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charges might be used as a pretence for punishing political offences. But in answer to this three things must be borne in mind. First, that by consenting to surrender at all, you do manifest a confidence in the due administration of justice in the courts of the country to which you deliver up the offender, and that it is only an extension of that confidence to trust to their dealing fairly with the trial of other offences. Second, the extradition could only take place upon proof of the commission of some grave non-political crime, so that the difficulty we are considering would only arise in the rare case where a person who had committed such a crime was also a political offender. And this is not the stuff out of which patriots and politicians are usually made. Third, the Americans themselves entertain similar feelings to our own with respect to the protection of political offenders, and are not likely I believe in practice to outrage this sentiment.
Whatever be the true construction of the existing treaty, I think it can hardly be disputed that, if it can be done without danger, it would be desirable to permit the trial for any of the extradition offences of a person surrendered for one of them, without the necessity of further proceedings.
As our extradition relations with America are about to undergo revision, and some modification of the treaty seems probable, it would be well to extend the list of crimes for which extradition may be required. I quite admit that extradition arrangements should be confined to grave crimes, but there are many offences of a very serious character which are excluded from the present treaty. Regret has more than once been expressed by the late Sir Thomas Henry—and I could cite no better authority on such a point-that there is no power to deliver up to America, for the purposes of justice, a person guilty of manslaughter, however aggravated its character. It has, unhappily, not been very rare for American vessels to arrive in our ports on board of which this offence as well as most serious cases of wounding have occurred; and I daresay the same thing has happened with
English vessels arriving at American ports. And yet no steps could be taken to punish the delinquents for want of any treaty arrangement between the two countries which touched these offences, and they have consequently enjoyed absolute immunity. So that it really comes practically to this, that against a large class of crimes committed on board English or American ships, when on the high seas, the law affords the unfortunate crew no protection whatever. Attention was called to this evil, as long ago as 1859, by your townsman, Mr. Henry Bright, and steps were in consequence taken in the House of Commons by Lord Houghton, which led to the preparation of a draft convention between Sir George C. Lewis and the United States Minister, Mr. Dallas. But shortly afterwards the Civil War broke out in America, and since then the matter has slumbered. The present time seems most opportune for reviving it. And I think it well deserves consideration whether a remedy more complete than extradition should not be resorted to in these cases, as that must, from the difficulty of furnishing the requisite evidence, be at best inefficient. Each country might, perhaps, entrust the punishment of extradition offences committed on the high seas to the Courts of the other when the vessel on which they were committed arrives in one of its ports. And any possible abuse would be sufficiently guarded against, if such a trial could only take place at the request of the Minister or Consul of the State to which the vessel belonged.
Let us hope that the question pending between the two countries may ere long be happily set at rest, and that the controversy may result in a settlement on some broader basis, and with more extended and beneficial provisions than before, for it is to our common interest that crime should not go unpunished, and that the protection of the criminal law should be as extensive in its domain as the possibility of its violation.
