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contended on behalf of Mr. Osgood that “ The preliminary objections urged on the cause alleged in the final report of the behalf of the plaintiff seem to me to fall committee, namely, that he had not pro- to the ground. Whether all the memperly discharged the duties of the office, bers of the committee appointed to exwas too vague to satisfy justice, and that amine the evidence were present at the as to the imputations made against him same time is not material. They reported by Mr. Aikman, these were never formally that in their opinion there had not been brought against the plaintiff. But it a proper discharge of his duties on the was held—(the judgment of the Court part of Mr. Osgood, and that there was being given by Cockburn, C.J.)—that as reasonable cause for removing him. It is that Court was satisfied that Mr. Osgood, true that the Court of Common Council by the course which the enquiry took, be- did not themselves hear the evidence, but came acquainted with the particular heads that arose from the circumstances of the of accusation on which the general charge
Where there is a tribunal of some was founded, and as evidence was gone 360 persons, you cannot expect them to into in support of those beads, the juris- sit down altogether whilst a long enquiry diction of the Court of Common Council of several days goes on.
But the facts of attached, and that being so, the Court of the case must be submitted in some way Queen's Bench could not intervene, on to those who have to decide it; and the the ground that the decision of the Com- evidence having been printed and circumon Council was not one in which the lated amongst all the members of the Court of Queen's Bench could have joined, council, we must take it that those gentlenor one of which they then approved. men did not come to the council to disBut on the question of the weight of the charge so important a function as that of evidence adduced, the Lord Chief Justice determining on the dismissal from his observed that he thonght Mr. Tindal At- office of a gentleman like Mr. Osgood, kinson was justified in entertaining a con- without having examined that evidence fident expectation that on the evidence as so submitted to them.” it stood his client must have been acquitted Another objection raised was, that the of the charge made against him, and his Sheriffs' Court of the City of London Lordship intimated that if the determina- had been, by sections 4 and 21 of 28 & 29 tion of the Council on the evidence pro- Vict. c. 99, and section 35 of 30 & 31 duced had been the verdict of a jury, and Vict. c. 142, converted into a County he had tried the question with a jury, he
that by section 34 of 30 & 31 should have reported that the verdict Vict. c. 142, all County Court Acts are ought not to stand.
to be construed as one Act; that, therePortions of the evidence taken before fore, the provisions of 13 & 14 Vict. c. 61. the committee will be found printed be- S. 4, by which the power to remove low, in the opinion delivered by Lord registrars of County Courts is vested in Chelmsford.
the Lord Chancellor solely as he shall in Another objection raised, was that the his discretion think fit, apply now to this power of amotion was not properly exer- Sheriffs' Court of the City of London. cised because the inquiry had been con- But on this point the Court of Queen's ducted before a small portion of the Corpo- Bench were against the plaintiff by reason ration, and the Corporation was not entitled of the saving clause in section 35 of the to delegate to a select body, such as the Act of 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c. 14:2), clerks' committee, the authority conferred which provides that nothing in this Act, npon them, and the following authorities in
any of the Acts specified in schedule were relied on—Kyd on Corporations, p. 8; (D) to this Act, shall take away, lessen Bacon's Abridgment, tit. Corporations, p.
any of the powers, rights or 248; The King v. The Company of Fisher. privileges of the judge of the said Court, men of Faversham (1). On this point or the authority of the mayor, aldermen Cockburn, C.J., observed
and commons of the city of London, in
Common Council assembled, in relation (1) 8 Term Rer. 356.
to such Court, or to the judge or officers
thereof, or to the fees taken therein, as justified the removal of the officer, even if such powers or authority existed pre- he had stood by and, without attempting viously to the passing of this Act. to refute them, simply denied the whole
On error being taken to the Court of The King v. The Fishermen of Faversham Exchequer Chamber, that Court affirmed (1). the judgment of the Court of Queen's The learned counsel also urged that, by Bench. Error was now brought to this the true construction of the County Court House.
