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WERNER AMRAM, M.A., LL.B., Member of the Philadelphia
Bar. Philadelphia : Edward Stern & Co., Inc. 1896.

The author tells us that in 1888 a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was tried in the Ecclesiastical Court of the Diocese of Pennsylvania, his chief offence being his second marriage after he had been divorced from his first wife because of her desertion, a ground of divorce not recognized by the Church. This led the writer to enquire into the Jewish law, for the purpose of understanding the relation of the two dissimilar texts, Deuteronomy xxiv., 1-4, and Matthew xix., 3-9. It is unnecessary to say that the work is most interesting, while the references to the Talmud throw a strong side-light of explanation on the Biblical text.

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The Institutions of Italy. By J. P. COLDSTREAM, Writer to the Signet. Westminster : Arch. Constable & Co. 1896.

In about 150 small pages the author has given us a concise exposition of the government, courts of justice, laws, religion, commerce, and trade of Italy. With regard to land, he tells us that there is no law of entail, and every owner can deal with land as he desires by testament, donation, or sale; that there is a well kept Register of Land Rights, in which the description and extent of every estate in land is recorded, and every deed of transfer or mortgage is required to be recorded in this Register. The book will well repay an attentive perusal.

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Lyou and Redman's Law of Bills of Sale. Fourth Edition. By JOSEPH HAWORTH REDMAN, of the Middle Temple, Barristerat-Law, London : Reeves and Turner. 1896.

The fact that this work has again passed into another edition is of itself evidence of the favour with which it is received by the profession. The editor says, and with truth, that the death of his former colleague in the work, Mr. Lyon, has thrown the entire responsibility on his shoulders. We are glad to find that he has adequately supplied the additions which new modifications of the law of Bills of Sale had rendered necessary, There is no doubt but that the jurisprudence on this subject is difficult; few counsel, and fewer solicitors still, understand anything about it. It is therefore a great desideratum for practitioners in the Law to have the means of obtaining so readily information, at once concisely explained and so trustworthy.

A Tabular Précis of Military Law, with Explanatory Notes. By Captain A. D. Furse, late and W. I. Regiment. London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd. 1896.

The author of this work has, as he tells us, compiled it for the use of candidates for the military examinations, and has derived a large volume of his information from the Official Manual of Military Law, as well as from Army Orders and the Queen's Regulations. As a mere handbook for military men, or for students at an Academy we do not object to it; it consists of some 40 tables, affording, by way of synopsis, a bird's-eye view of a particular subject, such as Summary of Evidence, Military Procedure, Courts Martial, etc. These tables are compiled with considerable skill, and evince care and much painstaking. They are adequately suited for the purpose for which they are intended ; but it must not be supposed by the legal practitioner, that the deep waters of Martial or of Military Law have been entered into.

Temple Bar" Magazine, of last August, contains a sketch of Lord Bramwell by John Macdonell, one of the Masters of the High Court of Justice; an article full of interest, and recalling to those, old enough to recollect them, the halcyon days of the Common Law Procedure Act.

Among periodicals we notice: The University Law Review, of New York; The American Law Review, of St. Louis, Mo.; The Harvard Law Review ; The Chicago Legal News; The Law Book News, of St. Paul, Minn.; The National Corporation Reporter, of Chicago; The American Law Register and Review ; The Canadian Law Times; The Western Law Times, of Canada ; The Madras Law Fournal; The Law Times, London ; The Law Journal, London ; Bulletin Mensuel de la Société de Législation Comparée ; Annuaire de Législation Française ; Annuaire de Législation Etrangère, Paris; Fournal du Droit International Privé; La Revue Générale ; Revue Bibliographique Belge; Case and Comment, Rochester, N.Y.; La Giustizia Penale, Rome.

THE

LAW MAGAZINE AND REVIEW.

No. CCCIII.--FEBRUARY, 1897.

Obiter

Dicta.

MR.

