Commentaries on the Laws of England,: In Four Books, Volume 1

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A. Strahan and W. Woodfall, law-printers to the King's most excellent Majesty, 1793

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Page 38 - Commentaries remarks, that this law of Nature being coeval with mankind, and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this, and such of them as are valid, derive all their force and all their validity, and all their authority, mediately and immediately, from this original...
Page 104 - England as by law established : that, in case the crown and imperial dignity of this realm shall hereafter come to any person, not being a native of this kingdom of England, this nation be not obliged to engage in any war for the defence of any dominions or territories which do not belong to the crown of England, without the consent of Parliament...
Page 197 - That king James the Second, having endeavoured to subvert the constitution of the kingdom, by breaking the original contract between king and people ; and, by the advice of Jesuits and other wicked persons, having violated the fundamental laws ; and having withdrawn himself out of this kingdom ; has abdicated the government, and that the throne is thereby vacant.
Page 84 - I know of no power in the ordinary forms of the constitution that is vested with authority to control it; and the examples usually alleged in support of this sense of the rule do none of them prove, that, where the main object of a statute is unreasonable, the judges are at liberty to reject it; for that were to set the judicial power above that of the legislature, which would be subversive of all government.
Page 223 - Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the laws of God, the true profession of the gospel, and the Protestant reformed religion established by the law? And will you preserve unto the bishops and clergy of this realm, and to the churches committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges as by law do or shall appertain unto them, or any of them? King or queen: All this I promise to do.
Page 58 - ... sworn to determine, not according to his own private judgment, but according to the known laws and customs of the land; not delegated to pronounce a new law, but to maintain and expound the old one.
Page 178 - ... virtually engaged to submit. Whereas, in the great and independent society, which every nation composes, there is no superior to resort to but the law of nature: no method to redress the infringements of that law, but the actual exertion of private force.
Page 392 - ... unsupported by any statute, and founded only upon immemorial usage. This question, long agitated, with great heat and resentment on both sides, became at length the immediate cause of the fatal rupture between the king and his parliament ; the two houses not only denying this prerogative of the crown, the legality of which perhaps might be somewhat doubtful ; but also seizing into their own hands the entire power of the militia, the illegality of which step could never be any doubt at all.
Page 48 - It can therefore be no otherwise produced than by a political union ; by the consent of all persons to submit their own private wills to the will of one man, or of one or more assemblies of men, to whom the supreme authority is entrusted...
Page 58 - I therefore style these parts of our law leges non scriptae, because their original institution and authority are not set down in writing as acts of parliament are, but they receive their binding power and the force of laws by long and immemorial usage, and by their universal reception throughout the kingdom.

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