Hardinge Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury

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I yield to authority. I think the practice of the Court of Chancery for more than one hundred years, and the authority of Judges of very great eminence, establish such a course of practice and such a chain of authority, that I do not think I am at liberty to assume that either the Court or those very learned Judges were in error as to their powers and jurisdiction.

Hardinge Stanley Giffard, 1st Earl of Halsbury, PC, KC (3 September 1823 – 11 December 1921) was a leading barrister, politician and government minister. He served thrice as Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.

Quotes[edit]

  • I yield to authority. I think the practice of the Court of Chancery for more than one hundred years, and the authority of Judges of very great eminence, establish such a course of practice and such a chain of authority, that I do not think I am at liberty to assume that either the Court or those very learned Judges were in error as to their powers and jurisdiction.
    • Attorney-General v. Marquess of Ailesbury (1887), L. J. (N. S.) 57 Q. B. 89.
  • I should regard it as certainly a novelty in our jurisprudence if the regular order of a learned Judge could be affected, or qualified, or altered in the slightest degree by what some subordinate officer of the Court thought proper to say in writing about it, even though in so doing he committed this additional irregularity—that to that private correspondence he affixed the seal of the Court.
    • Stonor v. Fowle (1887), L. R. 13 Ap. Ca. 27.
  • We should treat with great respect the opinion of eminent American lawyers on points which arise before us, but the practice, which seems to be increasing, of quoting American decisions as authorities, in the same way as if they were decisions of our own Courts, is wrong. Among other things it involves an inquiry, which often is not an easy one, whether the law of America on the subject in which the point arises is the same as our own.
    • In re Missouri Steamship Company (1889), L. R. 42 C. D. 330.
  • "Discretion" means, when it is said that something is to be done within the discretion of the authorities that that something is to be done according to the rules of reason and justice, not according to private opinion2; according to law and not humour. It is to be not arbitrary, vague, and fanciful, but legal and regular. And it must be exercised within the limit, to which an honest man, competent to the discharge of his office, ought to confine himself.
    • Sharp v. Wakefield (1891), 64 L. T. Rep. 180 [1891], Ap. Ca. 173.
  • I should regret to place a narrowing construction upon rules intended to remove expense and delay.
    • Jay v. Budd (1897) 66 L. J. Rep. (N. S.) 864.

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