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2-223 (Text)

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Is it quite certain that the local magistracy will deal equal justice between the parties? Is it upon the common principles which actuate human nature even altogether probable? We know not. We own it to be our opinion that the servant, whether he be complainant or accused, will NOT, in cases such as the present meet with scrupulous or impartial Justice.  Far be it from us to impute to the magistracy in country districts any intentional desire to pervert the law. But we maintain that their minds will be inevitably, though imperceptibly, biased in favour of one class of applicants rather than of the other. The general turn of their minds, the pressure of their private interests, the cardinal necessity, as it seems to them, of preserving discipline, is not, in instances such as will occur under this Act, salutary to the undisturbed and impartial discharge of justice. And this reflection is rendered more weighty and is the more calculated to disquiet the mind, when we take it in conjunction with the indefinite discretionary powers entrusted by the Act, both to themselves and to the settler complaining. We assert, that upon this head, a well-grounded fear may be entertained, and we should be wanting to an upright discharge of our duty were we not timely to proclaim this opinion.