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Page 85 - law itself, (says he,) [*91] you at the same time repeal the prohibitory clause, which guards against such repeal ( />)." 10. Lastly, acts of parliament that are impossible to be performed are of no validity : and if there arise out of them collaterally any absurd consequences, manifestly contradictory to common reason, they are, with regard to those collateral consequences, void (32).
Page 83 - The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited Constitution. By a limited Constitution I understand one which contains certain specified exceptions to the legislative authority; such, for instance, as that it shall pass no bills of attainder, no ex post facto laws, and the like.
Page 62 - As if land be vested in the king and his heirs by act of parliament saving the right of A. and A. has at that time a lease of it for three years: here A. shall hold it for his term of three years, and afterwards it shall go to the king.
Page 121 - The great end for which men entered into society was to secure their property. That right is preserved sacred and incommunicable in all instances where it has not been taken away or abridged by some public law for the good of the whole.
Page 59 - ... how are these customs or maxims to be known, and by whom is their validity to be determined ? The answer is, by the judges in the several courts of justice. They are the depositaries of the laws ; the living oracles, who must decide in all Cases of doubt, and who are bound by an oath to decide according to the law of the land.
Page 112 - What is the law respecting alleged crimes committed by persons afflicted with insane delusion in respect of one or more particular subjects or persons : as, for instance, where at the time of the commission of the alleged crime the accused knew he was acting contrary to law, but did the act complained of with a view, under the influence of insane delusion, of redressing or revenging some supposed grievance or injury, or of producing some supposed public benefit ?" In answer to which question, assuming...
Page 49 - For if a man purchase lands by these words, 'to have and to hold to him for ever; ' or by these words, 'to have aad to hold to him and his assigns for ever;' in these two cases he hath but an estate for term of life, for that there lack these words, ' his heirs,' which words only make an estate of inheritance in all feoffments and grants;
Page 59 - ... in that case being solemnly declared and determined, what before was uncertain, and perhaps indifferent, is now become a permanent rule which it is not in the breast of any subsequent judge to alter or vary from according to his private sentiments ; he being sworn to determine, not according to his own private judgment, but according to the known laws and customs of the land ; not delegated to pronounce a new law, but to maintain and expound the old one.
Page 59 - THE doctrine of the law then is this : that precedents and rules must be followed, unless flatly absurd or unjust : for though then- reason be not obvious at first view, yet we owe such a deference to former times as not to suppose that they acted wholly without consideration.