Attorney General v Weston

CourtRoyal Court
Judge(Crill, Deputy Bailiff and Jurats Bailhache and Picot):
Judgment Date28 August 1979
Date28 August 1979
(Crill, Deputy Bailiff and Jurats Bailhache and Picot):

Her Majesty's Attorney General;

W.J. Bailhache for the defendant.

CourtsRoyal Courtbinding force of own previous decisioncourt entitled to depart from previous decision given per incuriamto be satisfied that previous decision given in advertence to binding authority and that if previous court had been advertent would have decided differently

CourtsRoyal Courtbinding force of own previous decisionInferior Number normally to follow carefully considered earlier decision of differently constituted Inferior Number as matter of comity unless convinced wrong

CourtsRoyal Courtbinding force of own previous decisionjugement motiv without detailed reason commonly delivered by Royal Court before 1950, not authoritative guide to principles, law or procedure which may have been applied

Criminal Proceduretrial by jurystatutory contraventionsno right to trial of statutory contraventions by jury and may not be ordered by Inferior Number

CRILL, DEPUTY BAILIFF: On the 22nd June, 1979, Mr. Robert Lawrence Weston was indicted before the Royal Court on six common law offences and four statutory contraventions. The Court ordered the statutory offences to remain on the file and that Mr. Weston should stand his trial for the common law offences at the September Assizes. For reasons which are not relevant to this judgment he is in fact to be tried at the November Assizes. Through his counsel, Advocate W.J. Bailhache, he asks now that the statutory contraventions be tried by a jury at the same time. This request falls into two parts. First, Mr. Weston has to establish that the Royal Court has the power to order such a trial and, secondly, if it has, that it would be right to do so in this case.

The question whether the Royal Court has this power was considered by the Inferior Number of the Court in Att. Gen. v. Pennington, 1970 J.J. 1349. We should first say that there is no other recorded judgment in which the issue was argued. In the course of its judgment the Court referred to Att. Gen. v. Coyne (1968), 37 P.C. 479, which was itself considered by the Court in Att. Gen. v. Wild, 1978 J.J. 89. Up to 1961, but less frequently than before 1950, when the Lieutenant Bailiff, Mr. C.T. Le Quesne, Q.C., introduced the English type of reasoned judgments, the Royal Court gave a "jugement motiv" without detailed reasons. In the course of such judgments the Royal Court sometimes indicated the principles upon which it acted, prefacing its findings on the facts by a passage which usually began "Considrant que par la loi et cutume de cette ile . . ." and then expounding those laws and customs before applying them to the facts as found. A judgment which confined itself to a finding on the facts alone could not be said to establish any principles, still less to rule on any submissions of law that might have been made. Such a judgment cannot be cited as an authority, for example in matters of procedure, merely because one particular method was adopted without argument. None of the cases cited by Mr. Bailhache in support of this submission that the Royal Court may order the trial of a contravention before the Assizes contain any statement of principle. It must be assumed, therefore, that in all those cases the Court did not pay regard to Article 1 of the Criminal Procedure Law of 1864, or if it did, then it omitted to say so in its Act. If reliance is to be placed on such Acts of the Court sending persons to trial...

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14 cases
  • Joyelle Anne Carry v Michael Joseph Liston and Lesley Marie Liston (nee Jebbett)
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 8 September 2017
    ...decision unless persuaded that the earlier decision was wrongly decided, see ( Att Gen v Pennington 1970 JJ 1349); ( Att Gen v Weston 1979 JJ 141); ( Att Gen v Hall 1995 JLR 102).” 107 The question of precedent, particularly as it affects decisions of the UK Supreme Court (and those of the ......
  • Mackinnon v Mackinnon; Mackinnon v Regent Trust Company Ltd
    • Jersey
    • Court of Appeal
    • 19 May 2005
    ...on Trusts, 17 th Ed'n paras 4–01 to 4–04; 21–96. Allen & Overy Trust Litigation Quarterly December 2003, Issue 14, pp 6–8. AG v Weston (1979) JJ 141. Rabin v Gerson Berger Association Ltd [1986] WLR 526 (CA.). RSC (1999): para 18/7/11. Cross and Harris: Precedent in English Law (4 th Ed'n) ......
  • Lesquende Ltd v Planning and Environment Committee
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 13 March 1996
    ...& C.R. 278. Allen v. Thorn Elec. Indus. Ltd., [1967] 2 All E.R. 1137. Astley v. Inland Rev. Commrs., [1974] STC 367. Att. Gen. v. Weston, 1979 J.J. 141. Birmingham Corp. v. West Midland Baptist (Trust) Assn. (Inc.), [1970] A.C. 874. Black-Clawson Intl. Ltd. v. Papierwerke Waldhof-Aschaffenb......
  • Attorney General v Hall
    • Jersey
    • Royal Court
    • 24 March 1995
    ...R. v. Andrews, 156 L.T. 464; 30 Cox, C.C. 576, applied. (2) Att. Gen. v. O'Neill, 1992 JLR 234, not followed. (3) Att. Gen. v. Weston, 1979 J.J. 141, applied. (4) R. v. Adomako, sub nom. R. v. Prentice; R. v. Holloway, [1994] Q.B. 302; [1993] 4 All E.R. 935; [1993] 4 Med LR 304; [1994] Crim......
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