R. F. A. STRINGER, writing from the Royal Courts

of Justice, suggests that the English form of oath should no longer be adhered to, on the ground that the kissing of the Book causes danger to the person sworn, on account of disease being propagated by contagion. He would ask the Legislature to make the Scotch form of oath, i.e., lifting up the hand, take the place of the English form, power being already given by the Oaths Act, 1888 (51 & 52 Vict., c. 46), to all persons sworn in English Courts to adopt the Scotch form if they please. He says that persons are not aware of this right, as a rule. We should be sorry to see our ancient form of oath disappear. If the only difficulty be in the kissing of the Book, let the kissing be abolished ; that would end the difficulty, without

more.

It is by no means certain, however, that the kissing of the Book is of obligation. Sir Sherston Baker, Bart., Recorder of Barnstaple, writing to the Times under date of January 2nd, 1897, says:

Sir,-I am by no means certain that “kissing the Book” is of obligation for witnesses who swear according to the English form. In ancient times a large folio Bible containing the Gospels was placed upon a stand in the view of the prisoner. The jurymen, who occupied a space set apart in the Court, came forward, one by one, and placed their hands upon the

Book, and then the prisoner had a full view of the peer" who was to try him.

This was called the “corporal oath,” because the hand of the person sworn touched the Book.

Probably, out of reverence, the Book may have been kissed sometimes, as a Catholic priest now kisses the Book in the Mass; but I strongly doubt the kiss on the Book to be, or ever to have been, essential to the validity of the corporal oath.

At the last meeting of the Bar Association of the United States many distinguished speakers advocated the abolition of written instructions to juries; a practice which very seldom obtains in England, although it would appear to be common in the United States.

By a vote of nine to six the Benchers of the Law Society of Canada have decided not to allow Miss Martin, who had passed her final examination in law, to be called to the Bar, notwithstanding that the Legislature a year before, had passed an Act, allowing women to practise as Barristers conditional on their consent. She can, however, practise as a solicitor. There is one other woman on the books of the Law Society, viz. : Miss Powley, who is studying law at Port Arthur.

Judge Otis, of Chicago, is of opinion that there is as much crime committed there in one day as there is in all England in three days.

“Ex-Grand Juror Robert H. Parker,” says the Chicago Legal News of last December, “was fined 50 dols. for contempt of Court by Judge Hutchinson last Tuesday, and the fine was paid. Parker was held to be in contempt of Court on two counts, and an order was entered upon him in each to shew cause why he should not be punished. It

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was held by the Court that Parker was in contempt because of his visit to the grand jury room, after he had been drawn as a juror, and his examination there of the books of the clerk, in reference to a case to come before the jury. The supplemental alleged contempt was Parker's failure to answer the questions propounded to all jurors as to their qualifications to serve. Judge Hutchinson asked if any juror knew anything about any case that was to come before the jury, or knew any reason why he should not be a fit and proper person to serve.

Parker made no answer, although it afterwards developed that previous to being sworn, Parker had talked with Mr. Hulin, who was interested in case that

to come before the October grand jury. Mr. Hulin stated to the Court that Parker's action and conversation about the matter led him to the conclusion that a bribe was being solicited, and Parker said to him, 'Of course you want the man indicted,' with a significant nod of his head. Attorney Gisdell made an argument in defence of Parker, and Assistant State's Attorney Bottum urged that punishment was merited. In passing sentence, Judge Hutchinson said : Parker's motives were not, apparently, those of an honest man; his action diminished public confidence in the grand jury system. I shall fine him 50 dols., and he will stand committed until the fine is paid.'

Judge Hutchinson is entitled to the thanks of every honest man for his action in punishing this grand juror. Lives and property are not safe if either grand or petit jurors can be tampered with. The judges of our Courts have it in their power, largely, to secure better jurors if they will examine them closer as to their qualifications, and punish them for any wilful violation of their duty as jurors. There are a few who hang about the Courts and are sometimes called “jury fixers.' These animals are wild beasts of the worst kind, for they spare neither life

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