It may be thought by some that my Address has been
hardly befitting the dignity of my position on this occasion ; that as President of the Jurisprudence Department, I ought to have soared into higher regions, been more scientific and less practical. It must be remembered, however, that this department in terms concerns itself with the Amendment of the law, and that the object of this Association is, if I understand it aright, eminently practical. And it seems to me that there is no branch of social science where its services are more needed, and where it is calculated to effect more good, than in that which deals with the defects of our law and the direction which its amendment should take. It has, I know, often been thought strange that, with so many lawyers in the House of Commons, so little has been done in the way of removing evils which all intelligent members of the profession are conscious of and deplore. But those who may be apt to blame us for our inaction and want of public spirit are very little aware of what the attempt of a private member to carry even the simplest and most modest measure of reform involves. Let us suppose that a Bill has been introduced which commends itself to the good sense of almost the whole House, it is open to a single member to put down notice of opposition to the Bill : when this has been done it cannot be proceeded with after half-past twelve o'clock at night, and the member in charge of the Bill must remain in the House wearily waiting, on the chance that ere that hour arrives his turn may come, and his Bill be proceeded with. But he waits most likely in vain, the magic hour arrives before the Bill is reached, and there is nothing for it but to put it down on the order book for a subsequent evening and repeat the same process again. And he may have to repeat this process many a night ere the Bill is safely read a second time. Even when this has been done and its principle affirmed, he is still far from smooth water. There remain two, or probably three stages, at which the same tactics of opposition may be adopted, and the same weary watching be required. All this obstruction, too, may
be effected by a single stupid or obstinate member, and as I mention no names, I trust I shall be pardoned for saying that there are a few members who combine both these qualities. He must be a man of almost superhuman perseverance who, in spite of all this, carries his Bill, and not . unfrequently, after all his display of patience and perseverance, the member fails of his object at the last moment. The result is, that it is to the Government that we must look to introduce measures of law reform if they are to pass into law, and this is not a very hopeful prospect. Law reforms, as a rule, excite but little public interest; there is little credit or glory to be gained by passing them. With the Ministry, as with other people, the supply is apt to accommodate itself to the demand. Those measures are pressed forward for which there is some public cry, or which it is thought will gain some public applause. And thus more modest, but often more useful, reforms are thrust aside into a subordinate position, postponed, and often at last abandoned, for the sake of measures which seem to afford (and it is often little more than seeming) some immediate public benefit. For this I see no remedy-in the absence of a complete reform of the proceedings of the House, of which there seems no hope at present—but to excite, if it may be, public interest in the cause of law reform; to make it cease to be at all a lawyers' question, and to create a demand which the Ministry of the day shall find it to their interest to supply, If, for example, in this great commercial centre, men came to feel that it would be a great boon to have our law simply and intelligibly expressed in a Code, and set themselves to work in earnest to demand it, believe me, it would not be long before their object was attained. What this Association seeks to do, then, is to impress upon you the importance of such matters, and to induce you to bestir yourselves about them. You may thus give an impulse to public opinion of the most beneficial character, and create a force which will effectually carry through long-needed but long-neglected
reforms. If in any degree this result should follow from this meeting, it will not have been held in vain, and future Presi. dents, filling more worthily the position which I occupy today, may have not, as I have done, to lament almost despairingly the hopeless aspect of law reform, but to celebrate triumphs achieved, and rejoice over benefits won, which shall add to the security of life and person, property, and character, and increase the comfort and well-being of the nation.
II.-STUDIES THAT HELP FOR THE BAR.
PART III.-RHETORIC. T HAVE reserved the chief space of this final paper for the 1 subject of Rhetoric, but the subject would require a whole volume in order to discuss it fully. I may, however, be able in a limited number of pages to give some useful hints on it; and the strange dearth of serviceable treatises on this very important and interesting branch of forensic qualifications, gives me an additional reason for devoting as much attention to it as possible.*
• Some degree of skill in public spenking is desirable, and almost necessary," not only for the lawyer and the politician, but for every member of a free community, like the English, in which the system of local self-government is extensively prevalent; if he wishes to be able to protect his own interests, and those of his neighbours, and to exercise a fair share of influence over bis fellowmen. Indeed, it is frequently wanted even in private life, when a man has to stand up to make a complimentary statement or proposal about others, or to acknowledge similar compliments to himself. So, too, in literary and scientific discussions, the best informed person may totally fail in doing justice to the enbject, or to himseli, if he wants fluency and the power of arranging his arguments. An instructive anecdote as to this is told in Smiles's “Life of George Stephenson.” In endeavouring to inform a company of some point in engin. eering, he was encountered by a person who knew nothing about the subject, but who could readily and easily talk. The result was that Sterbenson, full of genias, but deficient in power of expressing himself, was completely beaten in the ergument. But, on explaining himself on the following day to Sir William Follett, that gentleman afterwards encountered his loquacious adversary, and so entirely overcame him that Stephenson remarked-"Of all the gifts ever given to man the gift of the gab is the best."