Page images

really so bad as this. Principles are clearly stated from time to time, and are accepted into the body of the law by a common consciousness. They are a necessary evolution from principles received before, and in their turn take part in generating new ones. But these are all conceived as involved and implied in the precedents, and the rules derived from this source are the only judge-made laws which the English system admits, nor will the Courts consciously go beyond it. Their wishes at times give a colour to their reasonings which has a very beneficial effect; but more often the safety and simplicity of adhering to a hard-and-fast rule makes judges the weakest of legislators.

Mr. Clarke himself shews how, even at an early stage, when the Courts are least hampered by a course of decisions, the aid of legislation may be necessary to compel or to enable them to fulfil their intended purpose. "Before the statute of Westminster II.” he says, “ The law-courts had become so set in their procedure . . . . that they often declared certain new-fangled writs of no effect," although their whole jurisdiction, not very long before, had expended itselfin giving effect to such newfangled writs. Actions on the case arose out of the new legislation, but these again “ became curtailed by the force of judicial precedent and conservatism.” It took some centuries to establish that where there was an injury to a legal right "action on the case lay if no other remedy was provided.” But what was a right, what was an injury, for this purpose was determined by the practice of the Courts. They failed to enlarge their remedies in proportion to the expanding needs of the community ; and equity, making a law for itself, had to fill the gap which timely and persevering legislation would have prevented or effectually closed. Like causes still produce like effects. Poverty, fiction, perplexity, must follow when all ostensibly rests on precedent. Legislation is indispensable to shake off the husks of antiquity: it is more effective as it is more systematic : and as it thus embraces a well-defined group of subjects organically connected so it grows into a code.

R. W.

The Law relating to the Administration of Charities under the Charitable Trusts Acts, 1853-1894, and the Local Government Act, 1894. By THOMAS BOURCHIER-CHILCOTT, of the Middle Temple, Barrister-at-Law. London : Stevens and Haynes. 1898. Pp. 367.

This is a careful edition of the principal statutes, eleven in number, which deal with the general subject of the administration of charities. It is a matter in which it behoves all those concerned to study the law carefully : and a layman who approaches the consideration of it for the first time will find much to amaze him in Mr. Bourchier-Chilcott's pages. But we have not been able to discover any inaccuracy in his statements, which fairly put before the reader what it is that the legislature has done. Other analogous Acts, such as the Endowed Schools Acts, are alluded to but not included in the text, since they do not fall strictly within the province of the work. The book contains all that is ordinarily needed on questions of charityadministration : and it is not overloaded with any irrelevant matter.

The Hudson Bay Company's Land Tenures and the Occupation of Assiniboine. By Archer Martin, Esq., of the Canadian Bar. London: Wm. Clowes & Sons, Limited. 1898. Pp. 238. Price 155.

We have here a valuable addition to the history of the land tenures of the world. This is a side of the world's history in which there is much wasted labour. It often happens, both in our own country and abroad, that for the purposes of litigation almost infinite pains are taken to ascertain the exact history of this or that piece of land and of the legal rights which existed in regard to it at different periods. This minute investigation, made for a special object and at the cost of persons peculiarly interested in such special object, often attracts no attention from outsiders. Even if the matter comes into Court, nine-tenths of the historical information gained is never proved, or, if proved, is passed by as not being of the essence of the matter; in still more numerous instances the dispute is settled out of Court. If all the enquiries made by lawyers and experts at such a time, and their results could be collected, no side of the world's history would be more fully explored than the legal history of the tenure of land. But ordinarily both legal advisers and clients throw the whole enquiry aside as soon as the practical dispute between the parties is determined. Mr. Martin, of the Canadian Bar, is an exception. The lights thrown by enquiries made for a purpose upon the general history of Manitoba appeared to him to be too valuable to be lost, when the causus belli was removed. They were wanted to illumine history; and they were of practical importance at the same time. As Domesday book is sometimes consulted in enquiries into title in this country, so must the comparatively modern records of the

Hudson's Bay Company occasionally afford assistance in the land disputes which are determined in the Courts where Mr. Martin practices; and in his own words, “Even now uneasy lie the heads of many landowners in one of the most valuable resident portions of Winnipeg, because of the outstanding interest of a poor and half-bred girl who long ago went to the Saskatchewan, but may unconsciously have left her children a rich inheritance.” How this condition of affairs arose and why the uncertainty remains are questions which it is the function of Mr. Martin's story to answer. And it is a very interesting narrative which he gives in answering them.

Ruling Cases; Arranged, Annotated, and Edited. By Robert Campbell, M.A., Barrister-at-Law, with American notes by IRVING BROWNE. Vol. XV. Judge-Landlord and Tenant. London : Stevens and Sons, Ltd. Boston, U.S.A. : The Boston Book Co. 1898. Pp. 811.

