Administration of Justice Act (1774)

The Administration of Justice Act was one of five laws enacted by the British Parliament in 1774 in response to the Boston Tea Party. Collectively, the acts were known as the Coercive Acts, or the Intolerable Acts. The Administration of Justice Act, passed on May 20, 1774, authorized the governor of Massachusetts to move trials of royal officials accused of committing capital offenses, while performing their official duties, to another colony or to Great Britain, if he believed the accused would not receive a fair trial in Massachusetts. The act is sometimes referred to as the Murder Act because of colonial fears that it might enable royal officials to escape punishment for committing capital offenses. The Administration of Justice Act and the other Coercive Acts provided further ammunition for a growing radical element in the colonies and prompted the calling of the First Continental Congress on September 5, 1774.

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