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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

R. v. Hall (No. 8) [1829] NSWSupC 87

 criminal libel, banishment for - press laws - legislation, disallowance - press freedom - Jane New' case - law reporting, privilege - jury, military

 

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling J., 23 December 1829

Source: Australian, 31 December 1829

Another information[1 ] (making the fourth during the wee [sic]) wask [sic] then presented by Mr. Moore, as Crown Solicitor, against the defendant, for a publication in the Sydney Monitor of July the 4th, respecting Mr. Alexander McLeay, Colonial Secretary, being verbatim as follows:---

Supreme Court. - We understand that Mr. John Stephen, jun. in appearing before the Executive Council on a summons addressed to him before his dismissal from the Magistracy, and suspension from office, accused Mr. McLeay with having placed on the files of the Supreme Court, a false document, purporting to be a letter from Mr. Burnet, Colonial Secretary of Van Diemen's Land, relating to the famous case of Jane New.[2 ]  Three days after this charge was made by Mr. Stephen, Mr. McLeay, endeavoured to re-possess himself of this document; but failing in the attempt, the Solicitor General openly applied last Saturday for it, informing the Court, that it had by mistake been annexed to an affidavit in lieu of a certified copy, and that Mr. McLeay wished now to substitute a certified copy for the original; it being ``highly essential" (to use the words of the learned Crown Officer) that the said original should be placed ``among the archives of the Colonial Secretary."  This motion was resisted on the part of Mr. Stephen, by Mr. Wentworth, who upon the affidavit averred the deponent's belief, that the motion of the Solicitor General had been made with a view to shield Mr. McLeay from the legal responsibility of having placed a document on the files of the Court, as a genuine one, which was not genuine.

Evidence being called, pretty much as in the preceding case.[3 ]

Mr. Keith, the amicus curiƦ of the defendant, objected that in neither of the foregoing cases had the publication been legally proved; but this objection being overruled by the Judge --- Mr. Keith proceeded to express to the commission his hope that the defendant's challenge to their array would not operate to his prejudice.  Nor that the many informations filed against him would cause them to set him down as a systematic libeller, one whose delight it was to assail the reputation of every member in society.  He had desired certainly to substitute in their stead a jury of his peers, indifferently chosen from among the community, because he conceived that peers nominated by the Government could not come to that trial with the same impartial feelings, but they, as honorable men, he (Mr. Keith) trusted would not be prejudiced unduly against the defendant.  It was urged by the learned Counsel, on the other side, that the matter charged as libellous, was not a report of proceedings in the Supreme Court, as is usually published in Newspapers; but this assertion, he would quote various law authorities to prove was ill founded.  It had also been urged upon the attention of the officers in the Jury-box that when the present information was first applied for, the defendant had an opportunity of justifying; but sitting, as the Court did, in the character of a Grand Jury bound to send a prima facie case to trial --- this also, he trusted would have no weight with them.  This was strictly confined to a report of what took place in Court.  Where, the learned Gentleman would ask, was there an allegation that Mr. McLeay had placed a false document on the files of the Court.  The words, ``we understand," could not be said, to divest it of the character of a report.  It could not be denied that the prosecutor did endeavour to re-possess himself of the alleged document; a motion for this purpose was made openly in the Court.  If Editors of Newspapers were to be precluded from reporting what took place within the walls of a Court of Justice, the name of the liberty of the press was no better than a farce.  To render public the proceedings in a Court of Justice, was among the most wholesome results of the press --- yet the defendant, in the present case, had done no more.  Mr. Keith concluded by exhorting the Court to arrive at no conclusion which would go to curtail the privileges of what an Act of Parliament had granted to the Colony as some compensation for absence of Trial by Jury and a Legislative Assembly --- namely, A FREE PRESS.

Mr. Keith then proceeded to call 

Mr. W. C. Wentworth, who deposed that he considered the matter charged as libellous to be a correct report of what took place in that Court at the time stated --- a report condensed, if he might so denominate it into a nutshell, and similar to reports usually published in Newspapers, the commencing words ``we understand," excepted.  Many observations were certainly omitted; but none were added that could tend to prejudice the prosecutor more than had the proceedings been reported at full length.

