Malice

In "Ferguson v Kinnoul" the Lord Chancellor said that a continued refusal to perform a ministerial act was sufficient evidence of malice and it was not necessary to demonstrate personal spite. He observed: "[M]alice in the legal acceptation of the word is not confined to personal spite against individuals, but consists in a conscious violation of the law to the prejudice of another." His concluding words were: "and it is a well-established maxim that everyone must be taken to intend the necessary consequences of his deliberate acts". In other words, he said that malice was used in two senses - first, where there was actual spite; and second, where there was a conscious or knowing abuse of office.