Acts, and the Act 30 & 31 Vict. c. 142. The Judges were summoned, and Martin, S. 35, the power of amotion was B., Bramwell, B., Blackburn, J., Keating, vested in the Lord Chancellor. J., Mellor, J., and Brett, J., attended. T. D. Archibald and H. Cowie, for the
defendant, were not called on. Anderson, H. F. Gibbons (C. H. Turner with thạm), for the plaintiff.—The office
THE LORD CHANCELLOR. — Before probeing a freehold office for life, the plain- ceeding further with the case, and taking tiff was entitled to bave the particular the opinion of the learned Judges, by facts alleged against him precisely stated.
whom we are assisted on this occasion, The charges should not only have
upon the main point which is for adjudi. been specifically made but also distinctly tion, I think it right to state my view, proved, otherwise there could be no just
which I believe concurs with the view of cause for Mr. Osgood's removal, and if your Lordships who are present, with rethere was no just cause there could not gard to one point upon which we almost have been any reasonable cause within stopped the learned counsel for the appelthe meaning of the statute. They cited lant, considering it too clear for argument. Dr. Bentley's Case, reported sub nom. The
He raised a point of this description, that king v. The University of Cambridge (2), although by the Act of 15 Vict. c. 77. The King v. Shaw (3), The King v. Liver
s. 11, a power of amotion of this parpool, Sc. (4)
ticular description was granted to the There was no indictment properly so
mayor, aldermen and commons in council called, and the whole enquiry was informal. assembled, yet by virtue of subsequent The Council had no power to delegate legislation, this power of amotion had to a committee an enquiry of this nature,
been transferred from that body to the and even if this was lawful, the committee
Lord Chancellor. The argument upon was improperly constituted, their term of
that point was simply this: There are office having expired and being renewed
certain Acts of Parliament relating to in the course of the enquiry. The evi.
County Courts which took away from the dence was not properly placed before the
Judge of a County Court the power which whole Council, for the Council had not
that Judge had before exercised of rebefore them the list of rules by which Mr.
moving the Registrar of his Court, and Osgood's conduct of the duties of his office
transferred that power of removal to the was to be regulated. The Council, there.
Lord Chancellor. In a subsequent Act fore, was not in a position to say whether
which dealt with County Courts, and gave he had or had not committed a breach of
further directions as to their powers, and those duties. The fault should have been
further authorities to them, amongst other specifically alleged, and strictly proved.
clauses there was one which enacted that The evidence adduced did not support any
this particular Court, which we have now of the charges, being amply refuted by Mr.
in question before us, the Sheriffs' Court Osgood. Charges brought forward in so
of the City of London, should have all indefinite a mode as was this charge or
the powers, authorities and jurisdiction of this series of charges, would not have
the County Courts, and that the Judge there should be in all respects vested with
the whole authority of a Judge of a (2) 8 Mod. Rep. (Leach) 148.
County Court; and then there was a clause (3) 12 Mod. Rep. (Leich) 113.
by which certain Acts of Parliament, (4) 2 Burr. 723.
amongst others that Act which I have
mentioned as transferring the power of registrar of the Sheriffs’ Court of the amotion of the Registrar from the Judge City of London ? to the Lord Chancellor, were incorporated in a fashion which has become common MARTIN, B.-My Lords, the Judges in modern Acts of Parliament. They were do not require to hear counsel for the directed to be read into the Act I have defendant in Error, as they are unani. last been speaking of as if they had been mously of opinion that the plaintiff was there repeated. Upon that the sugges- lawfully removed from his office of chief tion is made that, amongst other things, clerk or registrar of the Sheriffs' Court of there had been embodied in the Act the the City of London. clause whereby the power of amotion of One objection taken by the learned the Registrar had been transferred from counsel, with regard to the amotion of the Judge of the County Court to the Lord Mr. Osgood, has been already disposed of Chancellor.
by your Lordships. The next objection Now, really there would be a complete taken was that that amotion did not take confusion of terms and a complete confu- place, as the law required, on the authosion of thought, if one could allow any such rity of the lord mayor, aldermen and suggestion to be for a moment entertained, commons, but by delegation. Now, in because the simple fact is, that the Legis- our opinion, there was no delegation at lature conceived it to be desirable that the all-nothing of the kind.
