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EVIDENCE. COMPETENCY. Recusancy. Noncon.

The Roman Lawyers under [Constantine]
with superstition, took it away from
all those persons, of that sort who in their amours mistake
the sex. Our own Statutes Legislators indeed by punishing
them with the pains of penal Felony have made
the same disposition with respect to those persons
tho' probably in this as in so many other
instances, without knowing any thing of the

Not that indeed these 2 cases grounds causes of incompetency
stand altogether upon a footing. For that which
concerns the Papists, there was once, & may
be even now, some small shadow of a reason:
Inflamed [at the time this statute was made]
with rancour against Protestants, and capable
by their distinguishing principles of being
loosed from these ties which un ..... ly
bind other men, their testimony might be regarded
as to suspicious too be admitted.

---page break---

Lawyers repeat all this one after each another
with perfect composure, content that the heart
of Justice be eaten out, provided every thing
be done in form.

It is said that there are countries not
far distant from our own+ + So before the Reformation here. peopled entirely altogether
with [a sort of] monsters, which though
not Papists convict, are altogether as much Papists
as if they were. If such animals have
any such thing among them as a Court of
Justice, it must be worth looking at, to see
how they manage matters about evidence.

Those whose maxim it is, that every thing
is as it should be, may imagine that they
have set all right when they have put us in
mind, that (thanks to the tolerating spirit
of a people wiser than it's laws) a
Papist convict [is what it] would be hard
enough to meet with. But those persons
may in their turn consider, that if a man
should find it convenient to get another out
of the way, or inconvenient to keep an engagement,

---page break---

and there happen to be none but a
Papist in the secret, the Law [has] furnished
him with enough with any one who is if he chance to be a Justice of Peace, or upon good terms an approved method+ +receipt for a sure method of of throwing dubbing
him with the requisite qualification. or a criminal might make it worth the while of a poor witness to turn Papist and be convicted. So of Excommunication.

It is a speculation curious enough to Imagine
our Jurisprudence with this title in it, transported
for a moment into those countries, or
that age — The consequence would be curious. Laws there would be enough
[and to space] and for all sorts of crimes: but
nobody would be punished because nobody
would be believed.

[It would be] good sport then there would then be for the Lawyers
to rummage their books to see whether this
contrivance should avail him.

It must not pass unobserved, unnoticed that the strongest
proof that a man can give can be given by a man of his respect
for an oath is the very foundation on which
the rejection of his testimony is established.

---page break---

But the most curious of all cases must would be
pleasant when where that these 2 notable causes of incompetency
should happen to meet in the same
person. so of excommunication, a 3d. [It should seem that] the best
way of coming at the truth of what such
an one should say, would be to understand interpret
it by the rule of contraries.

I have said under the head of Number ...

In like manner may it be said in regard to
competency, that the exclusion of persons of a
particular description, is a license to committ
all imaginable villainies in the presence
of those persons. I am lost in amazement.


Identifier: | JB/051/013/002
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 51.


Marginal Summary Numbering



Main Headings

evidence; procedure code

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Info in main headings field

evidence. competency. recusancy. noncom.





text sheet

Number of Pages




Page Numbering


jeremy bentham


[[watermarks::[gr with crown motif] [lion with vryheyt motif]]]


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Paper Produced in Year

Notes public

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