The most important part of the present volume consists in the cases relating to the law of landlord and tenant. These are well selected, and with the cases previously given under the heads of “deeds,” “dilapidations,” and “distress," form an excellent collection of ruling cases in a department of law which depends more than does the law of most other departments upon the precedents established by such ruling cases.

Employers' Liability and Workmen's Compensation. By THOMAS Beves, Barrister-at-Law. London: Waterlow Bros. and Layton, Ltd. 1898. Pp. 326.

The leading authority on the law of negligence, who once published a small volume on the Employers' Liability Act of 1880, has now turned his attention to the recent legislation on the subject. The book is a useful compendium of the statute law which now prevails, and the common law is most admirably summed up in a series of short propositions which precede the statutes.

The Law of Wills for Students. By Melville MADISON Bigelow, Ph.D., Harvard. Boston: Little, Brown & Co. 1898. Pp. 398.

This work is rather theoretical than practical: and yet its method differs from the ordinary methods of jurisprudence. The theory of law advanced by the author is not a theory of what it is right and fitting that the law should say: but it is an attempt to state the theory upon which the law in fact came into being : and the illustrations of principle have been extracted from the words and decisions of judges with great skill. A student will find it much more interesting to read than the ordinary text-book upon the subject : and, if he turns to the pages of Jarman, referred to from time to time, in order to understand what the practical effect of the law upon different subjects is, he will have the advantage of learning the law from the two books in a most pleasant fashion.

A Treatise on Marine, Fire, Life, Accident and all other Insurances, including mutual benefit societies, covering also general average, and so far as applicable rights, remedies, pleading, practice and evidence. In four volumes. By Joseph A. Joyce. San Francisco: Bancroft-Whitney Company. 1897. Pp. 3,963.

From San Francisco comes this enormous treatise in which the author has written as many pages on the law of insurance as Blackstone did upon the whole law of England. We do not know of any text-book devoted to one particular department of law which has been carried out upon so colossal a scale. But the labour is not wasted. The subject of insurance happens to be one which has never been treated by an English writer upon comprehensive lines. The treatise of Sir Joseph Arnold on Marine Insurance is doubtless a valuable work: but it is possible in following Mr. Joyce's pages to obtain a much wider view of the whole subject. Marine insurance is merely one species among the many. It is the most important, indeed, and historically it dates to a much older date than any other kind of insurance. Marine insurance was always of greater value to merchants than any other kind of insurance, because risks at sea are greater than any other risks. To have read this book is to understand the law relating to every species of insurance. And it forms an encyclopædia of all the cases, English as well as American, which concern insurance litigation and matters incidental thereto.

The Law of Licensing in England, so far as it relates to the retail sale of intoxicating liquors, and as to theatres and music halls, with a full appendix of statutes and forms. By JOHN Bruce WILLIAMSON, Barrister-at-Law. London: Wm. Clowes and Sons, Limited. 1898. Pp. 607.

The full appendix of statutes here alluded to contains sixtytwo enactments, all of which certainly have their bearing upon the subject. It is a very serious matter for those concerned to have to deal with such a vast mass of statute-law as this. Mr. Williamson's edition, with its sixty pages of index, will afford real assistance to those who are charged with carrying out this complicated body of law. The statutes are not annotated with references to decided cases: but the case-law in its more important bearings is carefully considered in the earlier part of the book, which contains a general exposition of licensing law.

The Law of Crimes and Criminal Procedure, including forms and precedents. By Lewis Hochheimer, of the Baltimore Bar. Baltimore : Harold B. Scrimger. 1897. Pp. 612.

A very cursory statement is here given of the law of crimes and criminal procedure, as established in the United States and administered in the state and national tribunals. The author is evidently a well-read lawyer, who knows the ancient sources of the old English common-law as well as the recent statutes of his own country. English lawyers will read the law depending upon the latter with interest, but will sometimes wish for rather fuller statements. For instance, the author tells us:—"Under federal and various state statutes the person accused is now at his own request, but not otherwise, a competent witness; but his failure to testify creates no presumption against him. If the accused elects to become a witness, he is legally in the attitude of any other witness. His interest may be taken into consideration in weighing his testimony, but no comment may be made upon his failure to testify. His testimony must be left to the jury like that of any other witness, without comment from the Court tending to discount it by reason of his situation.” There are questions innumerable which we could ask upon this matter. But the above is the author's whole statement. So throughout the work too much has been sacrificed to brevity. But this is not a hostile criticism : the propositions of law are good and clear : it is only that we wish there were more of them. Perhaps a future edition will fulfil this desire.

« PreviousContinue »