What was Sheriffs' Court should have all the powers done was, that a complaint having been and authorities of the County Courts as made to the body which had control in they were then established, but it said not the matter, viz., the mayor, aldermen and one word about the constitution of that commons of the city of London, as to the Court, nor one word about altering any of conduct of Mr. Osgood, it was referred by the powers or privileges possessed by the them to a committee, which seems to have Mayor and Corporation of London with been long used in the Corporation of Loureference to dealing with the registrar or don, known as the “ Officers and Clerks' officers of that Court. Upon that point Committee ;” and what they were diI believe your Lordships concur with me rected to do was to make enquiry, with in thinking that we do not need any reference to the alleged complaint, to take assistance.
evidence and to ascertain the truth of it, But now with regard to the main ques- not for the purpose of that committee tion which has been argued with great coming to any judgment or decision ability before us, it appears to me that, themselves, but for the purpose of their before calling upon the learned counsel on report being submitted to the mayor, althe other side, unless the learned Judges dermen and commons, in order that they should themselves wish to hear further might come to a judgment upon it. The argument upon it, it would be desirable argument of the learned counsel is errothat your Lordships should put this one neous in point of fact. That has not question to her Majesty's Judges, vir.., taken place which they allege to have Whether the plaintiff was lawfuly removed taken place, and therefore there was no from the office of chief clerk or registrar delegation. of the Sheriff's Court of the City of Lon- We come, therefore, to the main ques. don? That question I shall propose that tion, which seems to us to depend enyour Lordships should submit to the tirely on the 15th Vict. cap. 77. sec. 11. learned Judges, unless, as I said before, [The learned Judge read the clause.] It their Lordships themselves should prefer seems to us that the question depends on to hear further argument upon the ques- the power of removal given by that Act tion.
of Parliament to the mayor, aldermen and
commons, in case of the inability or misThe following question was then put to behaviour of the clerk, or “ for any other the Judges
cause which may appear reasonable to the Whether the plaintiff was lawfully re- mayor, aldermen and commons." moved from the office of chief clerk or therefore, obvious that they are the body
who are to enquire into the matter; that Common Council permitted a period of the cause of removal is to be one which more than six weeks to elapse before they appears reasonable to them; and that proceeded to discuss it. It was then there is no Court of appeal, of any kind, discussed in the presence of the Common from their decision.
Council, and Mr. Serjeant Tindal Atkin. But there cannot be any doubt, son, who was counsel on the part of Mr. that the Courts of law in this country Osgood, then repeats what Mr. Osgood would take care that any proceeding of has said, and states that he does not rethis kind should be conducted in a proper quire any further particularity in the manner; that the
person it was proposed charge. He was content to take the case to remove should have every opportunity as it then stood. He was requested by of cross-examining the witnesses brought the Recorder to state whether or not he forward against him, or of otherwise op- desired to offer any further evidence than posing the case set up against him; that that which appeared on the short-hand he should have the power of calling wit- writer's notes, and he stated that he did nesses to prove his own case, and that he not require anything further, and proshould have every possible opportunity · ceeded to address the Court at considerwhich a person can have, according to able length in regard to this matter. the law and constitution of this country, Throughout the whole of these proceedof defending himself, and of establishing ings, Mr. Osgood had the presence either that he is not liable to amotion.
of the Recorder or of the Common Serjeant lordships would take care to see that every for the purpose of assisting the committee person had all those opportunities; and and the Common Council. Therefore it I have no doubt, if your Lordships does seem to us that it is impossible for were satisfied that there was any real any man to have had what I may call a substantial miscarriage of justice with re- fairer trial than Mr. Osgood had with gard to Mr. Osgood, and that he had been reference to this matter. deprived of any opportunity that he ought We also think that it is possible--alto have had, your Lordships would not though there is no necessity for giving permit this amotion to remain, nor any any judgment upon it—that if a man was consequence arising from it.
