Entick v Carrington  is a landmark decision in English and UK constitutional law that established individual civil rights and limited governmental authority. The case influenced other common law countries and served as a major inspiration for the United States Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. It is renowned for Lord Camden’s dictum: “It will be found in our books if it is the law. It is not law if it is not found there. “
On November 11, 1762, Nathan Carrington, the King’s Chief Messenger, and three other King’s messengers, James Watson, Thomas Ardran, and Robert Blackmore, “forced and armed” their way into the house of Grub Street writer John Entick (1703 –1773) in the parish of St Dunstan, Stepney. They smashed through locks and doors and examined all of the rooms for four hours before removing 100 charts and brochures, costing £2,000 in damage (£413,906 in 2020).
The King’s messengers had directed the King’s messengers to “make a rigorous and diligent search for… the author or one involved in the production of numerous weekly extremely seditious publications named The Monitor or British Freeholder.”
Lord Camden, the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, presided over the trial at Westminster Hall. Carrington and his colleagues argued that they were acting on Halifax’s order, which gave them legal permission to search Entick’s house, so they couldn’t be held responsible. Camden, on the other hand, decided that Halifax had no authority to issue such a warrant under law or precedent, and so ruled in Entick’s favour.
The primary goal of men’s entry into society was to protect their possessions. In all cases where it has not been taken away or limited by any public rule for the greater good, that right is kept holy and incommunicable. Private law may override this right of property in a variety of ways. Distresses, executions, forfeitures, taxes, and so on are all examples of this, wherein everyone agrees to give up their rights for the sake of justice and the common good.
Every infringement of private property, no matter how little, is considered a trespass under English law. Every statement in trespass, when the defendant is called upon to account for bruising the grass and even walking on the soil, proves that no one may set foot on my land without my permission, and he is subject to an action, even if the harm is small. If he acknowledges it, he must demonstrate that any positive law has empowered or excused him as a reason.
The justification is presented to the judges, who will examine the books to see whether the justification can be supported by the language of the statutory law or by common law principles. If no excuse can be discovered or provided, the plaintiff must rely on the silence of the books as evidence against the defendant.
As a result, Lord Camden declared, which subsequently became accepted as a general principle, that the state may do only what is explicitly authorised by law, while the individual may do everything except what is prohibited by law. Entick filed a lawsuit against the messengers for trespassing on his property.
In English law, the decision established the limitations of executive power: the state may only act legally in ways that are specified by legislation or common law.
It was also part of the history of the United States Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, and the Supreme Court of the United States called it “a great judgement,” “one of the landmarks of English liberty,” “one of the permanent monuments of the British Constitution,” and “a guide to an understanding of what the Framers meant when they wrote the Fourth Amendment.”
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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