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NEW CHARTER OF JUSTICE, CEYLON,
A copy of the Charter issued under the great seal, for improving the administration of justice in Ceylon, dated 18th February 1833, and of a despatch from Lord Gode. rich to Sir R. J. Wilmot Horton, dated 23d March 1833, accompanying the Charter, have been laid before Parliament.
The substance of the Charter, which, his lordship states, has been founded upon Mr. Cameron's Report, is as follows:
Jt abolishes the provincial courts, the courts of the sitting magistrates, the court of the judicial commissioner, the court of the judicial agent, the courts of the agent of government, the revenue courts, and the court of the sitting magistrate of the Mahabadde; as well as the appellate jurisdictions exercised by the governor and the court of the judicial commissioner, and the minor courts of appeal in revenue cases.
The entire administration of justice, civil and criminal, in the island of Ceylon, is in future to be vested exclusively in the courts constituted in the Charter, or that may be hereafter created by law (not by the governor and council); the arbitration of certain assemblies of the inhabitants, named Gansabes, excepted.
There is within the island one supreme court, consisting of a chief and two puisde justices, holding their office during the pleasure of the crown, and who may be suspended, upon proof of incapacity or misconduct, by the governor and council. The Charter appoints Sir Charles Marshall chief justice, and Mr. Serj. Rough and Wm. Norris, Esq. puisne justices. A registrar and keeper of records is to be attached to the court, and such and so many other officers as to the chief justice shall appear from time to time necessary for the administration of justice, and the due execution of the duties committed to the court, who are to be appointed by the crown or the governor, and hold their offices during pleasure. The court are to admit proper persons to be advocates and proctors.
The island is to be divided into the district of Colombo, and three circuits, to be called the Northern, Southern, and Eastern ; the northern circuit to comprise the district of Jaffna, with the districts parcel of the maritime provinces of the island, and which lie to the westward of the Kandyan provinces between the districts of Jaffna and Colombo ; the southern circuit to comprise the district of the Mahagampattoo, and all the districts parcel of the maritime provinces lying to the westward and southward of the Kandyan provinces, between the districts of the Mahagampattoo and Colombo ; the eastern circuit to comprise all the Kandyan provinces and all the districts parcel of the maritime provinces lying to the eastward of the Kandyan provinces, between the districts of Jaffna and the Mahagampattoo. The governor, with the concurrence of the judges, is to subdivide the circuits (exclusive of Colombo) into districts.
Within each district, there is to be one court, to be called the District Court, to be holden before one judge, to be called the district judge, and three assessors ; the dis. uict judge to be appointed by the crown and removeable at pleasure ; the assessors to be selected from amongst the inhabitants of the island, whether natives or otherwise, twenty-one years of age, possessing such qualifications as shall be determined by the court. The right of appointing, in each district court, one person to act as permament assessor, is reserved to the crown. The officers of the district courts to be appointed in like manner as those of the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court to be held at Colombo (except on circuit), and the district courts at such convenient place in each district as the governor shall appoint.
Each district court is to be a court of civil and criminal jurisdiction, and to have cogDizance of and full power to hear and determine civil suits, in which the defendant shall be resident, or in which the subject of action shall have occurred, within the district (where the judge is a party, the court adjoining is to take cognizance of the cause); and to try all offences, short of such as are punishable with death, transportation,
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or banishment, imprisonment for more than a year, whipping exceeding one hundred lashes, a fine exceeding £10, which shall have been committed within the district.
Each district court is to have the care and custody of the persons and estates of idiots and lunatics resident within the district, with power to appoint guardians and curators; and to have power to appoint administrators of intestates' effects within the district, and to determine the validity of wills and to record and grant probate thereof, and to take securities from executors and administrators, and to require accounts of such persons.
Offences against the revenue laws are cognizable before the district courts (saving the rights of the Vice Admiralty Courts), limited as in respect to criminal prosecutions.
The judgments and interlocutory and other orders of the judges of the district courts, are to be pronounced in open court, the judge stating, in the hearing of the assessors, the questions of law and fact, with the grounds and reasons of his opinion ; and the assessors are to declare, in open court, their respective opivions and votes on each and every question of law or fact: in case of a difference of opinion between the judge and the majority of the assessors, the opinion of the judge shall prevail and be taken as the sentence of the whole court, a record being made and preserved of the vote of each.
The Supreme Court is to be a court of sole appellate jurisdiction for the district courts, with original criminal jurisdiction throughout the island : civil and criminal sessions of the supreme court to be held by one of the judges in each circuit, twice in each year, all the judges are never to be absent at the same time from Colombo, and all the judges are to be resident at the same time at Colombo, not less than one month, twice in each year.
