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COURT OF APPEAL.
Saturday, March 3.
(Before JESSEL, M.R., BAGGALLAY and LINDLEY, L.JJ.)
Reg. v. Foote. (a) Practice—Right of appeal-Misdemeanour-Bail-Jurisdiction
Judicature Act, 1873 (36 f. 37 Vict. c. 66), ss. 19, 47. A prisoner indicted for misdemeanour applied to a Divisional
Court of the Queen's Bench Division for bail, and on his application being refused, appealed to the Court of Appeal. Held, that the decision of the Divisional Court was a judgment of
the High Court in a criminal matter, and therefore the Court of
Appeal had no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal. ON N the 1st day of March, 1883, G. W. Foote, W. T. Ramsay,
and H. A. Kemp were tried at the Central Criminal Court before North, J. for publishing a blasphemous libel in a periodical called the Freethinker. The jury, being unable to agree, were discharged, and North, J. appointed the 5th day of March for the fresh trial.
On the 2nd day of March Foote and Ramsay applied to be admitted to bail, but North, J. refused the application.
The prisoners then applied to a Divisional Court of the Queen's Bench Division by way of appeal from North, J, and also on the ground that the Queen's Bench Division had inherent jurisdiction to grant bail in all cases, and that misdemeanour was always bailable as of right.
The Divisional Court, consisting of Grove and Mathew, JJ., refused the application, and the prisoners now appealed.
Cluer in support of the appeal.-All decisions of a Divisional Court can be appealed against unless expressly excepted by the Judicature Acts. Sect. 47 of the Judicature Act, 1873, which enacts that “No appeal shall lie from any judgment of the said High Court in any criminal cause or matter save for some error of law apparent on the record ” refers only to the subject matter of the section, namely, the Court for Crown Cases Reserved. It only deals with judgments, and it was not intended to include all applications in matters of a criminal nature which come before a Divisional Court in its ordinary jurisdiction. The case of Reg. v. Weil (47 L. T. Rep. N. S. 631 ; 9 Q. B. Div. 701) was an appeal from a decision of a Divisional Court, refusing a writ of habeas corpus, and it was entertained by the Court of Appeal, though
(a) Reported by W. C. Biss, Esq., Barrister-at-Law.
the question of jurisdiction was not decided. Then this appeal
RBG. is not in a criminal matter, it is only incidentally connected with
FOOTE. one. [BAGGALLAY, L.J., referred to Reg. v. Steel (35 L. T. Rep. N. S. 534 ; 2 Q. B. Div. 37), where it was held that no appeal lies from a judgment of the Queen's Bench Division discharging Appealan order to review taxation of costs in a criminal information for Refusal of bail. libel.] It was held there that the costs were a consequence of the judgment, but an application for bail is quite unconnected with the judgment.
JESSEL, M.R.-I am of opinion that this application must be refused. The point raised is a very important one, namely, the jurisdiction of this court in criminal matters. The first question is, whether the last clause of sect. 47 of the Judicature Act, 1873, is general, and relates to the High Court in its ordinary jurisdiction, and not to the Court for Crown Cases Reserved only. That was decided by the Court of Appeal in Reg. v. Steel (35 L. T. Rep. N. S. 534; 2 Q. B. Div. 37), and I see no reason to differ from that decision, even if we were not bound by it. The next question is, whether the word “judgment” in the same clause is used in a general or in a technical sense, as confined to final judgment in criminal cases. I am of opinion that it is used in the larger sense, of all decisions in criminal matters. That also was decided in Reg. v. Steel, where it was held that an order respecting the taxation of costs in a criminal information came under the meaning of the word. The last question is whether this is a criminal cause or matter." I entertain no doubt that it is. A person was tried for a misdemeanour. The jury were discharged because they could not agree, and a fresh trial was appointed. Then the prisoner applied to be admitted to bail. This being refused, an appeal is brought to this court. If this is not a criminal matter it is difficult to see what is. This court has no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal, and it must therefore be dismissed.
