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the acts mentioned in section 4 of this Act shall be deemed guilty of canvassing, and the following consequences, in addition to any others under this Act, shall ensue, that is to say :—
Penalties.—r. His election, if he has been elected, shall be
2. He shall be incapable of being elected to and of sitting in
the House of Commons during the seven years next after the date of his being found guilty; and
3. He shall be incapable during the said period of seven years
of holding any municipal office, or of holding any judicial ofiice, or of being appointed and of acting as a justice of the Peace.
Canvassing shall be deemed to be a “ corrupt practice " within the meaning of “ The Parliamentary Elections Act, 1868 ” (31 & 32 Vict., c. 125).
Praviso.—-Provided that nothing in this Act shall prevent any person from delivering or otherwise publishing addresses to persuade voters to vote for any candidate which are not intended nor calculated to overpower the volition without convincing the judgment.
6. Vote to be struck ofl”.—-Where, on the trial of an election petition, it is proved that any voter who has voted had been canvassed there shall, on a scrutiny, be struck off from the number of votes appearing to have been given for the candidate for whom such voter was canvassed, one vote for every such voter canvassed.
7. Bribing to Czmvass.--Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, personally or by agent, give, lend, or agree to give or lend, or shall offer, promise, or promise to procure, or to endeavour to procure any money, or valuable consideration, or any office, place, or employment to or for any other person to iriduce him to canvass, or in consideration of his canvassing or having canvassed, shall, in addition to any liability under this Act for canvassing, be guilty of bribery within section 2 of “ The Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854 " (17 & 18 Vict., c. roz), and shall be punishable accordingly as for an offence against the provisions of that Act.
8. Reuiving Bribe for Canvassing.——Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself or any other person on his behalf, receive, agree, or contract, for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration, office, place, or employment, for himself or for any other person for canvassing, for agreeing to
canvass, or for having canvassed, shall, in addition to any liability under this Act for canvassing, be guilty of bribery within section 3 of “The Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854 ” (17 & 18 Vict., c. 102), and shall be punishable accordingly as for an offence against the provisions of that Act.
9. Of in/Iuence.—Proof that a person was in the relation of wife, parent, child, or master of such voter, shall be sufficient evidence of influence over a voter within section 4 of this Act.
10. Of sam:tiam'ng.—-The fact that a candidate has knowledge that a person is canvassing for him, and does not forthwith, upon acquiring such knowledge, prohibit such person from so canvassing, and proceed against him for any further act of canvassing after he shall have been so prohibited, shall be sufficient evidence of the canvassing being sanctioned by such candidate to constitute the person so canvassing an agent.
Geo. G. GRAY.
[Paid canvassing is undoubtedly doomed, and in order to render its abolition effective, it may possibly be found expedient to also prohibit canvassing by any one but the candidate. But to forbid the candidate himself to ask a voter for his suffrage, seems to be an undue curtailment of the liberty of the subject, and when sanctioned by penalties, such as proposed in the draft Bill, could hardly ‘fail to make the intercourse between a candidate and the constituency strained and uncomfortable. It would seem also to be unnecessary, inasmuch as the evil doings at elections are invariably the work of third
parties—agents or partisans of the canclidates—never of the candidates themselves. We are glad to see, since writing the above, that the AttorneyGeneral has so promptly taken in hand the subject of Corrupt Practices at Elections, including Paid Cam-assing.—Ei>.]
IV.—“ EXTRA-TERRITORIAL ” OATHS.
IN the month of February, 1880, a somewhat curious case
came before Sir James Hannen, in the Probate Division. Prince Henry LXIX. of Reuss-Kiistritz, in the Empire of Germany, who died in I878, had made and duly executed his last will and testament, with ten codicils thereto, according to German law; and appointed Otto Theodore von Seydewitz, his nephew, and President of the German Imperial Parliament at Berlin, executor thereof. The will
was proved in the Court of Gera, in Germany, but it was necessary that probate of it should also be obtained in England, to realize a trust fund which was invested in the name of the deceased, as trustee for his wife, whose will had been proved in England. The necessary papers for the purpose were prepared in this country and forwarded to Germany, but were returned imperfectly executed. Fresh sets of papers were then forwarded to the executor, and his attention was specially called to the fact that by the law of England and the practice of the English Court, he should
' make the usual affidavit required of applicants in such cases,
unless he had a conscientious objection to the taking of an oath. The papers were, however, again returned, accompanied merely with an affirmation, which ran as follows :
“ I, Otto Theodore von Seydewitz, late Governor-General of Woriltz, and President of the German Imperial Parliament at Berlin, &c., the nephew of the deceased, solemnly declare and affirm, and say that I believe the written paper hereto annexed and marked by me to be an official copy under seal of the Court of Gera of the true and original last will and testament, with ten codicils thereto, of the deceased, &c.”