At every civil sessions of the supreme court, on circuit, three assessors are to be associated with the judge; and every criminal sessions is to be holden before the judge and a jury of thirteen men. In all civil suits, the judge and assessors are to deliver their opinions and votes as in the district courts; in appeals from the district courts, in criminal prosecutions, the appeal shall not have the effect of staying the execution of the sentence, unless the judge of the district court see fit. All questions of fact, upon which issue shall be joined at any criminal sessions of the supreme court, on circuit, shall be decided by the jury, or major part of them ; questions of law shall be decided by the judge in open court, with the grounds and reasons thereof.
Where a person shall be adjudged to die by the supreme court, at a criminal sessions, execution shall be respited till the case be reported by the presiding judge to the governor.
Judges on circuit, holding criminal sessions, are to direct all fiscals and keepers of prisons within the circuit to certify the persons committed and their offences, who may be required to be brought before the judge.
The judges of the supreme court, on circuit, are to examine the records of the district courts, and if it shall appear that contradictory or inconsistent decisions have been given by the same or different district courts, the judges shall report the same to the supreme court at Colombo, who are to prepare the draft of a declaratory law upon the subject, and transmit it to the governor, who shall lay such draft before the legislative council. The supreme court are also to make rules and orders for the removal of doubts.
The supreme court, or any judge of the same at sessions or on circuit, may grant or refuse writs of habeas corpus and injunctions.
The supreme court may require district courts to transmit to Colombo the records in any case appealed, and may hear and decide appeals, in a summary way, without argument.
The supreme court may frame and establish rules and orders of the court, not repug. nant to the Charter, and which promote the discovery of truth, and economy and ex. pedition in business, and drawn up in plain and succinct terms, avoiding unnecessary repetitions and obscurity.
Appeals are allowed to the King in Council, subject to the following rules and limi. tations :-1. The appeal must be brought, by way of review, before the judges of the
supreme court collectively, holding a general sessions at Colombo, at which all the judges shall be present. 2. The matter in dispute must exceed the value of £500. 3. Leave to appeal must be applied for within fourteen days. 4. If the appellant be the party against whom sentence is given, the sentence shall be carried into execution, if the respondent shall give security for the immediate performance of any sentence pronounced by the Privy Council; until which, the sentence appealed from shall be stayed. 5. If the appellant shall show that real justice requires the stay of execution, pending the appeal, the supreme court may stay execution, on security, as before. 6. In all cases, the appellant shall give security to prosecute the appeal and for costs. 7. The court appealed from shall determine the nature of the securities. 8. Where the subject of litigation is immoveable property, and the judgment appealed from shall not affect the occupancy, security is not to be required; but if the judgment do affect the occupaney, then the security shall not be of greater amount than to restore the property, and the intermediate profit accruing from the occupancy, pending the appeal. 9. Where the subject of litigation consists of chattels or personal property, the security shall in all cases be a bond to the amount, or mortgage. 10. The security for prosecution of appeal and for costs shall in no case exceed £300. 11. The security must be completed within three months from the date of the petition of leave to appeal. 12. Any person feeling aggrieved by any order respecting security or appeal, may petition the Privy Council.
The title of “ Advocate Fiscal" is changed to “ King's Advocate."
The despatch of Lord Goderich contains an explanation of his views in respect to the new system, and his reasons for adopting and for departing from the recommendations of Mr. Commissioner Cameron.
With reference to certain details in Mr. Cameron's report, which are left to the local authorities, bis lordship observes : “ In considering into what hands the authority for adapting the Charter, by auxiliary rules, to the present or future wants of society should be confided, the choice was to be made between the governor and the council on the one hand, and the judges of the supreme court on the other. It has been determined to entrust that power to the judges for the following reasons. First, the subject is one with which they will be peculiarly conversant, and with which the governor and council could at best have but an imperfect acquaintance. Secondly, experience has shown that the interference of the executive government with the judicial body, is eminently dangerous to the harmony and mutual respect which ought to subsist between them, and tends to destroy the efficiency of each. Thirdly, the delegation of powers of this nature to judges is no new experiment, but is a course which has been pursued with the most remarkable success both in the colonies and in this kingdom. If, how. ever, it should be apprehended that the judges of Ceylon would be tempted to make an indiscreet use of an authority so extensive, it is to be observed that the Charter provides a double security against any such abuse. In the first place, they will not be at liberty to establish any new rules of court repugnant to the Charter itself; and further, every rule which they may promulgate, must be transmitted through the governor for his Majesty's approbation or disallowance; so that the utmost facility will be afforded to you for objecting to any of their regulations which you may consider as inexpedient.”
One of the recommendations of Mr. Cameron is that “the pleadings shall consist of an oral altercation between the parties in open court, and that a minute thereof be made by an officer of the court, under the direction of the judge.” The attorney and solicitor-general decidedly dissented from this recommendation; and Lord Goderich remarks that “it may, perhaps, be found to be one of those improvements which can only be accomplished by a series of tentative or experimental measures; and in which a great compromise of a sound general principle is rendered inevitable by the perversity or the ignorance of those who would be most benefited by the introduction of it."
