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Proof of Private Acts.] It is usual, in most acts of this nature, to insert a clause, with a view to evidence, directing that the act shall be deemed and taken to be a public act, or that a copy by the king's printer shall be admitted in evidence. But, though an act contains no clause of this description, if it be of a general and public nature, it has been ruled at the assizes, that a printed copy may be given in evidence;
thus, acts relating to public highways, Gilb. Ev. 10, 13; the Act [*35] of the Bedford *Levels; the Act for Rebuilding Tiverton; and
that concerning the College of Physicians, ib.; B. N. P. 225; 12 Mod. 216. The regular proof of a private act, like that of other records, must be substantiated upon oath, by means of an examined copy compared with the original in the Parliament Office at Westminster, Gilb. Ev. 12, 13, B. N. P. 225; or by means of an exemplification under the great seal, ib.
As to the proceedings in Parliament, and the journals of the House, post, “ Public Documents." As to actions on penal statutes, see post, " Penal Statute."
ACT OF STATE.
As to proof of notice of, see “ NOTICE;" —As to proof of commencement of, see “Process;" —As to plea in abatement of pendency of prior action, ante, 17.
See “EXECUTOR AND ADMINISTRATOR."
ADMIRALTY, SENTENCES OF COURTS OF. Effect of, in Evidence.] The final judgment, sentence, or decree of a Court of Admiralty in this country in questions of prize, being a pro
ceeding in rem, is conclusive evidence in all courts and with reference to all persons: B. N. .P 244; 11 St. Tr. 262; Kindersley y. Chase, Park, Ins. 490; Oddy v. Bovill, 2 East, 473; Geyer v. Aguilar, 7 T. R. 681. And so all sentences of foreign courts of admiralty, of competent jurisdiction to decide questions on prize, will be received as conclusive evidence of every subject immediately and properly within the jurisdiction of such foreign courts, and upon which they professed to decide judicially: Hughes v. Cornelius, 2 Show. 232; Bolton v. Gladstone, 5 East, 160; Baring v. Clagett, 3 B. & P. 214. Such judg. ments, &c., whether domestic or foreign, are also conclusive, whether they involve questions as to the right of property, as in trover, or questions arising as to warranty in action's on policies of insurance : Baring V. R. Ex. Ass. Comp., 5 East, 99; Bolton v. Gladstone, ib. 155; 2 Taunt. 85, s. C.; Lothian v. Henderson, 3 B. &. P. 513; 2 Show. 232 ; 2 Doug. 575. And such judgments will be received in evidence, though it appear, from the judgment itself, that the court acted on rules of evidence established by its own particular ordinances, and not *arising out of general principles : ib. Thus, a sentence condemn- [*361 ing goods as captured from the enemy, is conclusive evidence that they were so captured; and such sentence is conclusive of the facts it establishes, not only against those concerned in interest and persons claiming under them, but also against strangers; Stirling v. Vaugham, 2 Camp. 228. And, where property is condemned on the ground of not being neutral, the sentence is conclusive evidence of that fact: Barzally v. Lewis, Park, 469; Doug. 554; 7 T. R. 523. So, a sentence of a French court, condemning a ship during a war between England and France, is conclusive evidence that she was not Swedish: Baring V. R. Ex. Ass. Comp. 5 East, 99; Bolton v. Gladstone, ib. 155; 2 Taunt. 85, 8. C. The condemnation of a ship at Malaga, that she was English, is conclusive that she was not neutral, Oddy v. Bovill, 2 East, 473. And where a ship is condemned generally as lawful prize, and no special ground assigned, it will be presumed that the sentence proceeded on the ground of the property belonging to an enemy, and the sentence will be conclusive evidence of that fact : Saloucci v. Woodmass, Park, 471.
But the sentence of a foreign court is evidence only of what it positively and specifically affirms in the adjudicative part of it, not of what may be gathered from it by way of inference: Fisher v. Ogle, i Camp. 418: though, where there is an ambiguity in the sentence, the court will look into the proceedings to ascertain the precise ground of the determination, Lothian v. Henderson, 3 B. 4. P. 525. If the facts disclosed on the sentence do not warrant the sentence, it will not be conclusive as to such facts : Calvert v. Bovill, 7 T. R. 523; 8 T. R. 444; Doug. 574; Bolton v. Gladstone, 5 East, 155. The sentence of a court of admiralty, sitting under a commission from a belligerent power in a neutral country, will not be recognised in our courts; Havelock v. Rockwood, 8 T. R. 268; Donaldson v. Thompson, 1 Camp. 429.
Proof of Sentences in English Courts.] The libel, answer, depositions, and sentence in the Admiralty Court must be proved by examined copies ; Com. D. Ev. C, 1; vide post,“ Chancery”_" Record.”
