The Laws of England, Compiled and translated into the Māori language.
The Laws of England. — Introduction
The Laws of England.
This is an explanation of that which is called the Law,—the Law of England,—the Law of the Queen.
There are two kinds of Law in force in the world;—one is the Divine Law;—the other is Human Law.
Divine Law is that which is written in the Holy Scripture. This prescribes rules for the spirit and the conscience of a man; it puts a bridle on his heart to guide and to control it. The Law of God condemns the evil thoughts and evil desires of the heart of which the outward actions are the manifestations. This Law prescribes the punishment of evil, whether hidden within the heart, or manifested in the actions.
Those to whom the Divine Law is committed, and whose duty it is to expound it, are the Bishops, Ministers, and Teachers.
Human Law lays down rules for the guidance of the bodily and outward actions of men. Man cannot look into the heart of man, therefore he cannot frame a Law to control the heart, as he can to control the body. It is the evil acts of men, the manifestations of their evil thoughts, which are condemned by human Law. Human Law prescribes punishment for evil deeds.
Those to whom the charge of human Law is committed, and whose office it is to administer and expound it are, in England, The Queen,—and, here, the Governor with the Magistrates and those who have been commissioned for that purpose by the Queen. Its Guardians and those who enforce it are all right-thinking men, that is, the People as a body.
Whether the Law be Human or Divine, it ought to have the same fountain, that is, God. Divine Law was revealed by God Himself; and good Human Law is built up by man upon Divine Law. That, Divine Law, was first; this, Human Law, afterwards. That is for within, this is for without. Evil is from within. While yet within, it is seen by God, and is condemned by His Law, and will be punished by him. But it must first shew itself before it can be seen by man, or be condemned and punished by his Law.
Matters relating to the Divine Law, that is to Christianity, will not be spoken of here. What we desire now to speak of are Human Laws, that is, The Queen's Laws, which prescribe rules for the actions of men: which condemn evil actions and punish them.
Formerly, when the ancestors of the Pakeha lived in ignorance, England possessed no good Law. There was then no Restrainer of the wrong. Then a man's own strength was his Law; a law of oppression towards the weak. Men lived then in anarchy and fear. It was a state of things like that which prevailed throughout New Zealand but a short time ago. Men lived in disorder, strife, and mutual aggression;—killing each other, and doing every evil thing natural to a state of ignorance.page ii
After a while, Christianity was brought to England. Then arose the thought is the minds of men to lay down a law to suppress evil, to cause good to flourish, and to secure peace. Thoughtful men saw that without law and order they could never become a great, noble and wealthy people. So they framed and laid down Laws.
The men who framed these laws were the principal Chiefs, the Sages, the Bishops, and men appointed for that purpose by the people. The King was the head, to make sacred and to confirm them. These formed a council for the laying down of laws; and whenever it was desired to make any new law, or to alter an existing one, it was for these councils to do so: and down to this day is the same plan adopted. The councils for framing laws are still engaged upon this work. Therefore all men greatly honour, magnify, uphold and highly prize their Law. No man may resist that law or trample on it, nor disobey those who administer and guard it,—the magistrates and the constables: the body of the people uphold and strengthen it. No one opposes the Law, which is the parent of men, except the wrong-doer; and the rest of the community will not allow him to have his will. All the people will support the law; and, if the wrong-doer resist, all the people will as it were become constables, and will take him where he will be tried and punished for his offences by the Law.
The people of England were not so fortunate in days of old as are the people of New Zealand now. When they began to frame for themselves laws, in generations long past, they had no example to direct them. They had to open for themselves a road through the thick bush; sometimes right, sometimes wrong; try it here, and find it wrong; try it there; try it on the right hand, if wrong, try it on the left hand: where should the right road be found?
Another difficulty, arising from their ignorance, was that the guides and leaders themselves pulled different ways. One would say, Here is the right path; another would say, Nay, but here: and, after much quarrelling, scarcely were they able to settle anything. How could it be otherwise with blind guides? It was not until after much contention, and many generations had passed, that all were agreed upon one system and were willing to walk in one path.
In the present day, the Maori is more fortunate. A path has been cleared and opened through the forest: it lies before him: he has but to walk in it. A wise and a generous people, the English, have settled in his land; and this people are willing to teach him, and to guide him in the well-made road which themselves have travelled for so many generations; that is, in the path of the perfected law,—in the path by which themselves have attained to all the good things which they now possess; wisdom, prosperity, quietness, peace, wealth, power, glory, and all other good things which the Pakeha possesses. Lat there now be no doubt nor hesitation, but be patient and earnest and follow the direction of those who have been appointed to shew you the right and the finished path. If a man seek to strike out for himself a new path through the fern, ere long he will be exhausted, and will desire to return to the wide and open path, to the path which has been beaten hard and firm by travelling.
