Administration of Justice Act

Parliament’s offensive against Massachusetts, the perpetrator of the Boston Tea Party, included an effort to afford legal protections to officials serving in the disobedient colony.

The Administration of Justice Act provided that British officials accused of capital crimes in the execution their duties in suppressing riots or collecting lawful taxes in Massachusetts could avoid hostile local juries. The governor, at this time General Thomas Gage, was authorized at his discretion to decide that such cases be heard in England.

Angry colonists labeled this particular Coercive Act the “Murder Act,� because it offered a means for accused murderers to escape colonial justice.


See timeline of the American Revolution.