« EelmineJätka »
a single workman, would not have been criminal (o). But the law on this subject is now materially altered; for by the Trade Union Act, 1871 (34 & 35 Vict. c. 31), it has been enacted, that the purposes of any trade union shall not, by reason merely that they are in restraint of trade, be deemed to be unlawful, so as to render the members liable to prosecution for conspiracy or otherwise; or so as to make such purposes unlawful, so as to render void or voidable any agreement or trust (p). On the other hand, by statute 34 & 35 Vict. c. 32, it is also provided, that every person who shall molest or obstruct with a view to coerce any master to dismiss any workman, or not to offer any employment, or to belong or not to belong to any combination, or to pay any fine imposed thereby, or to alter the mode of carrying on his business or the number of persons he employs; or with a view to coerce any workmen to quit any employment, or return work before it is finished, or not to accept any employment or work, or to belong or not to belong to any association or combination, or to pay any fine imposed thereby, shall be liable to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for the space of three months (9).
(0) R. v. Tailors of Cambridge, 8 Mod. 10; R. v. Ridgeway, 5 B. & Ald. 527.
(P) By this Act (which also contains provisions for registering trade unions, and confers certain privileges on such as shall be duly enrolled) the Trades Union Protection Act, 1869 (32 & 33 Vict. c. 61), is repealed. We may here take occasion to refer to the 30 Vict. c. 8, under which Act the organization and rules of certain trados unions and other associations, and the truth of certain alleged outrages consequent thereon, were made the subject of a judicial investigation before commissioners appointed for
the purpose, and armed with extensive powers to facilitate their inquiries.
() This Act is not to prevent the offender being proceeded against under any other Act, or otherwise, under which he is liable to a higher punishment, so that he be not punished twice for the same offence. This statute repeals the earlier provisions on this subject contained in 6 Geo. 4, c. 129, and 22 Vict. c. 34. As to which see Wood v. Bowron, Law Rep., 2 Q. B. 21; Skinner v. Webb, ib. 393; Springhead Spinning Company v. Riley, ib.; 6 Eq. Ca. 558.
XV. The next offence against public justice is that of perjury; which is defined by Sir E. Coke (r) “to be a “ crime committed, when a lawful oath is ministered by “ any that hath authority, to any person, in any judicial
proceeding, who sweareth absolutely and falsely, in a “ matter material to the issue or cause in question.” [The common law takes no notice of any perjury, but such as is committed in some court of justice having power to administer an oath (or before some magistrate, or proper officer, invested with a similar authority) in some proceedings relative to a civil suit or a criminal prosecution : for it esteems all other oaths unnecessary at least, and therefore will not punish the breach of them.] But by the express provision of many modern statutes, it is enacted that a false oath taken in certain cases, not of a judicial kind, shall be deemed to amount to perjury, and be visited with the same penalties (s).
A mere voluntary oath, however,—that is, an oath administered in a case for which the law has not provided,—is not one on which perjury can be assigned ; for as such a proceeding is not required, so neither is it protected by the law. Indeed, such voluntary oaths are now expressly prohibited by statute 5 & 6 Will. IV. c. 62, which provides, that a certain form of declaration may be substituted for them, and that any party falsely making such declaration shall be guilty of a misde
Perjury, by the definition, must be absolute, as well as false,—that is, it must be in positive terms. Yet a man will be guilty of the offence, if he swears he believes to
(r) 3 Inst. 164.
(8) We may remark here, that the penalties of perjury attach to wilful falsehood in an affirmation by a Quaker, Moravian, or Separatist. They also attach to the
affirmation of a witness (on oral examination or otherwise) in lieu of taking an oath, under 17 & 18 Vict. c. 125, s. 20, and 24 & 25 Vict. c. 66; or of a juror, under 30 & 31 Vict. c. 35, s. 8.
be true a fact or statement which he knows to be false (t). Perjury must also be corrupt or wilful, (that is, committed malo animo,) not upon surprise or the like (u). It must also be, in some point, material to the question in dispute (x); for if it only be in some trifling collateral circumstance to which no regard is paid, it is no more penal than in the voluntary extra-judicial oaths before mentioned.
Subornation of perjury is the offence of procuring another to take such a false oath as constitutes perjury in the principal (y).
Perjury and subornation are both misdemeanors; and their punishment, at common law, has been various (z). It was antiently death; afterwards banishment, or cutting out the tongue; then forfeiture of goods; and, latterly, fine and imprisonment(a). But additional punishments for this offence have been enacted by various statutes. By 5 Eliz. c. 9, an offender convicted of perjury may imprisoned for six months and fined 201.; and if convicted of subornation, may be fined 401., and, in default of payment, is liable to the same period of imprisonment(6). Moreover, under 2 Geo. II. c. 25, the perjurer or suborner may be sent to the house of correction, with hard labour, for seven years; or (under the same statute as affected in its punishment by later Acts), may be sentenced to penal servitude for not more than seven nor less
(t) Pedley's case, 1 Leach, C. C. be given by the prosecutor for the 365.
dae prosecution of a charge of per(u) Hawk. P. C. b. 1, c. 69, s. 2. jury. (See 22 & 23 Vict. c. 17;
(x) R. v. Aylett, 1 T. R. 69; and and 30 & 31 Vict. c. 35, s. 1.) see Queen v. Bennett, 20 L. J. (M.