The Pakeha has many laws: all men are not able to remember them all; therefore men are appointed by The Queen and by the Governor whose special duty it is to make themselves acquainted with these laws, and to administer them for the people. These are the Judges and Magistrates. They are made to swear that they will decide in accordance with justice only, and with what the Law has prescribed as the rule for each case. It is for the Governor to select men of patience, integrity and wisdom, and appoint them Magistrates. All matters of dispute must be referred to their decision. Their knowledge is obtained from the books wherein the laws are written; which books they read and study constantly. Their knowledge is also partly derived from practice, for if a man work constantly at one work, he will become skilful in it. It is gained also by referring to previous decisions.
The main objects of the Law are two:—to protest right, and to prevent wrong. That which is right is asserted by the Law; and the man who holds that right is protected and supported in his right. The commission of wrong is forbidden by the Law; and, if committed, the Law punishes the man who does that wrong, or makes him pay for doing it, and gives redress to the man who suffered the wrong.
In the eye of the Law there are two kinds of wrong, One is wrong to the man himself, or to his property; whereby the man himself alone suffers inconvenience or injury. The name of "Civil Injury" is given to this kind of wrong.page iii
The other kind is to the whole people; these are great offence, breaches of the great law. The name given to this kind of wrong is "Criminal Offence."
In the case of a wrong done to a man himself, he who suffered the wrong may bring the case to he tried, and may ask for redress by law. Here is an instance of a Civil Injury. Suppose Tamati owes Hone money, and will not pay him; then Hone will go to the Magistrate, and he issues a Summons-paper to bring Tamati, that he and Hone may both come and state their case before the Magistrate on a day fixed for bearing them. When they come, the Magistrate hears what they both have to say, and, if he sees that Hone is in the right, he orders that the money shall be paid by Tamati.
Here is another instance. Suppose Hemi's horse has destroyed wheat belonging to Wiremu, and Hemi is not willing to pay for the damage; then Wiremn proceeds as in the former case: he goes to the Magistrate, who issues his summons to Hemi and hears what both have to say; then, if he think it right that Hemi should pay Wiremu, he orders this to be done.
As the name of this kind of wrong is a Civil Injury, so the Summons also is called a "Civil Summons."
In the case of a wrong to the whole people, that is, a Criminal Offence, the Law does not leave it at the will of the man who has suffered by that wrong, or at that of his relations, to say whether it shall be tried or no. The Law demands for this kind of wrong, for Criminal Offences, that The Queen, or the Governor, and the Magistrates, shall take care that such offences do not pass without being brought to trial. The name given to this kind of wrong is, we have said, "Criminal Offence"; such as killing a man, burning a house, assaulting any person, and the like.
In the eye of the Law, a Criminal Offence is committed not against the injured person only, but against the whole people; such are the offences just spoken of. For this reason it is left to the Magistrates to see that they are prosecuted and the offenders brought to trial.
The punishments appointed for this kind of offences are various, For a great offence, a great punishment; for the lesser offence, a lesser punishment: death for some; for others, imprisonment; for others, payment; that is, what the Pakeha calls a Fine.
A man who lives under the Law has an obligation to the Law, and the Law has one in return to him. His obligation to the Law is Obedience; that of the Law to him is Protection from injury by any other; for the Law prevents his being molested in person or in property. If there were no Law, the weak would be oppressed by the strong and there would be much confusion. But the Law enables men to live securely; a covenant of combination is entered into by all the people, to bring into unison the thoughts of all, and to collect together the power and might of all, as a protection to each individual from oppression or injury.
|1.||A man's life, health and good name.|
|2.||A man's liberty, which must not he restrained without authority. The only man authorized to restrict the liberty of another is the Magistrate, and that upon just cause, as the commission of some wrong. If a man be imprisoned by the Magistrate without cause, from malice or abuse of his power, the Magistrate will himself be punished by the Law.|
|3.||A man's land, property, possessions, and all things whatsoever belonging to him are protected by the Law, for him to hold, to use, or to dispose of them, without interference by any other, except by the authority of the Law.|
We will here explain the procedure of this Law, which has been called the parent and guardian of a man, whereby he is enabled to dwell in prosperity and security and himself and his property are protected from interference and injury at the hands of others. We will give you the names of those who hold and administer this Law, that is, of those persons who are appointed to take care that the Law be not trampled on: we will also explain their respective duties.
§ 11.—I. The Queen.
The first is The Queen. She is the great head and guardian of the Law. The Queen's representative in New Zealand is the Governor. There are many lands occupied by the Queen's subjects, distant and widely separated, and She is therefore not able to supervise them all. For this reason She has selected some of the Chiefs of her people, and sent them to some of those lands as Governors, heads of the people, and Chief administrators of the Law in those places, to act for Her in distant parts. It is from Her that they have their authority and their instructions; and they represent Her in those countries. In this way the Governor of New Zealand is appointed.
