THE ADVOCATE 359
VOL. 78 PART 3 MAY 2020
as the Full Court, could review such verdicts, but the
grounds were narrower (see n 9, above).
43. This was the Hamasak case in 1889. Hamasak had
pleaded guilty before the Indian agent who had
arrested him and who then sentenced him to six
months’ imprisonment. According to this agent, Begbie’s
ruling rendered the law banning the potlatch “a
dead letter” by holding that the reference to the potlatch
in it was so vague that it was virtually impossible
for a defendant to know what he was being
accused of and therefore to plead properly. See Douglas
Cole & Ira Chaikin, An Iron Hand Upon the People:
The Law Against the Potlatch on the Northwest
Coast (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1990), quoting
the judgment at 35–36. The law was tightened
up to address Begbie’s criticism of it after his death.
44. Quoted in Williams, “Sam Greer”, supra note 21 at
45. Ibid at 24–25.
46. Ibid at 25, quoting various sources. The author
claims that Premier Robson intervened to release the
four innocent persons, but this was in 1869–70,
when Robson was on the Legislative Council. He did
not become premier until 1889, nearly 20 years
47. Ibid at 27.
48. See the text accompanying n 11, above.
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