Proof of Proceedings, -c. in Foreign Courts of.] The decisions of a foreign court are proved by exemplification under the seal of the court, and it must be proved that the seal affixed to the exemplification is the seal of the court; it is not sufficient merely to prove the judge's signature: Henry v. Adey, 3 East, 221; see further, post, “Record:” nor is a copy by an officer of the court sufficient : 2 Stark. 7. The record must be sealed, though the seal be so worn out as not to make an impression: 1 Stark. 525. If there be no seal of the court, then, indeed, an examined copy will suffice, proving the court has no seal : 6 M. 8. S. 36. So, if the court verifies its judgments by the signature of the judge, proof of that fact and the judge's signature suffices : 4 Camp. 28. Before the sentence of a foreign Court of Admiralty, condemning a ship as prize, can be given in evidence, a foundation for it should be laid by proving the capture of the vessel ; the sentence will then be evidence of the facts on which the condemnation proceeded ; Marshall v. Parker, 2 Camp. 69.
I. NATURE AND EFFECT OF, IN GENERAL:
when conclusive or not, 37.
II. EFFECT OF, WITH REFERENCE TO NATURE OF ADMISSION;
by Oaths, 41.
III. EFFECT OF, WITH REFERENCE TO PARTIES, AND BY AND TO WHOM
who bound by, 50.
who may take advantage of, 50.
by Parties to Suit, not beneficially interested, 50.
when connected with Act itself, 56.
1. Nature and Effect of, in General. Admissions are of two kinds: conclusive and inconclusive upon the party making them.
Conclusive admissions are those arising from matter of estoppel, technically so called : as, admissions by records and specialties, or where the parties agree to make the admission as evidence, or where the admission is made with a view to benefit the party making it, or to prejudice the party to whom made. In equity there is no such thing as an estoppel: Com. D. Estoppel, E. 1.
A party is never estopped, if there have been any illegal transaction, fraud, or duress to obtain the admission; and courts or juries are not, in general, estopped : post, 39; B. N. P. 298.
Inconclusive admissions are those where the party making it had no particular object or interest in view to misstate the truth, and where the admission does not fall within the above principle which makes it a conclusive one. Thus, a receipt for money, or an admission of a balance of an account, is not conclusive, but mere prima-facie evidence of such receipt or balance, and the debtor may show the contrary: see post, 46..
Admissions made for the purpose of buying peace are not, in [*38] general, *evidence: Gregory v. Howard, 3 Esp. Rep. 113; B.
N. P. 236; Waldridge v. Kennison, 1 Esp. Rep. 143; see post, 44.
How construed.] When the admission amounts to matter of estoppel, it should be construed strictly, and not be in any way extended against the party making it; for estoppels in general are not to be favoured, because their tendency is to prevent the investigation of truth; R. v. Lubbenham, 4 T. R. 254. Matter of estoppel is reciprocal, and binds both parties to it: see Com. D. Estoppel, B.; Co. L. 352, a.; Taylor v. Needham, 2 Taunt. 282. An estoppel ought to be certain to every intent, and, if a thing be not directly and precisely alleged, it will not amount to an estoppel : Co. L. 303, a. 352, b.
The whole admission must be taken together, in order to show clearly the meaning of the party; but what credit is to be given to the whole or part, is a question for the consideration of a jury, with whom, perhaps, the assertions of a party in his own favour, may have but little weight, Randle v. Blackburn, 5 Taunt. 245. Therefore, with respect to the admission of debts, if a party admit that he did owe a debt, but that he has paid it, such an admission could not be received as evidence to prove the debt, as it also proves payment, 12 Vin. A. Ev. A. b. 23; for a party's admission of a fact disadvantageous to him shall not be received, without receiving, at the same time, his contemporaneous assertion, not merely as evidence that he made such counter claim, but as evidence of the matter he thus alleged in his discharge: Randle v. Blackburn, 5 Taunt. 245; Thomas v. Austin, 2 D. &. R. 361. The recitals in a deed, and the operative part of it, must be construed together: Lampon v. Corke, 5 B. & A. 606; 1 D. &. R. 211, s. C. If a party reads an answer in chancery as evidence, he makes the whole of it evidence: see 1 Stark. Ev. 291; 3 Salk. 153; post, “ Chancery.” So, if a person, in making an admission against his own interest, refers to a written paper, without which the admission is not complete, the contents of the paper ought to be shown before the admission can be used as evidence against him: Jacob v. Lindsay, i East, 462; Smith v. Young, l Camp. 440. But, where the plt. reads in evidence an entry from the deft.'s day book, though deft. is entitled to have the whole of the particular entry read, yet he cannot insist upon reading distinct entries in different parts of the book : Catt v. Howard, 3 Stark. 3-6. A qualified promise of payment, though an admission of the receipt of duc notice of the dishonour of a bill, must nevertheless be taken as a qualified promise, and of itself renders the party liable only to the extent of such promise : Chit. B. 239; Fletcher v. Froggatt, 2 C. & P. 569, s. C. If A. demises to B. the herbage of his own land by indenture, B. is not