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(Lord Campbell's Libel Act.)
An Act to amend the Law respecting defamatory Words and Libel. For the better Protection of private Character, and for more effectually securing the Liberty of the Press, and for better preventing Abuses in exercising the said Liberty, be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That in any Action for Defamation it shall be lawful for the Defendant (after Notice in Writing of his Intention so to do, duly given to the Plaintiff at the Time of filing or delivering the Plea in such Action,) to give in Evidence, in mitigation of Damages, that he made or offered an Apology to the Plaintiff for such Defamation before the Commencement of the Action, or as soon afterwards as he had an Opportunity of doing so, in case the Action shall have been commenced before there was an Opportunity of making or offering such Apology.
II. And be it enacted, That in an Action for a Libel contained in any public Newspaper or other periodical Publication it shall be competent to the Defendant to plead that such Libel was inserted in such Newspaper or other periodical Publication without actual Malice, and without gross Negligence, and that before the Commencement of the Action, or at the earliest Opportunity afterwards, he inserted in such Newspaper or other periodical Publication a full Apology for the said Libel, or, if the Newspaper or periodical Publication in which the said Libel appeared should be ordinarily published at Intervals exceeding One Week, had offered to publish the said Apology in any Newspaper or periodical Publication to be selected by the Plaintiff in such Action; and that every such Defendant shall upon filing such Plea be at liberty to pay into Court a Sum of Money by way of Amends for the Injury sustained by the Publication of such Libel, and such Payment into Court shall be of the same Effect, and be available in the same Manner and to the same Extent, and be subject to the same Rules and Regulations as to Payment of Costs and the Form of Pleading, except so far as regards the pleading of the additional Facts herein-before required to be pleaded by such Defendant, as if Actions for Libel had not been excepted from the personal Actions in which it is lawful to pay Money into Court under an Act passed in the Session of Parliament held in the Fourth Year of His late Majesty, intituled An Act for
the further Amendment of the Law, and the better Advancement of Justice; and that to such Plea to such Action it shall be competent to the Plaintiff to reply generally, denying the whole of such Plea.
9 & 10 VICT. CAP. 93. [A.D. 1846.]
(Lord Campbell's Act.)
An Act for compensating the Families of Persons killed by Accidents.
Whereas no Action at Law is now maintainable against a Person who by his wrongful Act, Neglect, or Default may have caused the Death of another Person, and it is oftentimes right and expedient that the Wrongdoer in such Case should be answerable in Damages for the Injury so caused by him: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That whensoever the Death of a Person shall be caused by wrongful Act, Neglect, or Default, and the Act, Neglect, or Default is such as would (if Death had not ensued) have entitled the Party injured to maintain an Action and recover Damages in respect thereof, then and in every such Case the Person who would have been liable if Death hath not ensued shall be liable to an Action for Damages, notwithstanding the Death of the Person injured, and although the Death shall have been caused under such Circumstances as amount in Law to Felony.
II. And be it enacted, That every such Action shall be for the Benefit of the Wife, Husband, Parent, and Child of the Person whose Death shall have been so caused, and shall be brought by and in the Name of the Executor or Administrator of the Person deceased; and in every such Action the Jury may give such Damages as they may think proportioned to the Injury resulting from such Death to the Parties respectively for whom and for whose Benefit such Action shall be brought; and the Amount so recovered, after deducting the Costs not recovered from the Defendant, shall be divided amongst the beforementioned Parties in such Shares as the Jury by their Verdict shall find and direct.
III. Provided always, and be it enacted, That not more than One Action shall lie for and in respect of the same Subject Matter of Complaint, and that every such Action shall be commenced within Twelve Calendar Months after the Death of such deceased Person.
14 & 15 VICT. CAP. 99. [A.D. 1851.]
An Act to amend the Law of Evidence.
Whereas it is expedient to amend the Law of Evidence in divers Particulars: Be it therefore enacted.. . as follows:
II. On the Trial of any Issue joined, or of any Matter of Question, or on any Inquiry arising in any Suit, Action, or other Proceeding in any Court of Justice, or before any Person having by Law, or by Consent of Parties, Authority to hear, receive, and examine Evidence, the Parties thereto, and the Persons in whose Behalf any such Suit, Action, or other Proceeding may be brought or defended, shall, except as hereinafter excepted, be competent and compellable to give Evidence, either viva voce or by Deposition, according to the Practice of the Court, on behalf of either or any of the Parties to the said Suit, Action, or other Proceeding.
