On the 26th he was brought up for judgment, and again insisted on the illegality of his conviction.
As for the recovery of money lent; if the loan is not tainted with illegality or immorality, or made for a purpose contrary to public policy, the amount may be recovered by a common law action.
The whole proceedings were illegal, and the illegality was consummated by the prisoners being brought before a special tribunal of 24 judges, nearly all of whom were personal enemies of the accused.
Like contracts contrary to public policy, they depend to a great extent for their illegality upon the discretion of the court in the particular case.
Every executive act must be countersigned by a minister of state, who is held responsible for its character and enforcement, and may be prosecuted before the supreme court for its illegality and effects.
When next year the question of general warrants was raised in connexion with the case of Wilkes, Pitt vigorously maintained their illegality, thus defending at once the privileges of Parliament and the freedom of the press.
The Roman Catholic gentry and lawyers, headed by Sir Patrick Barnewall, succeeded in proving the flagrant illegality of these mandates, and the government had to yield.
The whole Opposition refused to take any part in the proceedings, as a protest against the alleged illegality of the elections; but by the 25th of June the Croatian commissioners and the Hungarian government had framed a new constitution, which was ratified in September.