(a) 4 Bl. Com. p. 138. C.) 217; Queen v. Phillpotts, 21
(6) This statute was at first L. J. (M. C.) 18.
temporary, but made perpetual by (y) If the party suborned does enactments in 29 Eliz. c. 5, and 21 not actually take an oath, the per- Jac. 1, c. 28. These provisions son inciting him so to do is still
were repealed by 26 & 27 Vict. liable to punishment. (Hawk. P. c. 125, which also repealed the C. b. 1, c. 69, s. 2.)
words at the close of the 5 Eliz.c. 5, (3) In some cases, security must limiting its continuance.
than five years (c). And by 3 Geo. IV. c. 114, such offenders may
be sentenced to hard labour for any term for which they may be imprisoned ; and that, either in addition to or in lieu of any other punishment(d).
[It has been sometimes wished that perjury, at least upon capital accusations, whereby another's life has been or might have been destroyed, were also rendered capital, upon a principle of retaliation. And, indeed, where the death of an innocent person has been actually the consequence of such wilful perjury it falls within the guilt of deliberate murder, and deserves an equal punishment; which, it has been said, our antient law in fact inflicted (e). But the mere attempt to destroy life by other means not being capital, there is no reason that an attempt by perjury should be so (f); and therefore it seems, except perhaps in the instance of deliberate murder by perjury, very properly punished by our present law; which has adopted the opinion of Cicero derived from the law of the Twelve Tables, “perjurii pæna divina exitium, humana dedecus” (g).
XVI. Bribery, is when a judge, or other person concerned in the administration of justice, takes any undue reward to influence his behaviour in his office (h). In the
(c) 2 Geo. 2, c. 25, s. 2; 16 & 17 was retained for the punishment of Vict. c. 99; 20 & 21 Vict. c. 3; 27 perjury and subornation. But this & 28 Vict. c. 47.
punishment is now altogether abo(d) By 14 & 15 Vict. c. 100, s. 19, lished by 7 Will. 4 & 1 Vict. c. 23. any court has, in general, the power Another consequence that attended of directing a witness to be prose- a conviction for this crime, until cuted for perjury, in regard to the a recent period, was a perpetual evidence he has given in any cause disability to bear testimony. But or proceeding had therein.
a witness cannot now be excluded (e) Britton, c. 5. Vide sup. p. from being heard by reason of his 68, n. («).
having been convicted of crime. (f) As to attempts to murder, Such fact only affects his credibility. vide sup. p. 78.
(6 & 7 Vict. c. 85.) (9) De Leg. 2, 9. Until recently (1) 3 Inst. 145; Hawk, P. C. b. 1, the pillory, which had been abolished c. 67. in all other cases by 56 Geo. 3, c. 138,
[East, it is the custom never to petition any superior for justice, not excepting their kings, without a present. This is calculated for the genius of despotic countries, where the true principles of government are never understood; and it is imagined that there is no obligation from the superior to the inferior ; no relative duty owing from the governor to the governed. Plato, therefore, more wisely, in his ideal republic, orders those who take presents for doing their duty, to be punished in the severest manner (i); and by the law of Athens, he that offered was also prosecuted, as well as he that received a bribe (k). The Roman law, though it contained many severe injunctions against bribery,—as well for selling a man's vote in the senate or other public assembly, as for the bartering of common justice ;--yet, by a strange indulgence in one instance, it tacitly encouraged this practice; as it allowed the magistrate to receive small presents, provided they did not in the whole exceed one hundred crowns in a year,—not considering the insinuating nature and gigantic progress of this vice when once admitted (1). In England this offence of taking bribes is punished, in inferior officers, with fine and imprisonment; and in those who offer a bribe, though not taken, by the same (m).] But in judges, it hath always been looked upon as particularly heinous; and there is even a tradition that in the reign of Edward III. chief justice Thorpe was hanged for this offence (n). [By a statute of the eleventh year of Henry the fourth, all judges
(i) De Leg. l. 12.
Justices (vol. i. p. 91), considers (k) Pott. Antiq. b. 1, c. 23. the tradition, that sentence of death (1) Ff. 48, 11, 6.
was actually passed on him, to be (m) 3 Inst. 147.
unfounded; and to have been in(n) Blackstone (vol. iv. p. 140) vented by Oliver St. John in insays he was actually hanged; but veighing against the judges who, Lord Coke (3 Inst. 145) denies that in the ign of Charles I., decided Thorpe was hanged, or could be in favour of the legality of shiphanged for this offence; and Lord
money. Campbell, in his Lives of the Chief