This affirmation was made before Mr. Herman Herbert, British Vice-Consul at Breslau, but there was nothing to show that the affirmant had a conscientious objection to the taking of an oath. The question raised in this case, which was several times under the consideration of the Registrars, was whether such a declaration was admissible in evidence, in support of the application for the reception of the papers for a grant of probate of the will and codicils, in this country.
Sir James Hannen decided that by the law of England, speaking generally, no fact could be proved before a judicial tribunal otherwise than by the statement of a witness, under the sanction of an oath, save in the particular cases excepted by Statute, and that the applicant had not shown that he came within the only exception possible in this instance, viz., Section 20 of the Common Law Procedure Act, I854.’* He therefore rejected the application, at the same time observing that from papers which were deposited at the Registry it appeared, although it was not proved, that in Germany voluntary oaths were illegal, and that no person could administer a voluntary oath to a German subject in Germany. Further, that the section of the Statute above referred to was intended for the relief of persons who had a conscientious objection to the taking of any oath, but that in the above case the applicant had not stated that he had such scruples; that the English Legislature is entitled to impose what conditions it may think expedient in the making of decrees by English tribunals; and, that if this condition should work hardship on a litigant, or witness, who may be forbidden by the law of his own country to comply with it, the English tribunal could not obviate this hardship by setting aside the law which it sits to administer. The grant of probate was, therefore, refused. That the ViceConsul at Breslau had authority by the law of England, to administer an oath in this case to the executor of Prince Henry, there can be no doubt. The Statute 18 and I9 Vict., cap. 42, amending the 6th Geo. IV., cap. 78, enabling every British Ambassador, Envoy, Minister, Chargé d’Affaires, Secretary of Embassy, or of Legation, Consul-General, Consul, Vice-Cousul, Acting-Consul, Pro-Consul, or Consular
" “ If any person called as a witness, or required or desiring to make an afti. davit or deposition, shall refuse or be unwillingI from alleged conscientious motives to be sworn, it shall be lawful for the Court or Judge, or other presiding officer or person qualified to take afiidavits or depositions, upon being satisfied of the sincerity of such objection, to permit such person, instead of being sworn, to take his or her solemn affirmation or declaration in the Words follow. ing :-—‘ I, A. B., do solemnly, sincerely, and truly affirm and declare that the taking of any oath is, according to my religious belief, unlawful ; and I do also solemnly, sincerely, and truly affirm and declare,&c.,’ which solemn affirmation and declaration shall be of the same force and effect as if such person had taken an oath in the usual form."
Agent, exercising functions in any foreign place, whenever he shall be thereto required, and whenever he shall see necessary, to administer in such foreign country or place, any oath, or to take any affidavit, or affirmation, from any person whomsoever. The Statue also provides that such oath, affidavit, or aflirmation shall be as good, valid, and effectual, and of like force and effect, to all intents and purposes, as if such oath, affidavit, or affirmation had been administered, sworn, or affirmed before any Justice of the Peace in the United Kingdom. But it is important to note that prior to the passing of the 6th Geo. IV., cap. 87 (which contains a similar provision, but refers only to some of the above-mentioned officials), Lord Eldon refused to avail himself ofa foreign affidavit, on the ground that if false, perjury could not be assigned on it.* And in another case, Lord Ellenborough decided that a person making a false affidavit abroad could not be indicted specifically for the crime of perjury in this country.t And in a case heard about two years ago by Sir George Jessel, the Master of the Rolls, it was very seriously questioned by that learned judge, whether perjury would lie for false statements made on oath before a British Consul abroad.
The reason why oaths administered abroad by foreign Consuls should not, if falsely taken, be liable to the penalties of perjury, appears to be that no act can be an offence against the [ex loci unless it be considered an offence
V by that law. Crime is local; and to render the act of false
swearing perjury, such false swearing must have been committed in the course of a judicial proceeding, or before a competent authority empowered by the lex loci to administer an oath. \Vhere jurisdiction is wanting on the part of the administrator of an oath, there is no competent authority to administer an oath, and there is
' Mnsgmve v. Medex, IQ Ves. 65!. 1‘ O’Mcaley v. Nowell, 8 East, 372.