Mr. Moore having replied to the defence, contending that the passage in the defendant's newspaper, charged as libellous, was not a report, but an editorial article, fraught with gross insinuations against the prosecutor ---

Mr. Justice Dowling proceeded to sum up, advising the commission to forget, if possible, the circumstance of defendant having been already before them, and laying down what he conceived to be the state of the law, as respected the publication of judicial proceedings, adding that he took it the editor of a newspaper was authorised in publishing all that might occur in a Court of Justice, ``provided the report contain nothing of a defamatory, scandalous, or immoral nature, which would be calculated to raise a prejudice against a person out of doors, who had no opportunity of vindicating himself" (!!!) --- as such reports were held, in various instances (the King v. Carlisle,) (Duncan v. Thwaites, &c.) to be libellous.[4 ]  The learned Judge concluded, by leaving it to the commission to say if they considered the matter before them to be a fair impartial report without comment or insinuation, and to give the defendant the benefit of such opinion; but if the contrary, they were bound to find him guilty.  Upon this the commission retiring for a few minutes returned the verdict guilty.

Defendant then walked back to gaol - this being the fourth information on which he has been found guilty in one week.

 

Source: Sydney Gazette, 5 January 1830[5 ]

 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 24.

The King, at the prosecution of the Hon.

McLeay, v. E. S. Hall.

In this case Mr. Justice Dowling summed up to the following effect:-

``Gentlemen of the Jury, 

`` In this case I shall repeat the observation with which I set out in the beginning of my address to you in the last prosecution.  You are assembled under the authority of an Act of Parliament passed by the Legislature prescribing the mode in which the trial of cases within the criminal jurisdiction of this Court shall be conducted.  Whatever opinions may be entertained privately upon this matter, the Court is bound to conform to the mode of proceeding thus prescribed by the wisdom of the Legislature,

``On the present occasion, I conjure to dismiss from your minds the recollection that the defendant has been tried and convicted of other libels during these Sittings.  You are to determine this case upon its own peculiar merits, with the same impartiality and indifference as if this were the first occasion you had ever heard the name of Mr. Hall.  I beg of you to apply your upright and honest judgment to the candid and temperate consideration of the case, remembering that it is one of serious consequence to the defendant, who is on this occasion to be tried by a Jury of men composed of persons of a different class and habits from those who usually sit upon Juries in the Mother Country.  Under the solemn obligation by which you are called upon to administer justice in this case, I invite you to forget that you are of a different caste from the defendant, and I implore you to imagine yourselves plain citizens, as deeply interested in the liberty of the press, and in the right of free discussion in this Colony, as any other class of His Majesty's subjects.

``The first question for your consideration is, whether your are satisfied upon the proof before you, that the defendant did in fact publish the matter charged to be libellous; and the second, and by far the most important one, is whether the matter set forth in the information to be libellous.

``With respect to the first question, I am of opinion that the proof produced by the Counsel for the Crown, is sufficient to warrant you in drawing the conclusio[n] that the defendant is the proprietor of the Sydney Monitor, and that he is the publisher of the identical paper which is charged to be libellous.

``Before the passing of the 38th Geo. III. C. 78, for regulating the mode of publishing newspapers in England, and of the local ordinance 8th Geo. IV. No. 2, April 25th, 1827, for the like purpose in this Colony, great difficulty had often arisen in proving on trials for libel the proprietorship, and the publication of the papers supposed to be libellous.  To remedy such difficulty in this Colony, it has been ordained by the local ordinance referred to, that no person shall print or publish any newspapers until an affidavit made and signed, and containing the matters and things thereinafter mentioned, shall have been delivered to the Colonial Secretary at his office.  The affidavit is to set forth the name and address of the printer, description of the house where the newspaper is to be printed, and also the title of the paper.  By the 4th sec. every such affidavit shall be in writing signed by the person making the same, and shall be taken or made before the Colonial Secretary, which officer is authorized to take such affidavit upon the oath of the person making the same.  By the 8th sec. such affidavit shall be filed and kept in the office of the Colonial Secretary, and the same or copies thereof, certified to be true copies as thereinafter is mentioned, shall respectively, in all proceedings civil and criminal touching any such newspaper, be received and admitted as conclusive evidence of the truth of all such matters set forth in such affidavits, as are hereby required to be therein set forth, against every person who shall have signed and sworn such affidavit.  By the 13th sec. in all cases a copy of any such affidavit certified to be a true copy under the hand of the Coloniol [sic] Secretary for the time being, shall upon proof made that such certificate has been signed by the Colonial Secretary for the time being (and whom it shall not be necessary to prove to be such Colonial Secretary) be received in evidence as sufficient proof of such affidavit, and that the same was duly sworn, and of the contents thereof, and such copies so produced and certified shall also be received as evidence that the affidavits of which they purport to be copies, have been sworn according to this Act, and shall have the same effect for the purposes of evidence, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, as if the original affidavits, of which the copies so produced and certified shall purport to be copies, had been produced in evidence, and been proved to have been duly so certified, sworn, and affirmed, by the person or persons appearing by such copy to have sworn the same as aforesaid.