BAGGALLAY and LINDLEY, L.JJ. concurred.
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION.
Dec. 5, 1882; Jan. 12, 16, and 24, 1883.
(Before May, L.C.J., Lawson and BARRY, JJ.) Ex parte CHARLES E. SEYMOUR v. MICHAEL Davitt; Ex parte
PATRICK BEARNS v. T. M. HEALY, M.P.; Ex parte CHARLES
E. Seymour v. P. J. QUINN. (a.) Sureties of good behaviour-Original jurisdiction of the Queen's
Bench—34 Edw. 3, cap. 1—21 Jac. 1, cap. 8 (Eng.)—10 8. 11
Car. 1, cap. 10 (Ir.). Notices were served on D. H. and Q. of applications to the Queen's
Bench Division, requiring them to find sufficient sureties to be of good behaviour towards Her Majesty and all Her Majesty's subjects, or in default that they should be committed to prison. These applications were made in consequence of certain speeches delivered by D. H. and Q. at public meetings held in the counties of Meath and Carlow, in the interests of the Irish National League. The affidavits on which the applications were grounded deposed to the existence for some years preceding of an agrarian agitation in various parts of Ireland, including the counties of Meath and Carlow ; that in consequence thereof great excitement prevailed ; and that a combination had been set on foot against the payment of rent; and that numerous crimes and outrages had been committed in various parts of the country. It was further stated that, at a public meeting in the county of Meath, attended by upwards of 4000 persons, D., in addressing the meeting, after condemning the system of using large portions of land for grazing, said: “Unless wise and just legislation should prevent its necessity, the time will come when the starving people of Donegal and Connemara will be told to march down in their serried phalanxes upon the plains and seize the lands upon which to live like civilised beings in a Christian country.” And again, “I propose that, in case Mr. Gladstone does not apply the surplus of the Arrears Act estimates to save the people, no rent should be paid from November till next May; that out of this sum a portion should be placed in the National Relief Fund, to save our starving people from starvation.” H., at a meeting in the county of Carlow, held for
(a) Reported by JONES H. STAVELEY, Esq., Barrister-at-Law.
the purpose of founding a branch of the “National League," Exp. SEYMOUR described the Government as simply " a system of land piracy
Ex p. BEARNS " an organisation against the will of the people ;
v. HEALY; organisation of so many pirates and so many brigands.' “It," Exp. SEYMOUR i.e. the Government, “was entitled to the same moral respect as
V. QUINN. a cutpurse, who held a revolver at your head and said to you,
Your money or your life.” Q. addressed a public meeting in Meath, also held for the establishment of a branch of the Sureties for
good behaviour. “National League;" and in his speech he described himself as a rebel; spoke hopefully of the resuscitation of a former organised body known as the Land League, and which, after a period of active operation, had been proclaimed as illegal by the Government, and finally exhorted the farmers not to pay any rent. Q. made an affidavit, in which he stated that the report of his speech relied on in support of the application was not a full or accurate report. No affidavit was made by either D. or H.; nor did any of the parties summoned offer any apology, or promise to abstain from similar conduct in the future. It was argued on behalf of Q. (who appeared by counsel) that the Queen's Bench Division had no jurisdiction in the matter of the applications, the jurisdiction to order persons to find sureties for good behaviour having been created by the 34 Edw. 3, cap. 1, and conferred only on the justices thereby directed to be appointed. Held, that the judges of the Queen's Bench Division as conservators
of the peace have original jurisdiction independently of the statute of Edw. 3 to require sureties for good behaviour from persons whose acts or language are shown to be likely to endanger the public peace. Held also that these were proper cases in which to exercise that
Reg (Feehan) v. The Justices of the Queen's County (10
following In the High Court of Justice in Ireland, Queen's Bench Division (Crown Side).
