On the 26th he was brought up for judgment, and again insisted on the illegality of his conviction.
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.
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.
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.