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Colonial Cases

Anonymous, 1841

[legal practitioners]


Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
9 January 1841
Source: The Times, 9 January, 1841

  This was an appeal from three several orders made by the Judge of the Recorder's Court of Freetown in Sierra Leone, by which the appellant, a practitioner duly admitted to practice in the colony, was fined, imprisoned, disbarred, and struck off the Rolls of the Court. It appeared that the appellant had acted upon one occasion as the advocate of a party at a trial by jury, at which a verdict was returned against his client in consequence of the alleged misdirection of the Chief Justice. He subsequently applied for a new trial of the case, upon the ground of the alleged misdirection, and in the written notice of such application which he was required by the practice of the Court to give to the judges and parties, he made a representation of what had happened at the trial, which representation the Chief Justice considered to be incorrect. He accordingly pressed the appellant for a categorical answer to a question which was addressed to him in Court. The appellant, however, declined to give the answer the precise form which the Chief Justice required, upon which he was fined 20 l. and committed to prison until the payment of the fine, which period extended to about a fortnight.
  The notice for the new trial was discharged with costs to be paid by the appellant, who was the advocate that made the motion. Within short time afterwards his name was removed from the roll by an order of the Court, which consisted of Chief Justice Franklin, and Mr. Blenkarne and Mr. Lewis, assistant judges. The answer of Mr. Lewis upon the present occasion disclaimed, on his part, all participation in the proceedings except as a matter of form. Mr. Blenkarne alleged that he concurred in the fine upon the ground that the Appellant's conduct at the hearing of the motion was menacing and contemptuous to the Court, and that he concurred in the disbarring on the ground that no satisfactory explanation had been given by him of the mis-statement in the notice of motion.
  Sir W. Follett and Mr. E. F. Moore appeared for the appellant; and Mr. Hoggins for the respondents.
  The Court was of opinion that there had been no grounds whatever for the order by which the appellant had been disbarred, and that nothing less than the strongest case of misrepresentation, undoubtedly wilful, could justify any proceeding. The order for disbarring the appellant was therefore reversed.

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