In regard to the recommendation of the commissioner, that, at the termination of the suit, the judge shall punish by fine or imprisonment, or both, any party to the suit,
who, in his opinion, whatever be the opinion of the assessors, shall have been guilty of an attempt to obstruct the course of justice; his lordship conceives that this would expose the judge to a suspicion that he wished to discourage litigation in order to save himself fatigue.
Lord Goderich dissents from Mr. Cameron's recommendation that all stamps on legal proceedings, and all fees of court, be abolished, and that the expenses of witnesses on both sides be paid by the public. The discussion of these points is ingenious, but too long to be cited.
The district judgeships are to be filled, in the first instance, by gentlemen who have been hitherto acting in judicial offices which the charter will abolish; but as vacancies occur, lawyers by profession will be appointed to fill them.
Lord Goderich thus concludes his despatch :-“ I cannot with propriety omit to call your attention, and that of the judges of the supreme court, to the frequent proofs afforded by the recent history of Ceylon, of the danger of collisions between the executive and judicial authorities, and of the formidable evils resulting from such dissensions. It has been my object, by the measures announced in this despatch, to obviate, as far as possible, the recurrence of such unseemly controversies. Both as the head of the executive government, and as exercising a legislative authority in Ceylon, you will rigidly adhere to the rules by which the Charter separates the functions of the judges from your own. His Majesty will expect from them a similar observance of those regulations."
RUSSIA. Versuch einer Literatur der Sanskrit Sprache, &c.-Essay on the Literature of the Sanscrit Language, by M. Fred. Adelung. 8vo. (St. Petergburgh.)
Portulan de la Mer Noire et de la Mer d'Azov, ou Description des Côtes de ces deux Mers, á l'usage des Navigateurs, par E. Taitbout de Marigny. 12mo. with 8vo. atlas. (Odessa.)
Grammatik der Mongolischen Sprache, &c.Grammar of the Mongol Language, composed by J. J. Schmidt. Royal 4to. (St. Petersburgh.)
Narrative of a Voyage to the Ethiopic and
The Life of Mohammed, Founder of the Reli-
No. VIII.-GHAZEEPORE. The precious incense of the rose, the atta-gool, so celebrated throughout all the civilized parts of the world, is produced in considerable quantities in the gardens round Ghazeepore. A paradise of roses conveys enchanting ideas of floral pomp and luxuriance to the mind. Fancy decks the scene with brilliant hues ;—parterres, where idle zephyrs wanton through the day ;- canopies, Alinging their living tapestry of buds and interweaving leaves over banks and beds strewed with the blossoms which the sighing breeze has scattered. Sober reality, however, dispels these gay illusions; the cultivation of roses at Ghazeepore is a mere matter of business; and the extensive fields, planted with the brightest ornament of the garden, do not invest the station with the attractions which are conjured up by a poetical imagination.
The Indian rose, though its very name seems to imply distinction, can only sustain a comparison with its European sisters in the fragrance which it yields. It is beautiful, for could a rose be otherwise? but, excepting at Agra, it does not attain to the magnificent size common in England, nor does it present the infinite varieties which adorn our gardens. The cultivators of India are content to take what the hand of nature has given them, and resort to few artificial aids for the improvement of her lavish beauties : to a large majority, the rose appears to be too valuable a plant to be made the mere embellishment of a bouquet, and, for commercial purposes, that which they have found indigenous to the soil proves quite sufficient.
England is not the land of romance, but her hop-grounds are far more beautiful than the vine-wreathed vallies of France, or the rose-gardens which bloom in the East; unfortunately they are associated with breweries and porter-pots, and want the classic elegance which surrounds the bowl, brimmed with the red grape's ruby flood,—the lingering scent which clings round odours crushed, and makes them sweeter still. The rose of an English cottage, clambering from lattice to lattice, and mantling over the rustic porch in bright redundance, is infinitely more attractive than its Indian namesake. We do not see the roses of oriental climes spreading themselves over arches, or flinging down their crimson wealth in rich red clusters. They bloom sparingly upon a low shrub, which is kept to a dwarfish size by the gardener's knife, and the full-blown flowers being carefully gathered every morning, the trees rarely present the luxuriance of loaded boughs drooping beneath the weight of their silken treasures.
The roses of Ghazeepore are planted formally, in large fields, occupying many hundred acres of the adjacent country. The flush of their flowers, when opening to the morning ray, and enamelling the verdant carpet of green spread over a sun-lit plain, cannot fail to delight the eye, but would afford far greater pleasure if diversified with bowers and labyrinths, trellises hung with garlands, and crimson clusters peeping between the luxuriant foliage wreathing over long arcades. If the voluptuous N.Ioghuls ever celebrated a festival of roses in so appropriate a scene of their Indian conquests, Asiat.Journ. N.S.VOL.12. No.46,