§ 12.—II. The Governor.
The great powers for the administration of the Law which, in England, are vested in the Queen have, here, been delegated by Her to the Governor. He must conduct affairs in accordance with law as he may deem it best for the interests of all; he has also The Queen's instructions, and must conduct affairs in obedience to them. Sometimes he has to apply to The Queen for advice and fresh instructions.
The Governor can direct the troops and send them to any place, or order them to do anything, and they must obey him. In case of war, either if another nation were to invade this country, or, if strife arose among ourselves, the Governor could ask The Queen to send hither ships of war and troops, and The Queen would send at once of Her numerous fleets and soldiers, until that war or that strife was at an end. Nor, even though all her many thousand ships and soldiers should be required, would they be withheld, but more and more would continually be sent until the object should be accomplished.
The Governor is also the head of all Magistrates in New Zealand. His duty is to keep the Law from being broken by others, and to protect the people: but he must execute the duties of his office in accordance with the laws laid down. The law is above him: he must take care that the Law is not trampled on by others; and he must take care also that he do not govern contrary to the Law. From the Queen downwards, all are subject to the Law.
Another part of the Governor's office is to assent to the execution of the sentences of the Law If man have been tried for murder, and found guilty, and been sentenced by the Judge to death, the Governor must first consent before he can be put to death. The Governor has the power to lighten the punishment of any criminal; for he may in his discretion, and if he shall see just cause for so doing, either pardon altogether, or remit a portion of the penalty. But on the other hand, the Governor cannot increase any man's punishment.
Another part of the office of the Governor is to assent to the enactment of any new law, or to the change of any existing one by the Council appointed for framing laws, so that they may be valid, and become Law.
It is also the duty of the Governor to appoint Magistrates and other persons for administering the laws, and to assign to them their duties. All this he does as the Queen's Representative. If the Magistrates neglect their duties, or misconduct themselves in the performance of them, they may be punished.
These functions the Governor exercises for the benefit of all alike; they are not exercised by him for self aggrandisement, for the increase of his own fame and reputation: his only object in their exercise is the peace, welfare and prosperity of the people. This is the grand object: it is for this that Laws are framed; it is this that the Governor and all his officers must seek to promote.
§ 19.—III. The Judges.
Next to the Governor, the great Officers, Guardians and Administrators of the Law, are the Chief Justice and the other Judges of the Supreme Court, called Puisne Judges of the Court, that is, of the Court wherein sit the Jury. These Judges are appointed by The Queen and by the page V Governor under Her authority, and are selected from among the lawyers, whose business is the study of the Law. From among these lawyers are the Judges chosen, men of great knowledge and of strict integrity.
One of the duties of these Judges is to supervise the other Magistrates, and all persons charged with the administration of the Law.
Another part of their office is to preside at the great Courts, namely, the Supreme Courts, wherein they are assisted by the Jury of the Twelve.
Juries are selected from among men whose names are written in the book of the Sheriff. At the commencement of each year the Magistrates make out a list of men to hear and. decide cases brought before them. These sit as a Council called a Jury. (See § 34.)
This Council or Jury, together with the Chief Justice, or one of the Judges of the Supreme Court, hear and decide cases of Civil Injuries and Criminal Offences which are too important to be dealt with by the inferior Magistrates. The distinction between Civil Injuries and Criminal Offences, we have before explained.
The parties to any case brought before the Court, may, if they so desire, be represented each by a Lawyer, to conduct their respsetive cases.
A Lawyer is a man who has been bred and trained to the study of the Law and the practice of the Courts of Justice. He stands up before the Court to speak the words of the man whom he represents; that is, of the plaintiff, or of the defendant. The Lawyer examines the witnesses and gathers up and lays before the Court everything that may tend to make good his client's case.
When all has been laid before the Court, the Chief Justice or other Judge, and the Jury, decide in favour of that one of the parties with whom they believe the right to lie. In Criminal cases, the Chief Justice or other Judge awards the amount of punishment to the offender. In Civil cases, the Jury, with the assistance of the Chief Justice or other Judge, declare what shall be the amount of compensation to be given by the defendant to the plaintiff. When judgment has been given requiring the defendant to compensate the plaintiff, he must do so; and if he does not pay, he may, on the application of the plaintiff, he imprisoned until the money is paid, or until the term fixed by the Law is expired.
§ 26.—Procedure In Criminal Cases.
