All things are presumed to be correctly and solemnly done.
This relates chiefly to acts of an official nature, as judgments, decrees, orders of court, and acts of any public officer, done by properly, or apparently properly, constituted authorities ; which acts will be presumed to be rightly done, and the authorities rightly constituted, until the contrary be proved. The maxim also applies to all cases of waiver by acquiescence, lapse of time, etc, where consent and agreement will be presumed ; and it is forcibly applied in settling ancient titles.
The following may be adduced as examples : — Where a lease contained a covenant on the part of the lessee that he would not without the consent of the lessor use the premises for any other purpose than a dwelling-house, which nevertheless he converted into a public-house and grocer's shop, the lessor, with full knowledge, receiving rent for twenty years afterwards ; it was held that such user was evidence from which the jury might presume a licence. Also, where a bill of sale appeared to be executed on the 31st December, 1860, and the date of the jurat of the affidavit filed with it was the 10th January, 1860 ; the Court assumed the date in the jurat to be a mistake often made at the commencement of the year, and allowed the jurat to be amended. And where an affidavit was instituted in the Queen's Bench, and the person before whom it was sworn described himself as a commissioner for taking affidavits in the Exchequer of Pleas at Westminster ; the Court presumed the commissioner to have authority to swear the affidavit until the contrary was shown.
A bill of exchange is, in the absence of proof to the contrary, presumed to be accepted within a reasonable time after its date, before its maturity, and to be issued at the time of its date.
The date of an instrument is •prima facie, the date of its execution, Where an agreement requiring a stamp is lost, and was without stamp when last seen, it will be taken that it was never stamped, and secondary evidence of its contents will not be received ; but where a deed was left at the stamp distributor's in the country to be sent to London to be stamped, and the proper duty paid, but was never seen afterwards, it will be taken to have been properly stamped.
A decision of a properly constituted court upon a subject within its jurisdiction is prima facie a right decision.
Where an order given in a matter decided by one of the superior courts not having jurisdiction therein without the consent of the parties, omitted to state that it was made by consent ; it is immaterial, as it would be intended that the court had jurisdiction, nothing being intended out of the jurisdiction of a superior court but what appears expressly so to be.
All things done by the Houses of Parliament are presumed to be rightly done ; and so as to the courts of law and equity, but the presumption is greater or less according to the superiority or inferiority of the court. But, as to the Houses of Parliament, whenever the contrary does not plainly appear, it is to be presumed that they act within their jurisdiction and agreeably to the usages of Parliament and the rules of law and justice.
It is a maxim of the law of England to give effect to every- thing which appears to have been established for a considerable course of time, and to presume that what has been done was done of right and not of wrong.
Co. Litt. f., 232 ; .'! Hawk. P. 0. 219 ; 3 Wils. 2(15 ; K. v. Paty, 2 Ld. Raym. 1108; Roberts v. Betkell, 12 C. B. 77s ; Gibson v. Doeg, 2 H. & N. G23 ; Powell v. SonneU, 3 Biug. 3*1 ; Mayor of Beverley v. Attorney-General, 6 H. L. Cas. 333 ; Anderson v. Weston, 6 X. C. 290 ; Gossett c. Howard, 10 Q B. 457 ; Cheney r. Courtois, 13 C. B. (X.S.) 1134 ; Arbon v. Fussell, 9 Jur. (X.S.) 753 ; Gibson v. Small, 4 H. L. Cas. 380 ; Harrison r. Wright, 13 M. & W. xl6 ; Hollingsworth v. White, 6 L. T. (X.S.) 604.