Rex v Borron: 1820

A criminal information was applied for against a magistrate.
Abbott CJ said: ‘They [magistrates] are indeed, like every other subject of this kingdom, answerable to the law for the faithful and upright discharge of their trust and duties. But, whenever they have been challenged upon this head, either by way of indictment, or application to this Court for a criminal information, the question has always been, not whether the act done might, upon full and mature investigation, be found strictly right, but from what motive it had proceeded; whether from a dishonest, oppressive, or corrupt motive, under which description, fear and favour may generally be included, or from mistake or error. In the former case, alone, they have become the objects of punishment. To punish as a criminal any person who, in the gratuitous exercise of a public trust, may have fallen into error or mistake belongs only to the despotic ruler of an enslaved people, and is wholly abhorrent from the jurisprudence of this kingdom.’ and
‘the question has always been, not whether the act done might, upon full and mature investigation, be found strictly right, but from what motive it had proceeded; whether from a dishonest, oppressive, or corrupt motive, under which description fear and favour may generally be included, or from mistake or error. In the former case, alone, they have become the objects of punishment.’
Abbott CJ
(1820) 3 B and Ald 432, [1820] EngR 136, (1820) 3 B and A 432, (1820) 106 ER 721
Commonlii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRegina v Llewellyn-Jones CACD 1968
The Registrar of a County Court was convicted of offences of misconduct in public office. The indictment charged ‘misbehaviour in a public office, contrary to common law’ and alleged that court orders had been made ‘with the intention of gaining . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference (No 3 of 2003) CACD 7-Apr-2004
Police Officers had been acquitted of misconduct in public office. They had stood by in a police station custody suite as a prisoner lay on the floor and died.
Held: The trial took place before R -v- G which had overruled Caldwell. The . .
CitedRegina v W CACD 2-Mar-2010
The defendant appealed against his conviction for misconduct in public office. As a police officer he had used an official credit card to pay for personal items. He said that he believed this was allowed where he intended to discharge the debt. He . .
CitedABC and Others, Regina v CACD 26-Mar-2015
Several defendants sought to appeal against convictions. They were public officials accused of having committed misconduct in public office in the sale of information relating to their work to journalists. The journalists were convicted of . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 26 January 2021; Ref: scu.196546