residence issued
under the Immigration Act and who is the spouse of a
citizen.

(4) The Minister shall not issue a warrant under this
Act, other than one superseding an earlier warrant, unless
he is satisfied that all reasonable steps have been taken to
inform the offender in writing in his own language —

Issue of warrant
for transfer.

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(a) of the substance, so far as relevant to the
offender’s case of the international arrangements
in accordance with which it is proposed to
transfer him;

(b) of the effect in relation to the offender of the
warrant which it is proposed to issue in respect
of him;

(c) in the case of a transfer into The Bahamas of the
effect in relation to the offender of the law
relating to his detention under that warrant
(including the effect of any enactment or
instrument under which he may be released
earlier than provided for by the terms of the
warrant);

(d) in the case of a transfer out of The Bahamas, of
the effect in relation to the offender; and

(e) of the powers of the Minister under section 7,
and the Minister shall not issue a warrant superseding an
earlier warrant under this Act unless the requirements of
this subsection were fulfilled in relation to the earlier
warrant.

(5) The Minister shall not issue a warrant under this
Act unless he is satisfied that the consent given for the
purposes of subsection (1)(c) was given in a manner
authorised by the international arrangements in accordance
with which the offender is to be transferred and was so
given either —

(a) by the offender himself; or
(b) in circumstances where it appears to the

Minister inappropriate by reason of the physical
or mental condition or the youth of the offender
for the offender to act for himself, by a person
appearing to the Minister to be an appropriate
person to have acted on the offender’s behalf.

(6) A consent given for the purposes of subsection
(1)(c) shall not be capable of being withdrawn after a
warrant has been issued in respect of the offender; and,
accordingly, a purported withdrawal of that consent after
that time shall not affect the validity of the warrant, or of
any provision which by virtue of section 7 subsequently
supersedes provisions of that warrant, or of any direction
given in relation to the offender under section 4(3).

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(7) This subsection applies to a person if he is for
the time being required to be detained in a prison, a
hospital or any other institution either —

(a) by virtue of an order made in the course of the
exercise by a court or tribunal in The Bahamas
or in any country or territory outside The
Bahamas of its criminal jurisdiction; or

(b) under the provisions of this Act or any similar
provisions of the law of any country or territory
outside The Bahamas.

(8) In subsection (7)(b) the reference to provisions
similar to the provisions of this Act shall be construed as a
reference to any provisions which have effect with respect
to the transfer between different countries and territories
(or different parts of a country or territory) of persons who
are required to be detained in prisons, hospitals or other
institutions by virtue of orders made in the course of the
exercise by courts and tribunals of their criminal
jurisdiction.

4. (1) The effect of a warrant providing for the
transfer of the offender out of The Bahamas shall be to
authorise, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any
other law, the surrender of the offender by the authority
from whose custody he is being transferred and —

(a) the taking of the offender to any place in any
part of The Bahamas .and his delivery, at a place
of departure from The Bahamas into the custody
of a person representing the appropriate author-
ity of the country or territory to which the
offender is to be transferred; and

(b) the removal of the offender by the person to
whom he is so delivered to a place outside The
Bahamas.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) to (5), the order by
virtue of which the offender is required to be detained at
the time such a warrant is issued in respect of him shall
continue to have effect after his removal from The
Bahamas so as to apply to him if he is again in The
Bahamas at any time when under that order he is to be, or
may be, detained.

Transfer out of
The Bahamas.

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(3) If, at any time after the removal of the offender
from The Bahamas it appears to the Minister appropriate to
do so in order that effect may be given to the international
arrangements in accordance with which the offender was
transferred, the Minister may give a direction varying the
order referred to in subsection (2) or providing for that
order to cease to have effect.

(4) The power by direction under subsection (3) to
vary the order referred to in subsection (2) shall include
power by direction —

(a) to provide for how any period during which the
offender is, by virtue of a warrant under this Act
out of The Bahamas is to be treated for the
purposes of that order; and

(b) to provide for the offender to be treated as
having been —

(i) released on licence under the Prisons Act; or
(ii) released on licence under the Children and

Young Persons (Administration of Justice)
Act.

(5) References in this section to the order by virtue
of which the offender is required to be detained at the time
a warrant under this Act is issued in respect of him include
references to any order by virtue of which he is required to
be detained after the order by virtue of which he is required
to be detained at that time ceases to have effect.