``Let us now see what evidence the prosecutor has laid before you, of the proprietorship and of the publication of the Sydney Monitor.  A paper writing in the form, and purporting to be an original affidavit, the whole of which is sworn to be in the proper handwriting of Mr. Hall, and signed by him setting forth that he is the sole Proprietor, Editor, Printer and Publisher of the Sydney Monitor, has been put in and read.  To the ju[r]at of this affidavit is the signature ``Alexander McLe4ay," which signature is sworn to be the proper hand writing of Mr. McLeay, the Colonial Secretary.  This paper has been produced by a clerk in the Colonial Secretary's Office, he having brought it from th[e] fi[l]es of that office.  It has been objected, that this is not sufficient evidence, that the defendant is the Proprietor, Printer and Publisher of the Sydney Monitor, in compliance with the local ordinances inasmuch, as there is no proof that an oath was actually administered to, and taken by the defendant of the truth of the contents of the affidavit.  I am of opinion (subject to correction hereafter, if I shall be mistaken) that this is competent evidence from which you may reasonably draw the conclusion that the affidavit in question was duly sworn.  I take the act of swearing in this instance, to be a mere ministerial act, and that in a court of law, we must reasonably intend until the contrary is shewn, that the Colonial Secretary has complied with the directions of the local Act, especially as the jurat to the affidavit is sworn to be in the proper hand writing of Mr. McLeay.  If this had been a prosecution for perjury, then it would be necessary to prove the fact, that the defendant had been duly sworn by a person having competent power and authority in that behalf, but this is an affidavit made for a collateral purpose, in compliance with the directions of an Act, for the general regulation of the mode of publishing newspapers.  The oath supposed to be taken forms no part of the issue in this case.  The affidavit is put in merely as evidence of proprietorship, of the Newspaper called the Sydney Monitor, and it is competent to you to say, upon this evidence, whether as a fact you are satisfied that Mr. Hall is the Proprietor and Printer of this paper.  Then as to the publication of the identical paper, in which the supposed libel is contained, it is charged that the libel is contained in a paper of the 4th of July 1829.  We have had a Sydney Monitor of that date put in and read.  This paper is produced from the Colonial Secretary's office.  It is signed in the proper hand writing of the defendant with his name and address.  By the 14th sec: of the local ordinance, the Editor of ever newspaper is required upon every day the same shall be published, to deliver to the Colonial Secretary for the time being, at his office, one of the papers so published upon each day, signed by the Printer or publisher in his hand writing, with his name and place of abode, which shall be carefully kept by the said Colonial Secretary for the time being, and so forth.  This local ordinance I take to be framed in conformity with the provisions of the Act of Parliament 38. Geo. III. c. 18. and that it must be construed in pari materia with that Act.  Now it has been held in a recent case upon the construction of that act, that the copy of a newspaper delivered at the stamp office, under the provisions of the statute 38. Geo. III. c. 78, is conclusive evidence of publication, to sustain an indictment against the proprietor for a libel contained in such copy.  Rex. v. Amphlitt 6. D. and R. 125. - 4 B. & C. 25.  The newspaper in question, having been brought from the Colonial Secretary's Office and signed with the name and address of the defendant in his own proper hand writing, you may reasonably conclude, that it was deposited there by the defendant or somebody on his behalf, in compliance with the provisions of the local ordinance to which I have referred, and if so, then it is sufficient proof that he is the Editor and publisher of the newspaper in which the alleged lib[e] is contained.

If you are satisfied that the defendant is the publisher of the paper in question, then the more important point for your determination is whether the matter selected for prosecution be really libellous.

