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THE Marlborough Express.

" Gitb pie the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue fteely according to conscience, above all other liberties —Milton

WEDNESDAY, MAY 7, 1873. THE EYES LIBEL CASES.

The circumstances antecedent .to the proceedings instituted by Mr. "W. H. Eyes m vindication of his character against the aspersions thereon make, everything respecting them possess more than ordinary interest to the public, and the position Mr. Eyes has held as Superintendent of the Province, Member of the House of Representatives, and a Justice of the Peace for many years, together with the other important offices held by- him as Commissioner of Crown Lands, Sheriff> Receiver of. Land Revenue, &c, invest these proceedings with a degree of importance beyond what Would attach were he but a private person. These circumstances, coupled with the fact that they were spoken of to the Government as being " but a .blind," and that rumors have loeen circulated to the eftect that Mr. Travers, the plaintiff's counsel, had stated that he" had. no faith m his client's case," must be our apology for saying niore with reference to them than would be necessary were the circumstances of an ordinary character. The first proceedings instituted are two Civil actions for libel : one against Mr. Henderson m which damages are claimed at £2,000, and the other.against Mr. H. Dodson, damages £1,000. The writs were served several months ago, but the pleadings have only just beeD brought to issue on points of law raised upon the defendants' answers. These questions were ar-; gued by Mr. Travers ( on behalf of Mr. ■ i JSyes,) m Nelson last week before his Ho-

nor Mri-Justice ; Richmond, whenthe decision; favor of Mr. Eyes, It wpuldibe useless and confusing to most of oub unprofessional readers were ijfre toafctempt.to explain the details^ of these proj ceedings,but as ; far as we can;learn, the efectLpf.'jthje jtlecisipn-is -to place, the parties intfie haaine ; ppsijtion as 'that occupied; on the day the writs were first served on the defendants >; with : the exception that they are npw aware that ,what they relied upon as justification is not .upheld by the Court, and, that. jthey have<to pay the costs..; ; The proceedings ihowever may,; be amended*; or m other/ iwprds, new pleas may be advanced at the instance of the defendants, if, done, within fourteen days. , ; : '.-,;-'• v-Eh© other-proceedings are; of a different nature.- .rMi%Tmy«rs^ made two applica tipnsrat, the same Sittings; for leave to exr^ hibit two Oriminal informations, the pne agaiustMr. A. T. Card pf the Press, Picton^ for publishing ;& libel, and- the other "against Miv Timothy.;. W;. r Millingtpn, of the; N&ws^ for .a like offenge. ... In both of these cases: conditional orders have been made, subject however to' leave for each of the defendants' to shpw Jcause why they should; auot'be made absolute. ; The rules-were served on Monday last, and are returnable at Picton on June; 11th, and at- Nelson on June 24th, -at the option , of defendants upon giving. ; notice : to the, plaintiff [before June Ist. The charge m the first case is " for publishing^ certain false, -scandalous, and malicious 'libel of ; and concerning the said William Henry Eyes "m the, Press of the 30th October last, " beginning with the words ;' T Mr James Gprrie made a, very able speech,' and ending with: the words * and your petitioners will ever pray;' "In the second case the libel, is alleged to be contained m a passage in ;i th.c News of the •■.3.lst October, ;; f commencing '? with the ', words, ' The. following resolution then put/, and ending with r , the : words; I « 'That ; this unwiorthy.perspn; may be; removed from, the office he now holds.' " Notwithstanding: all- that- has been said to the contrary these proceedings show the hona Jldes of the desire on the part of Mr Eyes to try m open Court the truth or otherwise of the published statements detrimental to his reputation and interests. Beyond this our readers will not expect us to say anything upon the subject m the nature-of 'opinion- or comment,' and we shall continue simply to describe what . takes place, but m the. light of a brief record and history of the time. It may ser,ve the purpose- of much explanation-»-if we state that m an eai-ly stage of the Tichborne case the present Lord Chancellor enunciated the principle that — " the rules which have been laid down as to fair comment on matters of public interest and noto-. riety, do not extend to comments on matters still pending, waiting for argument and decision, which have a direct tendency towards directing and swaying the mind of the Court or. jury by whom the cause is to be determined."

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/MEX18730507.2.7

Bibliographic details

THE Marlborough Express., Marlborough Express, Volume VIII, Issue 497, 7 May 1873

Word Count
775

THE Marlborough Express. Marlborough Express, Volume VIII, Issue 497, 7 May 1873

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