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Wednesday, July 24. ,j[jßefore Mr Justice Johnston and Mr Justice . Eichmond.] The Court was opened with the usual formalities at 11 o'clock. REGINA T. BROWNE. This was a case from Hokitika, in which the defendant, a prisoner of the Crown, was found guilty of embezzling money. His Honor Mr Justice Johnston, after recapitulating the evidence taken at the prisoner's trial, said he considered the judgment then given should be reversed for want of sufficient proof of , the monies embezzled having been given to prisoner's custody for a specific purpose. His Honor Mr Justice Eicbmond expressed his concurrence in the above opinion, and the conviction was ordered to be quashed. JAMBS SINCLAIR, APPELLANT, AND JOHN BAGGE, : , RESPONDENT. This case came on for hearing before his Honor Mr Justice Johnston, sitting in Banco, on the Bth October, 1866, and by consent it was ordered that the argument be heard before the Court of Appeal. It arose from a suit brought in the Marlborough District Court by John Bagge, as clerk of the Board of Works for the town of Blenheim, James Sinclair, a merchant, to recover the sum of £92 9s 3d, amount of rates upon the lands of defendant within the town of Blenheim by the Board of Works under an assessment made on the 17th November, 1865. The District •Judge had given judgment for Bagge, and notice of appeal was given. The case was heard in Banco and referred to the higher Court. By the Blenheim Improvement Act, 1864, (Section 13), the Board is empowered to levy a rate upon all lands based upon their estimated value. Section 14 of the Act empowers the Board to appoint fit persons to assess such lands. The Board appointed two of its own members to assess the property of Mr Sinclair, and the questions for the opinion of the Court were, Ist. Is the appointment of two of the members of the Board as assessors a valid exercise of the powers of appointment under the Act. 2nd. Is the " Blenheim Improvement Act, { 1864" repugnant to the Constitution Act ; if so is it void ; and, ; 3rd. If the said act is not void is the assessment a valid and legal assessment. The case was argued at the annual sittings of the Court of Appeal held last year and the Judges deferred judgment. Yesterday morning his Honor Mr Justice Johnston, in a long and carefully prepared decision (which want of space obliges us to omit) said that the Court was unanimously of opinion that its judgment ought to be for the appellant but that as the questions involved were of considerable importance and as there was a diversity of opinion among the Judges as to the grounds on which Judgment ought to be founded it had been considered advisable that the opinion of the Judges should be pronounced separately. The whole cf the opinions having been read, his Honor announced that the appeal must be allowed, and the judgment of the District Court at Marlborough wvereed with coats.

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Bibliographic details

COURT OF APPEAL., Wellington Independent, Volume XXII, Issue 2549, 25 July 1867

Word Count

COURT OF APPEAL. Wellington Independent, Volume XXII, Issue 2549, 25 July 1867