It has been contended on the part of the defendant that the matter in question is no more than a true and impartial account of what took place in a Court of Justice, and that by law the Editor and Newspaper may print and publish all that passes in a Court of Justice, and if not, there is an end of the liberty of the press; for it is a mere shadow and not a substance, if he is not at liberty to publish faithful and true reports of the proceedings of Courts of Justice.

``The right to print and publish the proceedings of Courts of Justice, thus claimed and contended for I apprehend must receive some qualification.  As a general proposition the publication of full, fair, and impartial accounts of what passes in Courts of Justice is productive of infinite advantage to the public, and I should regret to see any unfair restraint put upon this privilege.  But it must be obvious to the most ordinary understanding, that many things pass in a Court of Justice which it would be highly improper, nay criminal to make public in print.  In the ordinary administration of Justice, if often happens that the Court is constrained to hear matters which ought not to be made public out of doors.  There are certain cases which it is unnecessary to particularize, in the trial of which, the most disgusting, offensive, and indecent disclosures are made.  These are necessarily made in the due administration of justice, and for the purpose solely of justice.  I have no hesitation in saying, upon authority, that it would be criminal to make such details public, on account of their indecent and scandalous tendency, and as being contra bonos mores, and their probable effect upon the minds of youth of both sexes.  The freedom of speech allowed to Counsel in a court of justice, often excuses great latitude of observation.  In the heat of argument, statements are made by Counsel, which, thought wounding to the feelings of individuals, yet if they be necessary and relevant to the matter in issue are privileged as being in the due course of justice; but it does not therefore follow that such statements might in all cases be printed and published.  There is a privilege allowed to Counsel whilst in court, of open, fair, and free discussion, which ceases when the cause is over.  Witnesses often make statements whilst under the compulsory sanction of an oath, of injurious tendency to absent individuals, but which it would be unfair to print and publish.  Matters are not unfrequently stated in a court of justice, prejudicial to persons not parties to the proceedings, and consequently have no opportunity of repelling the injury; and I apprehend that if such matters were made public in print, the printer would incur serious liability.  In parliament there is an unbounded latitude of speech given to Members, for the purposes of full discussion, but it is not every thing uttered by a Member in his place that may be printed and published out of doors.  Upon this point there is an express decision in the King v. Creevey, 1 M. and S 273, where it was held that a Member of the House of Commons may be convicted upon an indictment for a libel in publishing in a newspaper the report of a speech delivered by him in that house, if it contain libellous matter, although the publication be a correct report of such speech, and be made in consequence of an incorrect publication having appeared in that and other newspapers.  With respect to the privilege of a Barrister, an action for defamation will not lie against a Barrister for words spoken by him as Counsel in a cause pertinent to the matter in issue; Hodgson v. Scarlett, 1, B. and A. 232; but although Counsel in discharge of their duty are privileged to utter matter injurious to individuals, the subsequent publication of such matter is unlawful; Flint v. Pike, 6 D and R. 528, 4 B & C. 473.  Of late years the question as to the right of publishing what passes in a Court of justice, has undergone a good deal of discussion in Westminster Hall, and it may not be thought improper to advert to some of these cases.  It is libellous to publish a highly coloured account of judicial proceedings mixed with the parties own observations and conclusions upon what passed in Court, which contained an insinuation that the plaintiff had committed perjury; Styles v. Noakes, 7 East, 493, 3 Smith. 491, 500.  It is no justification of an action for libel in a newspaper, that the matter complained of is a true, fair, and correct report and account of proceedings which took place at a public Police Office in the course of preliminary inquiry, openly and publicly conducted before a Justice, upon a Criminal charge against the plaintiff, although published with no scandalous, defamatory, unworthy, or unlawful motive, but merely as public news; Duncombe v. Thwaites, 6 D. and R. 447.  This decision it is true, proceeded upon the principle that such publications tend to pervert public justice, by prejudicing the minds and feelings of juries and preventing the parties accused from obtaining a fair and impartial trial.  That was the case of a proceeding before a Justice of the peace, acting ministerially and not judicially; but even in that case the Court said, ``we wish it not to be inferred that we think the publication of exparte proceedings even in the Court of King's Bench, is to be a matter allowable by law."  The next case I shall mention is, the King v. Fleet, 1 B. and A. 379, in which it was held that a criminal information would lie for publishing in a newspaper a statement of the evidence given before a Coroner's Jury, accompanied with comments although the statement be correct and the party has no malicious motive in the publication..  This decision proceeded I apprehend, on the principle that the finding of a Coroner's Jury being a traversable proceeding, and in many cases affecting parties who have no opportunity of being heard before the Coroner, the publication of what passes is not lawful on account of its tendency to prejudice the subsequent trial of any matter arising out the proceeding.  The last case I shall allude to at present, is the King v. Carlisle, 1 Chit. 451, where it was best that a correct account of the proceedings in a Court of Justice cannot be published if such account contain matter of a scandalous, blasphemous, or immoral tendency, and it is a ground for a criminal information.  There are many other decisions of such courts at home upon this subject, to which I have had no opportunity of referring, inasmuch, as even this morning I was not aware that the duty of presiding at this trial would have devolved upon me.  T[h]e nature of the defence set up on the present occasion, rendered it necessary that I should thus hastily allude to these cases, merely for the purpose of shewing that the general proposition contended for by the learned Counsel for the defendant, must be received with some qualification, and that it is not true in all its parts.  I affect not to lay down any general rule as to what proceedings in a court of justice may or may not be published in a newspaper.  It is unnecessary that I should do so on this occasion.  Taking it however to be true, that a full, correct, and perfect account of all that passes in a court of justice may be lawfully published in a newspaper, the first question for your determination is, whether the publ[i]cation in question is in fact a full, correct, and perfect account of all that passed on the occasion alluded to.  Upon this point but one witness has been examined.  (Evidence of Mr. Wentworth read)  The learned gentleman having stated that the affidavit, setting forth the matter supposed now to be libellous was not allowed by the Court to be filed.  I think it unnecessary to make this observation.  I apprehend that an affidavit not allowed to be filed in the court where it is tendered, does not properly form any part of its proceedings.  There may be many reasons why a court will not allow affidavi[t]s to be filed.  They may contain scandalous matter, or they may be irrelevant to the subject before the court.  If after they shall be rejected, for these or any other reasons, I apprehend that if the Editor of a newspaper afterwards prints and publishes them, he does so at his own peril, and cannot protect himself by saying that he is merely publishing the proceedings of a court of justice.  Having read over to you the notes of Mr. Wentworth's evidence, the first question for you to determine is, whether this be in fact the publication of what passed in this court on the occasion alluded to, assuming that the rejected affidavit might lawfully be publ[i]s[h]e[d].  Address your minds to the first paragraph.  ``We understand, &c."  Is that, or does that profess to be a report of what passed in the Supreme Court, or is it or does it profess to be a report of what passed in the Executive Council?  According to the evidence, what follows is not a full account of what took place in court.  The facts therein stated, are indeed said to have been sworn to in the affadavit produced on that accasion [sic].  If you should be of opinion upon the evidence produced, that the supposed libel is not in fact a true and correct report of a what passed in a court of justice, then the ground of defence set up is not borne out.  There still remains, however, another question quite independent of this ground of defence, namely, whether the publication, though not a report of proceedings in a court of justice, be in itself libellous.