The most important of the duties of the Judges of the Supreme Court is the trial of great "Criminal Offences." Attend to this, for it is very important. If a Criminal Offence has been committed by any person, any policeman or other person who knows of its commission should go to a Magistrate and declare to him all he knows about it. The Magistrate will listen to what is said, and, if in his opinion there is sufficient ground for doing so, he will issue a "Criminal Summons" to cause the man charged with the commission of such offence to appear before him; or, in cases of a serious nature, such as murder, rape, arson, &c., he sends a policeman to fetch him at once. Then, in the Courthouse, all the witnesses are heard by the Magistrate, and, if he believes that the person charged with the offence did commit it, he directs him to be punished. If the case be a serious one, and the Magistrate considers there is sufficient evidence against the person to justify his trial before the Supreme Court, he commits him to prison, to await there the next Session of that Court.
When the day of the Session of the Supreme Court arrives, the prisoner is tried by a Judge of that Court and a Jury: and, if the Jury find him guilty of the offence with which be is charged, he is sentenced by the Court, to death, or to imprisonment, or to whatever punishment the Law prescribes for such offence. If the Court find him innocent, he is discharged. The matter ends here. He cannot be tried again for the same offence. (See § 33.)
Now, listen to the reason why a man charged with a serious Criminal Offence has to appear twice before a tribunal; i e., first before a Magistrate and afterwards before the Supreme Court. It is from the great regard of the Law for the life and liberty of a man. In the eye of the Law there is nothing above these. Hence great caution is used that no one shall be put to death or imprisoned without good and certain cause. The Law does not proceed hastily. Therefore it is provided that one of the heads of the Magistrates, and a Jury composed of twelve of his fellow citizens, shall investigate the truth of the allegation made against a man, and declare whether it be true or false; whether the accused ought to be punished or not. This is an excellent provision. The whole people greatly regard and prize this law and would by no means be willing that it should be altered, because it respects the life and person of a man so greatly.
This law does not, nor does the Law in any case, respect persons. All men before the Law are alike. There is one Law for all, Maori or Pakeha, white skin or black. And it is false to say that by submitting to the Law any man is humiliated, whether Pakeha or Maori. On the contrary, by submitting to Law, and by upholding the Law, a man protects his own dignity, for it is the Law which recognises and secures his rights. The Law is his safeguard by whose protection he will be secure of his life, liberty, and happiness.
§ 30.—IV. Sheriff.
The Sheriff is an officer appointed to carry into execution the judgments of the Supreme Court. If a Judge, after trying a prisoner, says, Let this man be hanged, for he is a murderer, and the Governor consents to this; it is the duty of the Sheriff to hang that man. Similarly, if the sentence of the Judge is, Let the man be imprisoned for a certain term, for he committed the offence for which he has been tried; the Sheriff puts him in prison accordingly.
The custom of nations who have made no advance from barbarism is different. With them, it is usual for the man who has been injured, or for the relations of a man slain, not only to judge, but to punish the offender, and even, if they think it just that he should die, to kill him. This is very wrong, for the passions of these persons are excited, and men cannot judge rightly when in a state of excitement. Moreover, if the infliction of punishment is left to them, they may be carried away by revengeful passion and make it unnecessarily severe. Again, in such a case, the relations of the offender thus put to death might in their turn seek revenge, and the evil would increase.
Another reason why it is not right that the party suffering wrong should seek to redress his own injury is, lest, on the one hand, while smarting under a sense of the wrong he might be led to punish the wrongdoer too severely, or lest, on the other hand, he might allow himself to be bribed by him, and accept a gift as satisfaction, and so a criminal might escape punishment altogether. A rich man might in this manner escape punishment for his offence.
Therefore the law says, let an officer be appointed whose special duty shall be to carry into execution the sentences delivered in the Court by the Judge, and to inflict the punishments awarded by him to offenders. Let him be a stranger to the matter, unconnected alike with the man who suffered and the man who did the wrong, so that he may not be induced to punish too severely, from anger, or too slightly, from favour or pity. The name of this Officer is the Sheriff. This is an admirable arrangement, for no one can feel anger towards the Sheriff: every one knows that be does not act from his own thought, but merely carries into effect that which the Law commands.
§ 32.—V. Coroner.
Another officer and administrator of the law is the Coroner. His principal duty is to enquire into the cause of any sudden or violent death. For instance, if a corpse has been found in the water, or any where else, the Coroner summons a Jury of the neighbouring residents to enquire into the cause of the death. The Jury with the Coroner go and inspect the body, and then begin to investigate the cause of death. All persons who know anything about the matter are brought and examined by the Coroner. He asks the witnesses what they know about the death, ascertains who last saw the deceased alive, carefully collects all particulars and [unclear: obtain] all the information he can about the matter, for himself and the Jury to deliberate upon.page vii
If this Jury think the man met with his death accidentally; such as, that he fell into the water and was drowned; a verdict is returned to that effect. There the matter ends, and the body is buried.
But if, in the opinion of the Jury, the deceased was murdered by some, one; the Coroner issues his Warrant to the police, to apprehend the person suspected, who is committed by him to gaol for trial by the Supreme Court.
