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to be true, if the publication thereof is reasonably necessary to the A.D. 1878. discussion of a subject of public interest, and if such publication is made in good faith in the course and for the purposes of such discussion.

Whether any particular subject is of public interest, and whether the publication of any matter is reasonably necessary for the discussion of its shall be questions of fact.




10 No one commits an indictable offence by the publication of defa

matory matter consisting of comments upon persons who submit themselves, or upon things submitted by their authors or owners, to public criticism, provided that such comments are fair.

The expression a “ fair comment” means a comment which is 15 either true, or which, if false, expresses the real opinion of its

author (as to the existence of matter of fact or otherwise), such opinion having been formed with reasonable care and on reasonable grounds.

The following persons, and such other persons as act in what the 20 court regards as a similar manner, submit their conduct to public criticism within the meaning of this section ; that is to say :

(a.) Every person who takes a public part in public affairs submits his conduct therein to public criticism.

(b.) Every person who publishes any book or other literary pro25 duction, or any work of art, or any advertisement of goods, or who

makes any communication upon any subject whatever to the public, submits that book, or literary production, or work of art, or advertisement, or communication, and every matter referred to therein, to

public criticism. 30 (c.) Every person who takes part in any public dramatic perfor

mance or other public entertainment submits himself to public criticism to the extent to which he takes part in it.



PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS, AND FAIR COMMENTS THEREON. No one commits an indictable offence by the.publication of defamatory matter contained in any paper, vote, or proceeding of either House of Parliament which such House of Parliament may deem fit or necessary to be published; or Any extract from or abstract of any such report, paper, vote, or

A.D. 1878. proceeding, if being an extract it is correct, and is not so made as

to convey a false impression of the contents of the matter from which it is extracted, or if being an abstract it is substantially accurate ; or

A fair report of any debate in either House of Parliament.




The publication of anything whatever in a judicial proceeding before a court of competent jurisdiction is not a defamatory libel.



10 No one commits the offence of publishing a defamatory libel only by publishing defamatory matter forming part of a fair report of the proceedings of a court of justice, or of a fair report of proceedings before magistrates held with open doors with a view to the committal for trial of a suspected person; but nothing herein contained shall 15 prevent the publication of any such report from being a seditious, blasphemous, or obscene libel.

Such a report is fair when it is substantially accurate, and when it is either complete or condensed in such a manner as to give a just impression of what took place, but this section does not extend to 20 comments made by the reporter, or to reports of observations made by persons not entitled to take part in the proceedings.




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The words “person, owner,” and other words or expressions of the same kind shall throughout this part, when they relate to the party against whom any offence may be committed, include all bodies 30 corporate, societies, and companies capable by law of holding property.

A.D. 1878.


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The expression “valuable security” means

(a.) Any document whereby any legal right is or is intended or purports, or is intended to purport, to be created, extended, restricted, transferred, extinguished, or released.

(b.) Any document which acknowledges the existence of any legal right or liability, or the extinction, transfer, or other modification of any legal right or liability.

(c.) Any document which contains a contract or an offer, or an acceptance of an offer, to make a contract, or a note or memorandnm 10 of the terms of a contract, or a promise legally binding or intended to be legally binding.

(a.) Any document whether it is a private document or part of
the records or rolls of any court or office which is or is intended to

be used as evidence of the title of any person
15 (i.) To any property whatever, real or personal, moveable or

immoveable, corporeal or incorporeal ;
(ii.) To the possession or control of any such property.

(e.) Any copy of any such document so authenticated as to be
capable of being used as legal evidence of the matters asserted by it.
20 (f.) Any document containing any order, warrant, authority, or

request to give any person any kind of property whatever, or the
possession or control over any kind of property whatever, or to give
him credit.

The expression “ valuable security” includes maps and other docu-
25 ments which form part of or are referred to in any such document

as aforesaid.

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Everything. whatever which is the property of any person, and which either is or may be made movable, shall henceforth be capable of being stolen as soon as it becomes movable, even if the act by

which it is made movable is the act by which the offence of stealing 35 it is committed.

This provision includes everything which is part of or fixed to or growing out of the land (except as herein-after excepted) or

A.D. 1878. which savours of real property; all records and documents what

ever, whether public or private; all animals (except wild animals in
the enjoyment of their natural liberty, as to the stealing of which
the law shall remain unaffected by this Act), fish in a state of
confinement; and oysters and oyster brood in oyster beds, layings, 5
and fisheries sufficiently marked out as the property of any person ;
but it does not include anything under the value of one shilling
which is part of, or fixed to, or growing out of the land, except
trees, saplings, shrubs, and underwood cultivated for food for man
or beast, or for medicine, or for distilling, or for dyeing, or for 10
or in the course of any manufacture, or growing in any garden,
orchard, pleasure ground, or nursery ground, or within the curtilage
of any dwelling house.

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An intent to misappropriate is an intent unlawfully, fraudulently, and without any claim of right, founded either on a mistake of fact or on a mistake of law, to deprive the owner permanently of a thing capable of being stolen, by any of the means stated in the definitions herein-after contained of theft, criminal breach of trust, or 20 obtaining property by a false pretence.

The purpose of the offender as to the way in which the thing appropriated is to be disposed of is immaterial.

An intention that the owner shall under any circumstances whatever be permanently deprived of anything is an intention to mis- 23 appropriate within the meaning of this section, although it may be accompanied by an intention to restore the misappropriated property to the owner.

A person who consigns, deposits, transfers, or delivers anything which does not belong to him to any person other than the owner 30 by way of a pledge, lien, or security for advances made before or at the time when the security is given, or to be made afterwards, intends, within the meaning of this section, to deprive the owner permanently of the thing so dealt with although he may intend to redeem it at the time when he so deals with it; but he does 35 not intend to do so fraudulently or without a claim of right if at the time of giving the security he was a factor or agent for the owner of the goods, and if the amount for which he gave the security did not exceed the amount which was or which he honestly believed to be due to him from his principal together with the amount of any 40 bill of exchange drawn upon him by or on account of the principal.

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is or

Theft is

The act of taking with intent to misappropriate, and without the 5 consent of the owner, or with his consent in the case herein-after

specified, anything capable of being stolen of which the offender is
not in possession when he takes it, whether


person is not in possession of it.

The act of taking is complete as soon as the thing taken is either 10 caused to move by the offender or touched with intent to move it by any part of his body or by any instrument.

Taking with the consent of the owner is a taking within the meaning of this section, if the owner’s consent thereto is obtained

by fraud, and if the owner intended to transfer the possession only 15 of the thing taken.

Every person who is in possession of or who has the custody of anything is for the purposes of this section the owner of that thing as against every person who cannot show a better title to the posses

sion of it. 20 Everyone who destroys, cancels, or obliterates any document for any fraudulent


steals that document. Everyone who kills any animal or bird with intent to steal the carcase, skin, plumage, or any part of the animal or bird, steals that animal or bird.




Criminal breach of trust is the act of converting to the use of the offender or any other person with intent to misappropriate,

anything of which at the time of such conversion the offender is 30 in possession, or of which he has the custody on account of another

person, such conversion being made without the consent of that person, or with his consent obtained by fraud.



35 Everyone is in possession or has the custody of a thing on account

of another person within the meaning of the last section, when he is the bailee of that thing for that person, or if it is his duty to keep it for any person, or to give it, or to account for it, or for the

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