``In trying that question, I invite you to read over carefully, the whole of the statement, with candour, and with temperate judgment, and ask yourselves whether it will fairly bear the interpretation imputed to it by the Information.  If you see an innocent motive in the publication, or a motive reconcileable [sic] with an honest desire of communicating a statement to the public, or what the defendant might fairly believe to have passed in court on the occasion in question, then it is your duty to give the defendant the benefit of that view of the case, and say that he is not guilty.  On the other hand, if you think, after a calm and considerate view of the whole matter that the defendant, under the pretence of giving a report of what took place in the Supreme Court, had a deliberate design of unwarrantably imputing to the prosecutor by the publication in question, that which is alleged in the Information then, disagreeable as your duty may be, you must discharge it with firmness.  If you entertain a reasonable doubt upon the whole matter, give the defendant the benefit of that view of the case, and say he is Not Guilty."

 

Forbes C.J., Stephen and Dowling JJ, 13 March 1830

Source: Australian, 17 March 1830[6 ]

SUPREME COURT.

SATURDAY.

(In Banco Regis.)

The three Judges having taken their seats in banco, Mr. Moore prayed the judgment of the Court upon.

Mr. E. S. Hall, Editor and Publisher of The Sydney Monitor, defendant having been convicted of two libels; one upon his Excellency Lieutenant General Ralph Darling;[7 ] the other the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Alexander McLeay.  Mr. Hall said he considered it useless to trouble the Court with a similar line of argument to that he had pursued on a former occasion, and was therefore ready to receive the judgement of the Court.

