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

Ex parte Salomon [1834] NSWSupC 97

racial prejudice - discipline of attorneys - contempt

Supreme Court of New South Wales

In banco, 20 September 1834

Source: Sydney Herald, 25 September 1834[ 1]

The Craft in Danger - A person named Salomon appeared before the Court, to claim its protection against insults which had been offered him by an Attorney in Court, who was engaged for the plaintiff in a case which was tried on the preceding day, before His Honor Mr. Justice Dowling, and in which he was called upon to give evidence; he felt that he had given that evidence in a conscientious manner, yet, on leaving the Court, he was stigmatised as ``a perjured Jew scoundrel;" in consequence of which he had lost his case.  He felt himself called upon in justice to the Public, and in order that future witnesses should not be deterred from giving a conscientious testimony by such treatment at the hands of an adverse party,, to bring the matter fully before the Court.  His Honor Mr. Justice Dowling, had recommended him to bring the application before their Honors in Banco, in the form of affidavit, and agreeably to that suggestion, he was now prepared to substantiate his case.  Mr. F. Stephen objected to their Honors entertaining the application; the offensive terms which the applicant thought proper to apply to himself, were not addressed to him; if he thought proper to listen to a gentleman's private conversation, he could not find fault if he heard that which was not quite agreeable to his ears:- ``listeners seldom hear what is good of themselves;" and further, his client understanding that the applicant had considered himself insulted by certain expressions which had been directed to him, that gentleman lost no time in waiting upon the applicant, and tendering him an apology, which should have satisfied him.  On these grounds it was relied, that the Court would not entertain the application.  Mr. Salomon replied, he questioned whether a private apology, made at his own door, was sufficiently satisfactory for such an insult inflicted on him in so public a situation as the door of the Court-house, surrounded as it was by persons of respectability.  The Court on considering the case, was of opinion, that it was not one over which they were called upon to exercise a summary jurisdiction, as in the case of an Officer of their Court; there had been no specified intimidation held out, such as tended to prejudice justice.  If there were anything in the expressions used which the applicant conceived to be of a slanderous nature, and might tend to injure him in his business, he had a good remedy by civil action.  The Court refused the application.

 

Notes

[1 ] See also Sydney Gazette, 25 September 1834.

 

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University