Then the prisoner is tried in the manner before described. (See § 27.) The Judge and Jury hear all the evidence, and then, if they think that the charge is true, and that the prisoner did murder the deceased, the Court sentences the prisoner to death. If, on the contrary, they think that the prisoner is innocent, he is acquitted by them and discharged. Again; if, in their opinion, the prisoner killed the deceased, but the killing did not amount to murder, but to man-manslaughter, a lesser punishment is inflicted. And again; if the Jury think it not to amount to manslaughter, the prisoner is discharged. (See "Murder" No. 65.)
A Common Jury consists of 12 men, summoned by the Sheriff for trials in the Supreme Court. With one exception, juries are not used in trials in the Resident Magistrates' Courts.
The men for a jury are thus chosen. The names of all citizens, between the ages of 21 and 60 years, of good fame and character, are written in a book kept by the Sheriff, arranged alphabetically. When a Jury is required, the Sheriff summons 36 men, taken in order as they stand in the book. The choice of jurymen is not left with the Sheriff. The choice is decided by the initial letters of their names, commencing with A; and when all the names on the list have been gone through, the list is again commenced. Thus it is impossible to select men for a Jury who are likely to favour one side or the other.
On the day appointed for the assembling at the Courthouse, the names of these 36 Jurors are written by the Registrar on slips of paper. These slips are put into a box and shaken together, and then taken out one by one. Each name is called out by the Registrar as drawn. When twelve men have been obtained, the Jury is formed.
Each Juror is then sworn by the Registrar, and takes an oath that he will give a true verdict, according to the evidence. If any person summoned to attend as a Juror neglects to appear, he is liable to a fine not exceeding £10. Thus everything belonging to the administration of Justice is well arranged, so that no difficulty or confusion may arise.
§ 35.—Grand Jury.
Previously to the trial we have described taking place, there sit a body of men, whose duty it is to say, on hearing the evidence for the prosecution alone, whether there is a sufficient case to go to trial or not. If they find that the grounds of prosecution are not sufficient, they so inform the Judge, and the accused is discharged. If they say there are sufficient grounds, the trial of the accused by the Supreme Court is proceeded with. This is the Grand Jury.
The Registrar is the officer who keeps the records of the Supreme Court. He calls over the names of the Jurors and administers the oath requiring them to give a true verdict according to the evidence brought before them. He also administers the oath to the witnesses, requiring them to speak truly. He writes down the proceedings in the rolls of the Court; the accusation; the names page viii of the witnesses; the verdict of the Jury, convicting or acquitting; and the judgment of the Court. These rolls are carefully preserved.
§ 37.—VI. Magistrates.
Magistrates are a useful and honourable class of officers charged with the administration of of the law. They are appointed by the Governor for their good character, intelligence, and moral courage. Some are in the towns, others in the country.
§ 38.—Civil Jurisdiction.
One duty of these officers is to hear and determine Civil matters. But they do not interfere in these matters until some complaint is made to them.
They must not listen out of Court to any matter upon which they are to adjudicate but on certain days, which are previously fixed and known to all, they sit in Court to hear such matters.
Any person who has a cause of complaint against another must go the Magistrate there, and ask for a summons against the man who has done him wrong. The Magistrate then, if he thinks fit, issues his summons to the defendant, and fixes a day, named in the summons, when the matter will be heard.
This summons, is given to the plaintiff, and he must take care that it is delivered to the defendant. He must allow no delay in the delivery; so that the defendant may have time to get up his case, and travel to the place appointed by the Summons for the hearing.
If there be any person who knows anything about the case, and either of the parties wish that the evidence of that person should be taken on the trial, he may apply to the Magistrate, who will summons that person to attend the trial as a witness.
If the witness neglects to attend at the appointed time, he is liable to be fined not exceeding £10. The law provides this, because the absence of a witness might cause the plaintiff or the defendant to lose his case for want of some evidence not produced. Thus a decision might be given by the Court, causing injustice to one party. For this reason the witness is summoned and required to appear, and he must not disobey or absent himself, that the Magistrates may be able to decide justly.
On the day appointed for hearing, when all parties are assembled, the plaintiff, that is, the person who made the complaint, makes his statement, and his witnesses also state what they know.
The defendant, (that is, the person who is charged with the wrong doing,) then cross-examines the plaintiff and his witnesses; that is, he asks questions about what has been said by them, with the view of eliciting anything favourable to his side.
Then the Magistrate also examines them, in order to make clear any point not thoroughly understood.
When the plaintiff and his witnesses have finished, the defendant and his witnesses proceed in a similar manner: the plaintiff cross-examines them; and, finally, the Magistrate examines them, in order that all the facts may be brought out.
When the Magistrates have heard both sides, they deliberate until they arrive at a decision as to which of the parties is right.page ix
When this is done, the judgment of the Court is given. This is pronounced in public, audibly, that all may hear. This judgment must not be founded on more caprice, but upon the evidence adduced, and must be according to equity and good conscience.
