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the Pest of the Land, it's to them that we owe all our Disquiet ; and let us know how to avoid them: I cannot think of any other way how to be secure against them; we have no great benefit by convicting of them; kissing goes so much by favour, and they are so tender a place that this Man and the other is pickt out to be exempted from the penalty of the Law,there is such Picking, that few are left: These are my Thoughts, and if any thing I have proposed may be of use, I am very glad of it ; if not, I hope I shall have your Pardon for troubling
SP E E CH
J U DG E S. TH
Here is not under the Sun a better (if so good)
a Government as ours: But the best constituted Government in the World is subje& to one great fatality, and that is, whatever benefit we have by the Laws, at least most of the Priviledges we enjoy by it, depend upon the Will and Pleafure of thole who are to fee to the execution of the Laws: For Laws that are not put in execution are vain and empry things, fignifying nothing ; for Execution is the Life of the Law, and without that they are a dead Letter : Laws unexecuted are not far unlike to a Gun which if rightly used is a Weapon of great defence, but otherwife of no great use, and if it be charged, it may do much mischief, unless it be levelled at the right mark: So our Laws, if they are not executed, what advantage arises to us more than from a wast paper? And if they are made use of, yet if they are not directed to their proper end, they may hurt those they ought not : So that it is out of doubt that they who
are intrusted with the execution of the Laws; it is an indispensable duty incumbent on them, that they take care not only that the Laws be duly put in execution, but also that they pursue their proper end and design, in short, that neither the Innocent be condemned, nor the guilty acquitted; Therefore the execution of the Law is so clear and undoubted a right of every Subject, that no power whatever can dispense with it : And they whose Duty it is to see it done; if they either pervert or hinder the Law from having its course, are highly criminal, and ought to be called to a strict account about it.
Having said this, I will in the first place tell you something of the Law in this case, and next give you fome account of the pra&ice of our Judges and other Officers of Justice, and then let any Man say if he can, whether the Nation at this day has not great cause to complain.
Currat Lex, Fiat Fustitia, is the Life and end of our Government, and when the Law has not its Course, and Justice is not done, then there is a diffolution of it: And he that will peruse my Lord Cooks Exposition upon Magna Cbarta, shall find that it is a Fundamental and Ancient Right of the -Subject that Justice is not to be delayed or de. nyed.
In the second part of my Lord Cooks Institutes, the 11th chap. on Magna Charta, he tells us, lect any Party that hath right should be without remedy, or that there should be a failure of Justice, therefore Sratures are always fo to be expounded, that there should be no failure of Justice, but rather than that should fall out, that Cafe (by construction) should be excepted out of the Statute.
In the 29th Chap on Magna Charta , Nulli negabimus aut differemus Justitiam vel ratum, and that by no means, Common Right, or Common Law should be disturbed, or delayed, no, though it be commanded under the Great Seal, or by any Command whatsoever, either from the King, of any other, and this is backt or seconded by a Statute made the Second of Edw. Ill. chap. 8. which fays thus, That it shall not be commanded by the Grear Seal, nor the Little Seal to disturb or delay Common Right: And though such Commandınents do come, the Justices shall not therefore leave to do Right in any point.
In his ad Chap. on the Statute of Gloucester, he calls Delay the great Enemy to Justice : In his 24th Chap. on Westminster 2d. Ne querentes recederent a curia sine remedio: And that is supported by a Statute made the 13th of Edw. I. Chap. 50. where it tells us that no Man shall depart from the Kings Court without remedy.
In the 25th Chap. on Westm. 2d. Dominus Rex Voluntatem habens ut celeris fiat Justitia : And the reason hereof is given, for Expedit Reipublicæ ut fit finis litium.
And by a Statute made the oth of Hen.III.ch. 29. It is enacted that Justice shall not be denyed or deferred: Therefore having said this, I think I need say no more to prove that Justice or Right is not to be fold, deny'd, or delayed ; And let any Man deny if he can, whether our Judges have not tranfgrefs d in all these? Has not Justice been Sold, and perverted; Witness the Acquittal of Sir George Wakeman , Sir Tho. Gascoines , and Mrs. Cellier ? Has not Justice been denyed; Witness the abrupt dismissing of the Grand Jury when an Indictment
was to have been given in to have proved the D. of r --- a Papist, and to prevent that great service to the Nation ; the Jury was dismissed, notwithstanding they had several other Bills of Indict. ment in their hands; by which Justice was not only delay'd, but deny d: And how many Instances more are there of this kind ; Nay, the Contagion has spread so far, that it is more difficult to find a Cale without these, or some of them, than to produce multitudes of Cases where Justice has been Sold, Deny d, or Delay'd : So that our Judges have been very Corrupt and Lordly, taking Bribes, and threatning Juries and Evidence: Perverting the Law to the highest degree, turning the Law upside down, that Arbitrary Power may come in upon their Shoulders : The cry of their unjust dealings is great, for every Man has felt their hand, and therefore I hope their punishment will be such as their Crimes deserve, that every Man may receive facisfaction.
It's so long since K. Alfreds time, that possibly what was then done is out of their thoughts; for my Lord Coke in the third part of his institutes, chap. 101, makes mention of a great many Judges who were hanged in one year for false Judgment in K. Alfreds time, and if we look into the punishment of a corrupt Judge, which is recited by him in the 224. Page, it might be sufficient to deter any Judge (who has either any Christianity or Morality) from offending in the discharge of his trust; but it may be some wonder that they have forgotten what happen'd in the 24th of Edw. III. concerning William Thorp Chief Justice, what a levere punishment he underwent for Bribery; all which may be seen at large in page 223, 3d Part. And al