III. But nothing herein contained shall render any Person who in any criminal Proceeding is charged with the Commission of any Indictable Offence, or any Offence punishable on Summary Conviction, competent or compellable to give Evidence for or against himself or herself, or shall render any Person compellable to answer any Question tending to criminate himself or herself, or shall in any criminal Proceeding render any Husband competent or compellable to give Evidence for or against his Wife, or any Wife competent or compellable to give Evidence for or against her Husband.
IV. Nothing herein contained shall apply to any Action, Suit, Proceeding, or Bill in any Court of Common Law, or in any Ecclesiastical Court, or in either House of Parliament, instituted in consequence of Adultery, or to any Action for Breach of Promise of Marriage.
15 & 16 VICT. CAP. 24. [A.D. 1852.]
(Amending 1. Vict. Cap. 26.)
Whereas the Laws with respect to the Execution of Wills require further Amendment: Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same (as follows):
I. Where by an Act passed in the First Year of the Reign of Her
Majesty Queen Victoria, intituled An Act for the Amendment of the Laws with respect to Wills, it is enacted, that no Will shall be valid unless it shall be signed at the Foot or End thereof by the Testator, or by some other Person in his Presence, and by his Direction: Every Will shall, so far only as regards the Position of the Signature of the Testator, or of the Person signing for him as aforesaid, be deemed to be valid within the said Enactment, as explained by this Act, if the Signature shall be so placed at or after, or following, or under, or beside, or opposite to the End of the Will, that it shall be apparent on the Face of the Will that the Testator intended to give Effect by such his Signature to the Writing signed as his Will, and that no such Will shall be affected by the Circumstance that the Signature shall not follow or be immediately after the Foot or End of the Will, or by the Circumstance that a blank Space shall intervene between the concluding Word of the Will and the Signature, or by the Circumstance that the Signature shall be placed among the Words of the Testimonium Clause or of the Clause of Attestation, or shall follow or be after or under the Clause of Attestation, either with or without a blank Space intervening, or shall follow or be after, or under, or beside the Names or One of the Names of the subscribing Witnesses, or by the Circumstance that the Signature shall be on a Side or Page or other Portion of the Paper or Papers containing the Will whereon no Clause or Paragraph or disposing Part of the Will shall be written above the Signature, or by the Circumstance that there shall appear to be sufficient Space on or at the Bottom of the preceding Side or Page or other Portion of the same Paper on which the Will is written to contain the Signature; and the Enumeration of the above Circumstances shall not restrict the Generality of the above Enactment; but no Signature under the said Act or this Act shall be operative to give Effect to any Disposition or Direction which is underneath or which follows it, nor shall it give Effect to any Disposition or Direction inserted after the Signature shall be made.
II. The Provisions of this Act shall extend and be applied to every Will already made, where Administration or Probate has not already been granted or ordered by a Court of competent Jurisdiction in consequence of the defective Execution of such Will, or where the Property, not being within the Jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Courts, has not been possessed or enjoyed by some Person or Persons claiming to be entitled thereto in consequence of the defective Execution of such Will, or the Right thereto shall not have been decided to be in some
other Person or Persons than the Persons claiming under the Will, by a Court of competent Jurisdiction, in consequence of the defective Execution of such Will.
III. The Word "Will" shall in the Construction of this Act be interpreted in like Manner as the same is directed to be interpreted under the Provisions in this Behalf contained in the said Act of the First Year of the Reign of Her Majesty Queen Victoria.
IV. This Act may be cited as "The Wills Act Amendment Act 1852."
An Act to amend the Process, Practice, and Mode of Pleading &c. in the Superior Courts of Common Law at Westminster.
L. Either Party may object by Demurrer to the Pleading of the opposite Party, on the Ground that such Pleading does not set forth sufficient Ground of Action, Defence, or Reply, as the Case may be; and where Issue is joined on such Demurrer, the Court shall proceed and give Judgment according as the very Right of the Cause and Matter in Law shall appear unto them, without regarding any Imperfection, Omission, Defect in or Lack of Form; and no Judgment shall be arrested, stayed, or reversed for any such Imperfection, Omission, Defect in or Lack of Form.
LI. No Pleading shall be deemed insufficient for any Defect which could heretofore only be objected to by Special Demurrer.
LII. If any Pleading be so framed as to prejudice, embarrass, or delay the fair Trial of the Action, the opposite Party may apply to the Court or a Judge to strike out or amend such Pleading, and the Court or Judge shall make such Order respecting the same, and also respecting the Costs of the Application, as such Court or Judge shall see fit.
17 & 18 VICT. CAP. 113. [A.D. 1854.]
An Act to amend the Law relating to the Administration of the Estates of deceased Persons.
'Whereas it is expedient that the Law whereunder the Real and Personal Assets of deceased Persons are administered should be amended: Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows:
I. When any Person shall, after the Thirty-first of December One