Sentence Examples with the word legal fiction

This diversity of jurisdiction, and subjection of the clergy only to the sentences of judges bribed by their esprit de corps to judge leniently, led to the adoption of a scale of punishments for the offences of clerks avowedly much lighter than that which was inflicted for the same crimes on laymen; and this in turn led to the survival in England, long after the Reformation, of the curious legal fiction of benefit of clergy (see below), used to mitigate the extreme harshness of the criminal law.

Properly speaking, tenancy at sufferance is not a tenancy at all, inasmuch as if the landlord acquiesces in it, it becomes a tenancy at will; and it is to be regarded merely as a legal fiction which prevented the rightful owner from treating the tenant as a trespasser until he had himself made an actual entry on or had brought an action to recover the land.

Prejudice and real or imaginary legal obstacles stood in the way of the erection of episcopal sees in the colonies; and though in the 17th century Archbishop Laud had attempted to obtain a bishop for Virginia, up to the time of the American revolution the churchmen of the colonies had to make the best of the legal fiction that their spiritual needs were looked after by the bishop of London, who occasionally sent commissaries to visit them and ordained candidates for the ministry sent to England for the purpose.