The Chief Justice asked the defendant if he had any affidavits in mitigation of punishment.  Mr. Hall replied that he had not, and would leave the matter in the breast of the Court.  The Chief Justice then sentenced Mr. Hall for the first libel to be imprisoned in the common gaol for a period of nine months; to commence at the expiration of any other sentence under which he might be then labouring; and for the second to be imprisoned also for a further period of six months; to commence at the expiration of the former sentence.

Mr. Hall - Might I ask the Court in which gaol in the Territory I am to be confined?

Chief Justice - In Sydney gaol.

 

Notes

[1 ] This report immediately follows that of R. v. Hall (No. 7), 1829 which was held on the same day.  Two days earlier, the court heard R. v. Hall (No. 6), 1829.  For another account of this trial, see Sydney Gazette, 26 December 1829.  See also the other criminal libel cases called R. v. Hall in 1829, and R. v. Hall (No. 2), 1828.

Darling wrote to Hay on 23 January 1830, Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol. 15, pp 344-345, telling him that Hall was then in gaol under conviction for six libels, four of which were written while he was in prison.  For a list of the costs in some of these cases, see Vol. 15, p. 409.  On 23 April 1830, Murray wrote to Darling (pp 441-443) informing him that the British government could not consider mitigating the sentences imposed on Hall in the absence of a report from the judges.  Hall had written to him on 17 October 1829, complaining about the sentences imposed after two of the prosecutions.  On 24 May 1830, Darling told Under Secretary Twiss that he was considering making an application to the Supreme Court for an injunction to restrain the publication of the Monitor (pp 532-533).  For further correspondence, see pp 834-836.  The British government eventually accepted Darling's explanations of these events (Goderich to Darling, 21 January 1831, Vol. 16, p. 33).

In early January 1830, Darling sent despatches to England with a copy of a new Act (11 Geo. IV No. 1) which included much tougher provisions on libel, including banishment for a second libel conviction.  Eventually Viscount Goderich, who had just taken office as Secretary of State for the Colonies, replied in a despatch dated 6 January 1831.  He said that the British government had decided to disallow the tougher measures, and that they thought that the punishment of Hall proved the adequacy of the existing law.  He agreed, however, that the press in New South Wales was extremely virulent: Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol. 16, pp 11-12.  This was the first piece of colonial legislation to be disallowed by the crown; the banishment clause in the imperial statute, on which Darling's Act was modelled, had been repealed.  The governor faced thus faced opposition in the colony and a changed political atmosphere in England (see B. Edgeworth, "Defamation Law and the Emergence of a Critical Press in Colonial New South Wales (1824-1831)" (1990) 6 Australian Journal of Law and Society 50, at p. 79). Darling expressed his regret about the disallowance in his reply, to Hay, on 17 February 1831: pp 87-89.  However, he also told him at the same time that he had ordered the release of Hall from prison on 6 November 1830, on the announcement of the accession of William IV.  See C.H. Currey, Sir Francis Forbes: the First Chief Justice of New South Wales, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1968, ch. 35.

For a preliminary hearing in R. v. Hall (No. 8), 1829, see Sydney Gazette, 3 December 1829.  Chief Justice Forbes said that there was sufficient matter to go before a jury.  He rejected Wentworth's argument that the publication was merely a statement of what took place in court, but instead concerned what took place out of it.

[2 ] On this allegation, see In re Jane New, 1829 and R. v. Hall (No. 3), 1829.

[3 ] That is, R. v. Hall (No. 7), 1829.

[4 ] The Sydney Gazette, 29 December 1829, commented on this and on the applicability of the cases cited (R. v. Creevey, Duncan v. Thwaites, Styles v. Noakes, and R. v. Carlile).  It stressed the public benefit of law reporting.  The Gazette returned to the topic on 31 December 1829, saying that Carlile was the only case in which an accurate report of what was said in court could make a newspaper liable at law.

[5 ] This is an account of the judge's charge to the jury in the trial reported above.

[6 ] See also Sydney Gazette, 16 March 1830; and on other aspects of this case, see further in the law reports in the Australian, 17 March 1830.

[7 ] See R. v. Hall (No. 6), 1829.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University