Ec parte CHARLES EDWARD SEYMOUR v. MICHAEL DAVITT. Sir,-Take notice that, on Tuesday, the 5th day of December, 1882, an application will be made on behalf of Charles Edward Seymour, of Navan, in the county of Meath, sub-inspector of the Royal Irish Constabulary to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in Ireland, at the sitting of the said Court at the Four Courts Inn, Quay, Dublin, that you may be required to find sufficient sureties to be of good behaviour towards Her Majesty the Queen and towards all Her Majesty's subjects, and that in default of finding such sureties you be committed to prison for such time as to the said Court shall seem fit, and that for that purpose all writs and promises of good behaviour and warrants be issued which be requisite in that behalf, and you are hereby informed that you may, if you so think fit, appear before the said Court, at the said time and place, to show cause why such application should not be grantod, which application will be grounded, &c., &c.”
Exp. SEYMOUR Similar notices were also served op T. M. Healy, M.P., and
v. DaVITT; Patrick Quinn. Ex p. BEARNS
v. HEALY; The application against Mr. Divitt was grounded upon the Exp. Seymour affidavits of Charles Edward Seymour, a sub-Inspector of the v. QUINN. Royal Irish Constabulary; and of Bernard O'Malley, a constable
of the Royal Irish Constabulary.
Mr. Seymour in his affidavit stated that, for the last four years Sureties for there had existed in Ireland a wide-spread agrarian agitation, in good behaviour.
furtherance of which numerous public meetings were held throughout Ireland and in the county of Meath, and that many violent and inflammatory speeches were delivered in connection with that agitation by Mr. Davitt, and that by reason of these meetings great excitement prevailed in the county of Meath and throughout Ireland, and an illegal combination against the payment of rent was established, and numerous outrages were committed throughout the country. Mr. Seymour's affidavit further stated that he was present at an open air meeting, held on Sunday, the 26th of November, 1882, in the centre of the town of Navan, at about three o'clock in the afternoon, at which there were present about four or five thousand persons, and which meeting was convened by public placards announcing that the same was to be held under the auspices of the Irish National League, and that Michael Davitt would speak thereat. Mr. Seymour further stated that Mr. Davitt did make a speech at that meeting, and that he saw constable Bernard O'Malley reporting the speech, and that he saw the transcript of his shorthand report, and that the same was according to his recollection a very correct report.
The affidavit of Bernard O'Malley stated that he understood writing shorthand, and had considerable practice at it, being able to report and take down with accuracy speeches made at public meetings. That he attended the meeting at Navan on the 26th of November, 1882, and heard distinctly Mr. Davitt's speech from the commencement to the end, which he then and there reported. He then stated the speech in full, but the passages relied upon by the Attorney-General were the following: After speaking of the distress that existed largely in Ireland, he (Mr. Davitt) said,
Is there anything more true than this, that the land of Ireland was created to sustain these people, and if the law, the human law, will press this land from its legitimate purpose to support stock in order to increase the incomes of Irish landlords, it is infamous and unjust, and the people should never cease to struggle against it until no vestige of it is left to blast the country. I say, unless wise and good legislation should ever prevent its necessity, the time will come when the starving people of Donegal, of Connemara, and of Kerry will be told to march down in their serried phalanxes upon the plains and seize the land, upon which to live like civilized beings in a Christian country. (Cheers.) Now, coming to the question of how you are to meet the impending distress in the West, I am reminded that Parnell, and myself, and others who went to America, went some time ago and told our exiled kindred that we would never beg any more for Ireland. These sentiments were cheered alike on both sides of the Atlantic, and the exiles of our race will remember our declarations. For my part I shall never bog a penny for Irish famine. If the people of Ireland, if the tenant-farmers of the West will pay rent that should go to feed their children, then let them dio (cheer3), and Ireland and humanity is well rid of such a co ward raco. (Cheers.) But the tenant-farmers of Ireland are not going to die away.