This judgment, once delivered, terminates the matter in dispute.
If it is decided by the Court that nothing shall be paid to the plaintiff by the defendant, the Magistrate, if he think fit, may order that the plaintiff shall pay the defendant the expenses that he has been put to by being brought before the Court without a cause. The plaintiff must quietly submit to the decision of the Court, whatever it may be. Although he may feel disappointed, yet let the decision of the Magistrates, that is of the Court, be obeyed by him for he knows that the Magistrate does not lean to either side, nor regard either party with favour or disfavour, but decides according to his unbiassed view of the Law and justice. The Magistrate regards the Law and rght, and does not regard the man.
If judgment goes for the plaintiff, the defendant must pay the amount adjudged.
If either party refuses or neglects to obey the judgment of the Court, the Magistrate sends a constable to take his horses, his pigs, his wheat, or other property, and causes them to be sold until sufficient money is obtained to satisfy the judgment.
If there is not sufficient property to satisfy the judgment of the Court, the party in whose favor the judgment was given, may ask the Magistrate to send the other party to prison, and the Magistrate may imprison him for a period not exceeding four months.
We will here say a few words respecting evidence given by those persons who are called Witnesses, and who are required to state what they know about any matter which is being tried. When a man is caused to stand up to give evidence before a Court, if he is a believer in God, he is not sworn to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; but if he is not a believer in God he is not sworn, but is required to make an affirmation that he will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
An oath is a very sacred thing It is an appeal to God that He will deal with the speaker in anger or in kindness accordingly as he speaks falsely or truly. It is a prayer to God that He will punish him severely if he tells a lie. Hence men greatly fear to speak falsely in Court after they are sworn. A false oath is a very fearful thing. It is punished in the next world.
The Law has also provided a punishment, in this world, for the person who knowingly speaks falsely, upon oath, or who deliberately makes a false affirmation in Court. (See "Perjury," 70.) The whole fountain of Justice would be corrupted if men were allowed to speak falsely before the Court. Therefore the law is very severe against such men, and inflicts a heavy punishment.
§ 43.—Criminal Offences.
Another class of important duties, appertaining to the Magistrates, is the trial of Criminal Offences. We have before defined this kind of offence. It is an offence against the Queen, that is, against the whole community, of which the Queen is the head. These are the offences which, with their respective punishments, are written in the first part of this book.
These offences affect society at large, and not only the single individual who suffers the wrong. The man who commits one of these offences has insulted and page X injured the community. The Law therefore does not allow such offences to he atoned for by the payment of money to the individual who was specially injured by the offence, but directs that the offender shall make satisfaction for his offence, either by taking his money, which goes to the Queen, or by imprisoning his body; and, in cases of heinous crime, such as Murder, he himself is made the payment and his life is forfeited. The money payments required by the Law as satisfaction for Criminal Offences are called "Fines." The offender is said to be "fined"
There is an exception made by the Law in regard to theft, where a Maori is the guilty person, (See "Larceny," 55.) But in most cases of Criminal Offence, the offender himself is made the atonement, and must go to prison as a satisfaction; for his offence is against the whole community.
This is the way the Magistrates act in Criminal Offences. Suppose John goes to the Magistrates in the Courthouse, and tells them that Thomas has committed a Criminal Offence; as, for instance, that he has been guilty of theft. They write down on paper all that John says about the matter, and make him sign his name to it. In serious cases, they swear him to the truth of his statement. After they have heard all that John has to say, if they think that there is sufficient reason to believe that Thomas has committed the offence alleged, they, in some cases, issue a "Criminal Summons" commanding Thomas to come to the Courthouse, on a certain day named, and be tried.
But, in some cases as when the offence is a serious one, they do not issue a summons, but a "Warrant to apprehend," that he may be forthwith brought. This Summons or Warrant as the case may be, is given to a Constable. If it be a Summons, it is delivered by the constable to Thomas. If it be a Warrant to apprehend, the Constable goes to fetch Thomas, and brings him before the Magistrates, and, if he resists, may use force.
When Thomas appears before the Magistrates, the statements of John and all his witnesses are heard, on oath or declaration. They also listen to what Thomas wishes to say in his defence, but they do not swear him. His witnesses are also heard, if any are present. The witnesses are required to make oath or solemn declaration to the truth of their statements.
If the Magistrates think their statements are true, and that Thomas did commit the offence laid to his charge, and if it be a serious one, they send him to Auckland or elsewhere under the charge of a Constable, to be tried by the Supreme Court, that is, by a Judge and Jury.