5. (1) The effect of a warrant providing for the
transfer of the offender into The Bahamas shall be to
authorise —

(a) the bringing of the offender into The Bahamas
from a place outside The Bahamas;

(b) the taking of the offender to such place in The
Bahamas, being a place at which effect may be
given to the provisions contained in the warrant
by virtue of paragraph (c), as may be specified
in the warrant; and

(c) the detention of the offender in any part of The
Bahamas in accordance with such provisions as
may be contained in the warrant, being provi-
sions appearing to the Minister to be appropriate
for giving effect to the international arrange-
ments in accordance with which the offender is
transferred.

Ch. 208.
Ch. 97.

Transfer into The
Bahamas.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) A provision shall not be contained by virtue of
subsection (1)(c) in a warrant under this Act unless it
satisfies the following two conditions, that is, to say —

(a) It is a provision with respect to the detention of a
person in a prison, a hospital or any other
institution; and

(b) it is a provision which at the time the warrant is
issued may be contained in an order made
either —

(i) in the course of the exercise of its criminal
jurisdiction by a court in The Bahamas; or

(ii) otherwise than by a court but for the
purpose of giving effect to an order made
as mentioned in subparagraph (i).

(3) In determining for the purposes of paragraph (c)
of subsection (1) what provisions are appropriate for
giving effect to the international arrangement mentioned in
that paragraph, the Minister shall, to the extent that it
appears to him. consistent with those arrangements to do
so, have regard to the inappropriateness of the warrant
containing provisions which —

(a) are equivalent to more than the maximum
penalties (if any) that may be imposed on a
person who, in The Bahamas commits an offence
corresponding to that in respect of which the
offender is required to be detained in the country
or territory from which he is to be transferred; or

(b) are framed without reference to the length —
(i) of the period during which the offender is,

but for the transfer, required to be detained
in that country or territory; and

(ii) of so much of that period as will have
been, or be treated as having been, served
by the offender when the said provisions
take effect.

(4) Subject to subsection (6) and the Schedule, a
provision contained by virtue of subsection (1)(c) in a
warrant under this Act shall for all purposes have the same
effect as the same provision contained in an order made as
mentioned in subparagraph (i) or, as the case may be,
subparagraph (ii) of subsection (2)(b) and without


Schedule.

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prejudice to the foregoing, for the purpose of The Bahamas
giving effect to any international arrangements the finding
of the guilt and the sentence, if any, by the court of a
foreign state of an offender who is transferred to The
Bahamas shall be deemed a finding of guilt and a sentence
imposed by a court of competent jurisdiction in The
Bahamas for a criminal offence.

(5) A provision contained by virtue of subsection
(1)(c) in a warrant under this Act shall take effect with the
delivery of the offender to the place specified in the
warrant for the purposes of subsection (1)(b).

(6) Subsection (4) shall not confer any right of
appeal on the prisoner against provisions contained by
virtue of subsection (1)(c) in a warrant under this Act.

(7) The Schedule shall have effect, with respect to
the operation of certain laws in relation to provisions
contained by virtue of subsection (1)(c) in a warrant under
this Act.

(8) For the purposes of determining whether at any
particular time any such order as is mentioned in
subsection (2)(b) could have been made as so mentioned,
there shall be disregarded both —

(a) any requirement that certain conditions must be
satisfied before the order is made; and

(b) any restriction on the minimum period in respect
of which the order may be made.

(9) An offender who is transferred to The Bahamas —
(a) shall be credited with any time toward comple-

tion of his sentence that was credited to him at
the date of his transfer by the foreign state in
which he was convicted and sentenced; and

(b) is eligible to earn remission as if he had been
committed to custody on the date of his transfer
pursuant to a sentence imposed by a court in The
Bahamas.

6. (1) Where a warrant has been issued under this Act
the following provisions of this section shall have effect for
the purposes of the warrant, except (without prejudice to
section 5(4) or any enactment contained otherwise than in
this Act) in relation to any time when the offender is
required to be detained in accordance with provisions
contained in the warrant by virtue of section 5(1)(c).

Operation of
warrant and
retaking
prisoners.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(2) The offender shall be deemed to be in lawful
custody undergoing a sentence of imprisonment at any
time when being in The Bahamas or on board a Bahamian
registered vessel or a Bahamian registered aircraft he is
being taken under the warrant to or from any place or being
kept in custody under the warrant.

(3) The Minister may, from time to time, designate
any person as a person who is for the time being authorised
for the purposes of the warrant to take the offender to or
from any place under the warrant, or to keep the offender
in custody under the warrant.

(4) A person authorised by or for the purposes of
the warrant to take the offender to or from any place or to
keep the offender in custody shall have all the powers,
authority, protection and privileges of a police officer.

