254. Abolition of the slave trade and prohibition of slavery, forced labour and human trafficking in domestic law.

Slavery was recognised by the English courts as a lawful form of ownership as late as the end of the seventeenth century1. Case law of the eighteenth century indicated that slavery was so odious that it could only be introduced by positive law2. As late as 1827 the High Court of Admiralty noted that English law discouraged slavery within England (although did not prohibit it) and gave slavery almost unbounded protection in the colonies3.

The transatlantic slave trade (but not slavery itself) was abolished by Act of Parliament in 18074, and slavery in the colonies was ultimately abolished in 18345.