In some Criminal Offences the accused may, however, be allowed his liberty, and is not detained in prison; but he must engage to [unclear: me] to the Court on the day appointed for a trial that he may be tried for the offence laid to his charge. He, and sureties on his behalf, must sign bonds binding himself and them to pay certain moneys to the Queen if he fail to appear in Court at the time therein specified. These bonds are taken by the Magistrates and sent to the Registrar of the Supreme Court; the accused is then allowed to go to his sureties, who must produce him on the day named for his trial. If they fail to do so, both he and they will forfeit the sums mentioned in the bond. If unpaid, the goods of the parties may be seized and sold until the amount required be raised. This is called "Bailing" the accused; whereby he is spared detention in prison while awaiting the Sitting of the Court to take his trial. In some serious cases, the Magistrates cannot take bail. In others, there is a discretion left with them to do so or not, as they may think proper; and again, in other cases, it is compulsory upon them to do so, if bail be offered by the accused. The amount of money in the bonds is always at the discretion of the Magistrates. It must be sufficient to ensure the production of the accused to take his trial but it must net be excessive.
The witnesses who are to give evidence in Criminal Cases are also bound over by the Magistrates, in sums of money, to appear and give evidence on the trial; and if they fail to do so, they are compelled to pay the sums mentioned in the bonds.
There are, however, some Criminal Offences which may be dealt with summarily by the Magistrates, and the offender imprisoned on their commitment. These are stated in the list of Criminal Offences.
There is one great principle of the Law which must be remembered. The Magistrate cannot hear the plaintiff alone. Neither can he hear the accuser alone. Both plaintiff and defendant, (in Civil matters,) and, both accuser and accused,(in Criminal matters,) must be present together at the investigation in the Courthouse, that each may hear what the other says.
It is not righ t for the Magistrate to listen to sceretstatements. The accused must hear everything that is said against him before he can be convicted. This is most just. There is much truth in what Festus said to the chief priests and the elders of the Jews on the occasion of the accusation of St. Paul. "It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that "he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have license to answer for himself "concerning the crime laid against him."—Acts 25 c. 16 v.
What was law to the Romans in those days is law to us now. Everything done in the Courts of Law must be open to all the world.
This is another great principle of the Law. A Magistrate cannot adjudicate in his own case: it must be referred to another Magistrate to decide.
And again; the Law protects a Magistrate, while he is engaged in the execution of his office. If a man is impudent in Court, or insults a Magistrate while is discharge of his duty, the Magistrate may commit him to prison. The reason is this; it is not the Magistrate only who is insulted, but the Law also, for the Magistrate is invested with the dignity of the Law, while administering it, and no one is allowed to insult the Law. Out of Court, the Magistrate is no more than any other man; but the dignity of the Law makes the Magistrate great while engaged in its administration.
There is another thing to be remembered. The Magistrates do not make the Law; they only administer it. And if any thing arises for which the Law has made no provision, they cannot act.
Magistrates were first instituted, and placed in different parts of the country, to save people the trouble of constantly going to the central Courts about small Civil matters.
Also, that custodians of the Law might be everywhere present, to look after the preservation of the peace, and enquire without delay into Criminal Offences.
The first establishment of local judicial officers was similar among the Israelites. When the people became numerous, Moses could not attend to all these matters himself, so he said to them, "I am not able to bear you myself alone: the Lord your God hath multiplied you and "behold, ye are this day as the stars of Heaven for multitude. How can I myself alone bear "your cumbrance, and your burdeu, and your strife? And I charged your judges at that "time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every "man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of "man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me "and I will hear it."—Deuteronomy, lc. 9, 10,12,16,17v,
A Magistrate must be upright, and must not regard with favour either one side or the other.
He must. not receive gifts to make him turn favourably to the giver. (See "Bribery," 15.) He must look only at the Law, and carry out its behest. "Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shall not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in "righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour."—Leviticus, 19c. 15v.
"These things also belong to the wise. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgment."—Proverb's, 24c. 23v.
A Magistrate must not favor the powerful, nor despise the common person. He must not fear the censure of any man. His only care must be to execute justice acording to the evidence that he hears at the investigation. "If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto "judgment, that the Judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked." (Deuteronomy 25c. 1v )
The wrath of the Almighty is upon the man who does not judge righteously, but who favours the man that is powerful, and oppresses the weak, "Cursed be he that perverteth "the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow. And all the people shall say, Amen." (Deuteronomy 27c. 19v.)
The Law is no respecter of persons. Whether great or small; rich or poor; white, black or brown; his name is Man; arid the Law protects him. And if one man is injured by another, the Law prescribes a remedy for him, and a panishment for the wrongdoer.
Let not these principles be forgotten, for they are of no trifling import, but constitute the very source of safety and prosperity to society. Through the operation of his good, just, and intelligent Law, the Pakeha has grown to be great, powerful, and houourable.
Let these principles sink deep into the heart; so that, should any unfortunate occurence take place, there may be no agitation nor anxiety; no rash nor unwise proceedings: the proper course having been previously determined on, every one will be prepared to follow the known path.