(5) If the offender escapes or is unlawfully at large,
he may be arrested without warrant by a police officer and
taken to any place to which he may be taken under the
warrant under this Act without prejudice to any other
liability imposed upon him by any other law.

(6) In subsection (2) —
“Bahamian registered vessel” means a vessel regis-

tered under the Merchant Shipping Act;
“Bahamian registered aircraft” means an aircraft

registered under the Civil Aviation Act.
7. (1) Subject to section 3(4), if at any time it

appears to the Minister appropriate, in order that effect
may be given to any such arrangements as are mentioned
in section 3(1)(a) or in a case falling within section 3(2) for
a warrant under this Act to be revoked or varied, he may,
as the case may require —

(a) revoke that warrant; or
(b) revoke that warrant and issue a new warrant

under this Act containing provision superseding
some or all of the provisions of the previous
warrant.

(2) Subject to subsection (3)(c), the provision that
may be contained in a new warrant issued by virtue of
subsection (1)(b) shall be any provision that could have
been contained in the previous warrant.

Ch. 268.

Ch. 284.

Revocation, etc.,
of warrants.

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(3) A new warrant issued by virtue of subsection
(1)(b) may provide —

(a) that a provision contained in it is to be treated as
having taken effect when the provisions which
that provision supersedes took effect;

(b) that things done under or for the purposes of the
superseded provisions are, accordingly, to be
treated as having been done under or for the
purposes of the provision contained in the new
warrant; and

(c) that an enactment in force at the time the new
warrant is issued is, for the purposes of
subsection (2) or this subsection to be treated as
having been in force when the superseded
provisions took effect.

(4) The powers conferred by this section shall be
exercisable notwithstanding any defect in the warrant
which is revoked.

8. (1) Subject to subsection (2) any expenses incurred
by the Minister for the purposes of this Act shall be
charged upon the Consolidated Fund.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), it shall be the
duty of the Minister, in the case of a transfer of a person
into The Bahamas under this Act, to secure the payment to
him by that person, or from some other source of the
amount of the expenses incurred by the Minister in
connection with the conveyance of that person to The
Bahamas; and for this purpose the Minister shall have the
power if necessary to require a person to give an
undertaking to pay to the Government of The Bahamas the
whole or any part of that amount which undertaking may
be sued upon in any court of summary jurisdiction as a
civil debt due to the Government.

(3) Subsection (2) shall not apply to the extent that
in any case it appears to The Minister that it would be
unreasonable for him to exercise any of the powers
conferred by that subsection either because of the
exceptional circumstances of the case or because the means
of the offender are insufficient to meet the expenses, and
their recovery, whether immediately or at some future
time, from the offender or from any other source is
impracticable.

Expenses.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(4) The expenses mentioned in subsections (2) and
(3) shall not include —

(a) any expenses of providing an escort for a person
transferred into The Bahamas under this Act; or

(b) any expenses of the conveyance of such a person
beyond the place at which he first arrives in The
Bahamas.

(5) The Minister shall pay any sums received by
him by virtue of subsection (2) into the Consolidated Fund.

SCHEDULE (Section 5)

OPERATION OF CERTAIN LAWS IN RELATION TO THE
OFFENDER

1. This Schedule applies where a warrant is issued under the
Act providing for the transfer of the offender into The Bahamas;
and in this Schedule “the relevant provisions” means the provisions
contained in the warrant by virtue of section 5(1)(c).

2. (1) In determining for the purposes of any law whether an
offender has at any time served a specific period of his sentence the
offender’s sentence shall, subject to subparagraph (2), be deemed to
begin with the day on which the relevant provisions take effect.

(2) If the warrant specifies a period to be taken into
account for the purposes of this paragraph the offender’s sentence
and the amount he has served shall be deemed to be increased by
that period in so far as the question whether he has served a specific
period of his sentence is concerned.

3. The relevant provisions shall be disregarded for the purposes
of the application, in relation to any offence of which the offender
was convicted in a place outside The Bahamas, of the Rehabilita-
tion of Offenders Act, 1991, except section 3(3) (person not
rehabilitated unless he serves sentence).

4. Where the relevant provisions include provision equivalent
to such a sentence as is mentioned in section 32 of the Firearms Act
(possession of firearm by person previously convicted of crime)
that section shall apply in relation to the offender as if for the
reference in that section to the period of five years from the date so
mentioned there were substituted a reference to the period of five
years from the day on which the relevant provisions take effect.

Application of
Schedule.

Release on
licence.

Rehabilitation of
Offenders Act,
1991.
No. 11 of 1991

The Firearms
Act.