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Colonial Cases

Cortaux v. Hewetson, 1875

[insolvency]

Cortaux v. Hewetson


Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
21 July 1875
Source: The Times, 22 July 1875

LAW REPORT.
JUDICIAL COMMITTEE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL, July 21.
(Present - Sir James Colville, Sir Barnes Peacock, Sir Montague Smith, and Sir Robert Collier.)
CORTAUX AND ANOTHER v. HEWETSON.
  This was an appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court of Mauritius on the 26th of April, 1872.
  Mr. Fry, Q.C., and Mr. Seward Brice were counsel for the appellants; Mr. Henry Matthews, Q.C., and Mr. Myburgh for the respondent.
  In 1589 [1859] the sugar estate of Riche Bois, in the Mauritius, of which there had previously been a joint ownership, was sold en bloc to one Nicholas Cortaux for $230,000, or $40,000. Cortaux had hitherto owned five-eighths of the property. He remained in possession, without paying the purchase money, till 1866, when he was ejected, and his estate was sold to the respondent, Mr. Hewetson, for $215,000.  Of that sum, the greater part was distributed among certain preferential creditors, and the balance of $47,000 was now claimed by Mr. Hewetson as the assignee of certain judgment and  mortgage creditors of Cortaux and his joint owner before the dale in 1859. The question now at issue was which of these sets of claimants was entitled to priority of payment. The Supreme Court, reversing a Master's Order, decided the point in favour of the respondent, and hence the present appeal.
  Their Lordships, after hearing the arguments of counsel at much length, affirmed the judgment of the Supreme Court, and dismissed the appeal, with costs.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School