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

R v Hunt [1832] NSWSupC 91

Court of Requests - evidence, by party - supervision of inferior courts - perjury

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., 17 November 1832

Source: Sydney Herald, 22 November 1832[1 ]


Thomas Hunt was then placed at the bar.  The Chief Justice observed, that he had been convicted at Campbell Town, before the Commissioner of the Court of Requests, at which time he was a party to the suit before the Court.  At the trial he had reserved the point as to the power of the Commissioner to administer an oath to him, he being a party to the cause.  Since then he had had the assistance of the advice of his learned brethren, and they concurred with him, that on the facts disclosed, it did not amount to legal perjury; or was such a case on which perjury could be assigned.  At the same time they wished it to be understood, that the case, as it then presented itself, would be very different from a case as it would now present itself, the Commissioner having now power to administer an oath to all parties, they would be liable to be indicted for perjury.  They were sorry the arm of the law was not strong enough to reach the prisoner, but as the case at present stood, they must direct H. M. Attorney-General to enter a noli prosequi, and the prisoner would be discharged on his own recognizance.



[1 ] See also Dowling, Proceedings of the Supreme Court, Vol. 78, Archives Office of New South Wales, 2/3261, p. 203, making clear that under the former statute the commissioner had no power to administer an oath.  The references cited were "Haw P.C. c. 69. S. 5. p. 87; Brooke v Doughty Cro. Eliz."

On the new Courts of Requests Act (1832) 3 Wm 4 No. 2, see Historical Records of Australia, Series 1, Vol. 16 p. 780.  The Act was published in the Sydney Gazette, 30 August 1832; and theAustralian, 7 and 14 September 1832.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University