Bouviers Law Dictionary 1856 Edition
PUBLIC. By the term the public, is meant the whole body politic, or all the citizens of the state; sometimes it signifies the inhabitants of a
particular place; as, the New York public.
2. A distinction has been made between the terms public and general, they are sometimes used as synonymous. The former term is applied strictly to that which concerns all the citizens and every member of the state; while the latter includes a lesser, though still a large portion of the community. Greenl. Ev. Sec. 128.
3. When the public interests and its rights conflict with those of an
individual, the latter must yield. Co. Litt. 181. if, for example, a road is required for public convenience, and in its course it passes on the ground occupied by a house, the latter must be torn down, however valuable it may be to the owner. In such a case both law and justice require that the owner shall be fully indemnified.
4. This term is sometimes joined to other terms, to designate those things which have a relation to the public; as, a public officer, a public road, a public passage, a public house.
PUBLICATION. The act by which a thing is made public.
2. It differs from promulgation, (q.v.) and see also Toullier, Dr. Civ. Fr. Titre Preliminaire, n. 59, for the difference in the meaning of these two words.
3. Publication has different meanings. When applied to a law, it
signifies the rendering public the existence of the law; when it relates to the opening the depositions taken in a case in chancery, it means that liberty is given to the officer in whose custody the depositions of witnesses in a cause are lodged, either by consent of parties, or by the rules or orders of the court, to show the depositions openly, and to give out copies of them. Pract. Reg. 297; 1 Harr. Ch. Pr. 345; Blake's Ch. Pr. 143. When it refers to a libel, it is its communication to a second or third person, or a greater number. Holt on Libels, 254, 255, 290; Stark. on Slander, 350; Holt's N. P. Rep. 299; 2 Bl. R. 1038; 1 Saund. 112, n. 3. And when spoken of a will, it signifies that the testator has done some act from which it can be concluded that he intended the instrument to operate as his
will. Cruise, Dig. tit. 38, c. 5, s. 47; 3 Atk. 161; 4 Greenl. R. 220; 3
Rawle, R. 15; Com. Dig. Estates by devise, E 2. Vide Com. Dig. Chancery, Q; Id. Libel, B 1; Ibid. Action upon the case for defamation, G 4; Roscoe's Cr. Ev. 529; Bac. Ab. Libel, B; Hawk. P. C. B. 1, c. 73, s. 10; 3 Yeates' R. 128; 10 Johns. R. 442. As to the publication of an award, see 6 N. H. Rep. 36. See, generally, Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
PUBLICITY. The doing of a thing in the view of all persons who choose to be present.
2. The law requires that courts should be open to the public, there can therefore be no secret tribunal, except the grand jury (q.v.) and all judgments are required to be given in public.
3. Publicity must be given to the acts of the legislature before they can be in force, but in general their being recorded in a certain public office is evidence of their publicity. Vide Promulgation; Publication.
PUBLISHER. One who does by himself or his agents make a thing publicly known; one engaged in the circulation of books, pamphlets, and other papers.
2. The publisher of a libel is responsible as if he were the author of it, and it is immaterial whether he has any knowledge of its contents or not; 9 Co. 59; Hawk. P. C. c. 73, Sec. 10; 4 Mason, 115; and it is no justification to him that the name of the author accompanies the libel. 10 John, 447; 2 Moo. & R. 312.
3. When the publication is made by writing or printing, if the matter be libelous, the publisher may be indicted for a misdemeanor, provided it was made by his direction or consent, but if he was the owner of a newspaper merely, and the publication was made by his servants or agents, without any consent or knowledge on his part, he will not be liable to a criminal prosecution. In either case he will be liable to an action for damages sustained by the party aggrieved. 7 John. 260.
4. In order to render the publisher amenable to the law, the
publication must be maliciously made, but malice will be presumed if the matter be libelous. This presumption, however, will be rebutted, if the publication be made for some lawful purpose, as, drawing up a bill of indictment, in which the libelous words are embodied, for the purpose of prosecuting the libeler; or if it evidently appear the publisher did not, at the time of publication, know that the matter was libelous as, when a person reads a libel presence of others, without beforehand knowing it to be such. 9 Co. 59. See Libel; Libeler; Publication.