removed from an office of this kind from But we are of opinion that in the pro- any frivolous or futile cause, and that ceedings before the committee, in the first appeared before a Court of law or before place, every possible opportunity that your Lordships, you would in all probacould be given to any man was given to bility be inclined to treat the removal as Mr. Osgood in this matter. He was al- a nullity, and not permit the man to be lowed to cross-examine witnesses, and he removed from such an office for a mere was permitted also to call as many wit- caprice or for a futile cause. And though nesses as he pleased. He was repeatedly it is stated in the Act that it may be asked whether he had any further evi- done for a cause which may appear readence to produce, and he was permitted sonable to the mayor, aldermen and comto address the Court himself, and to state mons, your Lordships would in all prohis view of the matter, and to comment bability construe that as meaning a cause on the evidence, and these proceedings which was reasonable, and not merely a occupied four days. Therefore, as it
Not that your Lordships seems to us, so far as the proceedings be- would sit as a Court of Appeal upon the fore this committee are concerned, it is mayor, aldermen and commons, but you impossible that any one can have had a would take care to see that the cause was fuller and fairer opportunity than Mr. a real and substantial cause. Osgood had of bringing forward his case, to us to be impossible to read these prowith any evidence he might have to sup- ceedings without seeing that there was a
real and substantial cause in this case if It was on the 21st of March that the it was established. report of the committee was presented to As regards the cause alleged, in the the Court of Common Council. The first place it is said that Mr. Osgood was
habitually absenting himself. I do not of those persons who have the power of see how it can be stated otherwise than removal for reasonable cause, has been by stating habitual non-attendance. How established. The question we have to could habitual non-attendance be proved decide is whether it is competent for any except by a man not performing his duty, Court of law to interfere with a course of and not going from day to day to the procedure which is in itself consistent duties that were imposed upon him, and with truth and justice, and to set aside a of course making excuses for his absence ? decision to remove for a cause which may It seems to us that when non-attendance seem to be reasonable, and which is not a has taken place, it is for the mayor, alder- mere result of caprice or violence. I apmen and commons to decide whether or prehend that, as has been stated by the not the excuse offered is sufficient. There learned baron who has delivered in the were again other matters of the same name of the Judges their unanimous kind stated with regard to the mode in opinion, the Court of Queen's Bench has which the business was conducted, with always held it open to them, as in this regard to the summonses and other docu- case it appears that they did consider it ments which were allowed to remain un. to be open to them, to correct any Court signed for months, and then signed by a or tribunal or body of men who may have stamp by Mr. Osgood, or by his deputy. a power of this description of removing a I say nothing with regard to the signing person from an office, if they should find by means of a stamp; it is used now in that they have disregarded any of the Judges' Chambers and in County Courts essentials of justice in the course of their with very great convenience and to a enquiry, before making that removal, or large extent, and that would probably be if they should find that in the place of a matter which your Lordships would reasonable cause they have acted obviously consider to be of rather a frivolous upon mere individual caprice. There is a character.
power, as the Lord Chief Justice said, to With regard to the rest of the case, it examine whether reasonable cause was is impossible not to see that there was assigned; or, as one of the authorities evidence of matters affecting Mr. Osgood which has been cited to us this morning which might reasonably enough be has stated, that by “reasonable" must be deemed by the mayor, aldermen and com- meant "just" cause, whether just cause mons to be a just cause for his removal. has been assigned, and whether there has And although the Courts of law would been any evidence given in support of certainly protect a man against being de- that just cause, so as to shew that the posed for any frivolous or futile cause, tribunal has not acted simply upon its they cannot discuss this case in the own view of what is right and just withmanner in which it was put forward by out any enquiry into the case, and then the learned counsel for the appellant, as further to see whether the accused has if your Lordships were sitting here as a had every opportunity of meeting the Court of Appeal from the judgment of charge which has been made against him. the mayor, aldermen and commons.
I apprehend that it is quite reasonable For these reasons, my Lords, the Judges that the powers conferred by this Act of are of opinion, in answer to your Lord- Parliament upon the corporation of Lonships' question, that the plaintiff was don should be controlled within these lawfully removed from his office of chief limits; but beyond that, when they have clerk or registrar of the Sheriffs' Court pursued the enquiry before them into that of the City of London.
which is alleged as a reasonable and just
cause, according to the ordinary mode of THE LORD CHANCELLOR. — The main administering justice; when they have point we have to consider is, whether given the accused à full enquiry has been made by those knowing the charges (and I here tako who had the power of amotion for rea- occasion to observe that his counsel did sonable cause ; whether reasonable cause distinctly know the charges, for he did has been assigned, and; in the judgment distinctly, as he expressed it, eliminate NEW SERIES, 41.-Q.B.