Should it unfortunately happen that a Pakeha should kill a Maori, or a Maori kill a Pakeha; there need be no excitement, no agitation, nor fear: it would simply be said, Let the whole matter be left to the Law, which is the guardian and parent of us all. The Law has already provided for cases of murder, and it will not be necessary now to seek for some mode of dealing with such cases. Let the murderer be tried by the proper judicial authorities, and if found guilty, let him be executed according to Law. The relations of the slain man must not say, Give me revenge for my murdered relation. They should rather say, Let crime be punished. Let the guardians of the Law deal with the man who has broken the Law.
Again; do not say, The honour and power of the country is gone to the Pakeha. No; for are we not one people? But why should not the honour and power of the country go to the Law? This would be right; for the Law is for us all: it is the safety of us all; the guardian of us all, and above us all, whether Governor, dagistrate, Pakeha or Maori. The Law protect to us all, and we all should support it.
One word more to the Maori Magistrates. You are at the stern of the canoe, and the straightness of its course depends upon your steering. Let the just Law of England be your compass, to point out the path for you. Let the Law be honoured by you, and its precepts receive all respect. The Pakeha Magistrate will direct and instruct you. You will always receive honour and support from the Governor, and the Pakehas, as well as from all the well intentioned Maories, in the faithful discharge of your duties.
§ 59.—VII Constables
The Constable, or Policeman, is another of the officers of the Law, whose duty it is to carry out the orders of the Magistrates. And he is sworn before a Magistrate to do his duty.
If a Constable see any person strike another, or offer to do so, or threaten to do so, he may take him and detain him, and carry him before a Magistrate. And in case of felony actually committed, he may, upon reasonable suspicion, arrest a person suspected to be guilty.
A person obstructing a Constable in the discharge of his duty may be arrested, but may not be struck by him. If a Constable hears a disturbance in a house, he may enter. And any person may interfere to prevent Murder or other felony.
Should a private individual see persons fighting, and serious injury likely to result, or the commission of a felony, he must interfere to prevent it. If he fails to do so, he himself will incur blame.
A Constable may use force to arrest a fugitive felon, and if death ensues, it is not Murder.
On a direct charge of felony, the Constable must arrest: if he fail to do so, he will incur blame.
On reasonable suspicion, the Constable may arrest.
A Constable is bound to execute any Warrant of a Magistrate.
If a Constable sees a man drunk in the street, he may take him up. If there is a great disturbance, the Constable may call upon any one to assist him, and the person so called upon is bound to assist.
When a Constable arrests a man, he must take him before a Magistrate, and state the ground of his arrest; he must not keep him in confinement longer than necessary.
Any person assaulting or resisting a Constable in the execution of his duty, or aiding or exciting any person so to do, will be tried and punished by the Magistrates. Let this be remembered by the people who visit Auckland, or other towns, lest they get into trouble. If you see your friend apprehended by a Constable, you must not interfere, nor attempt a rescue. If the Constable has made an improper arrest, the Magistrates will punish him; but you must not interfere, or you will be arrested also.
Thus it will be seen that a Constable is a very useful person. He is the officer who carries into execution all the orders of the Magistrates. He is, as it were, their right hand.
If Constables were appointed in the Maori settlements, they would suppress disturbances, enforce regulations about dogs and pigs, and perform many useful services; thus obviating many of the causes of quarrel now existing.
Several of the Constables now in Auckland are Maories; and they apprehend Pakehas as well as Maories, if they do wrong. As you have already heard, all.men are alike in the eyes of the Law. There is one Law for us all. The Pakeha is not better than the Maori, nor the Maori better than the Pakeha.
For further information about Constables, their duties, and punishments for misconduct, See List of Criminal Offences, "Constable," No. 26.
The principal officers charged with the administration of the Law among the Pakehas having been noticed, and their respective duties briefly stated, a List of Criminal Offences will now be given. Each Offence will have a number assigned to it, and the numbers will follow each other in consecutive order. The name and description of the Offence will be found in the left hand column; parallel with this, in the middle column, will appear the penalty assigned by the Law for such offence; and, in the right hand column the name of the Court in which the person committing such Offence may be tried. At the end of the List, Notes will be added, containing further explanations of some of the Offence, a reference to these being made in the List. Each Explanatory Note will have the same number as that given to the Offence in the List. The Notes will be followed by an Index, arranged in Maori alphabetical order, by reference to which the Maori reader will be able to find the place in the List of any Offence contained in the latter each Offeuce having its number in the List placed opposite to its name in the Index.
A chapter on Civil Injuries, followed by a glossary of English words which have been Maoviized and brought into use in this Book, being printed in italics, with a general Index of the subjects here treated, both arranged in Maori alphabetical order, will complete the information respecting English Law which it is intended to place in the hands of the Maori people at the present time.