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tally with facts is, therefore, of such a magnitude, that little or no opposition can be found to them in history, with reference to the question now before us. History commences with the fact of law being identical with the power of the sovereign, continues with it in the undercurrent of political thought, and finally ends with it as an observed ostensible fact. It is no more possible to detach from its surrounding history any particular example of sovereignty and offer it up for opposition, in its isolated form, to the Austinian definition of law and sovereignty, than it is possible to make the mathematical assertion that a part is equal to its whole. If we replace Sir Henry Maine's example in the niche from whence he took it, we shall find, as I have endeavoured to show, that it fits closely, in its own time and place, into that great system to which it belongs. We shall find that it has relations with early systems and with later systems, and all these ramifications of the subject must be considered and investigated before admitting its value for the important function of serving as an example to be used in considering a question which belongs, not to an isolated period, but to the whole realm of man's history.
G. LAURENCE GOMME.
V.-A NEW INDEX TO THE STATUTE LAW: A
FRESH STEP TOWARDS A CODE.
E are glad to be able to lay before our readers v indubitable evidence that the work of codification is passing out of the region of theory into the domain of fact. And one of the most encouraging features in the case is that high Parliamentary officials, as well as distinguished scientific Jurists, have taken up the question and made it their own. There has already been issued, in conjunction with the Revised Statutes, still in course of publication, a “ Chronological Table and Index to the Statutes,” down to the close of the Session of 1874. There is now in preparation, for the volume to be published next year, a far more extensive undertaking, worthy to be called, in the apt language of the Parliamentary Counsel, “ a detailed plan for a Code.” It is no secret, we believe, that Sir Henry Thring has long had such a work in contemplation, and a perusal of his “ Instructions," which we print with the relative specimens, will show the accuracy, the care, and the thoughtful mapping out of the field with which he has prepared the way for its successful accomplishment. Acting in concert with, and under the direction of the Statute Law Committee, comprising, besides himself, Sir J. G. Shaw Lefevre, Sir T. Erskine May, Sir H. Sumner Maine, and other well-known men, Sir Henry Thring has caused specimens of an Index to be drawn up, in accordance with his “Instructions,” by Mr. Charles Sumner Maine, and Mr. Gerald A. R. Fitzgerald, the former taking the title “ Coroner," and the latter “ Public Health.” These specimens, revised and amended by the Committee, we also print, for they have an intrinsic value apart from that which belongs to them as a decided step towards a Code. Such work is, indeed, an indispensable preliminary, and those members of the legal profession who may be employed upon it may rest assured that the most thoughtful and eminent leaders of the Bar and the Senate will re-echo the wise words with which Sir Henry Thring concludes his Instructions: “Next to Codification, the most difficult task that can be accomplished is to prepare a detailed plan for a Code, as distinct from the easy task of devising a theoretical system of codification. Now, the preparation of an Index such as has been suggested in the Instructions, is the preparation of a detailed plan for a Code. Each effective title is, in effect, a plan for the codification of the legal subject-matter grouped under that title, and the whole Index, if completed, would be a summary of a Code arranged in alphabetical order.” It is proposed, we understand, that next year's edition of the Index to the Revised Edition of the Statutes shall contain about fifteen specimen titles, similar to those which have been prepared by Messrs. Maine and Fitzgerald, or so many as the very limited sum at the disposal of the Committee, not more than £200, we believe, will admit. These titles will comprise, among others, the important subjects of Evidence, Public Health, Companies, Sheriffs, Coroner, Municipal Boroughs, Merchant Shipping, Justice of the Peace, Sessions, Ecclesiastical Commissioners, Lunacy, Post Office, and Railways. The names of the draftsmen are to be published in the preface to the work which, so far as those titles are concerned, will be substantially a new one, as anyone may judge for himself who takes the trouble to compare the titles“ Coroner" and “Public Health,” in the Index of 1874, with the chronological and analytical Indices elaborated by Mr. C. S. Maine and Mr. G. A. R. Fitzgerald. This valuable work has been excellently begun and under the most favourable auspices; it is earnestly to be hoped that Parliament will exercise a fitting liberality in its grants,
so as to help forward the completion of a monument “ære perennius.”
INSTRUCTIONS FOR INDEX TO THE STATUTE Law. The basis of an index to a book of the ordinary kind is a series of titles or catch-words arranged in alphabetical order and indicative of the main topics treated of in the book.
Of these titles a certain number, which may be called effective titles, have underwritten a list of referential explanations of the subject-matter comprised under the description of the title, marking the sub-divisions of that subject matter and the pages of the book in which each subdivision is to be found. The sub-divisions are, in important cases, grouped under separate headings and sub-headings adapted to classify the generality of the subject matter described by the titles, and to facilitate the finding the separate references.
Titles which have underwritten references only to effective titles may be called cross titles. Their use is to lead the inquirer to the effective title under which the required information is to be found, it being impossible to select the effective titles in such a manner as to suit the varying ideas of inquirers as to the catchword which most aptly includes a large group of references.
Taking the accompanying specimen Index, “Public Health," as an example; “Public Health," is the effective title; “Health, Public,” “Local Board,” “Local Government," and so forth, are the cross titles; “Sanitary Powers and Duties," and so forth, are headings; "sewage, &c.” “ water,” and so forth, are sub-headings; while the explanations under the sub-headings are the references.
This nomenclature will be always observed in these Instructions.
The object of an index is to indicate the place in a book or collection of books in which particular information is to be found. Such an index is perfect in proportion as it is concise in expres. sion, whilst exhaustive in its indication of every important topic of the subject to which it is an index.
Applying the foregoing nomenclature and the foregoing principles to an index to the Statute Law, it will be obvious that such an index differs in some important particulars from an index to an ordinary book.
First, it is not an index to a book, but an index to a collection of books.
Secondly, the volumes of the Statute Law do not form separate books to be indexed, but contain, as it were, a number of books or statutes which require in a greater or less degree to be separately indexed. The effective titles then of an index to the Statute Law may be considered each as a separate index to a separate book, the subject matter of the book being the statute or series of statutes containing the enactments relating to the subject-matter covered by the effective title.
Thirdly, the indexing under an effective title the subject matter of a variety of statutes involves two processes :(1.) The arrangement of the subject matter, and, consequently,
the determination of the meaning of the statutes to be
indexed; and (2.) The finding appropriate referential expressions to the
matter so arranged. Of these processes, the first, the arrangement in effect of the book, is in the case of an ordinary book performed by the author, while in the case of the Statute Law it must be performed by the index-maker, wherever the subject is complicated. In short, where an effective title deals with law which has not been scientifically consolidated, the index-maker assumes in a great measure the character of a writer, and must investigate the subject with the same care, and distribute the matter under appropriate heads with the same attention, as would be required if he were composing a treatise on the law to which such title relates, or were the draftsman of a bill consolidating that law.
The general scheme of an index to the Statute Book is to group under comparatively few effective titles the whole of the Statute Law, and to refer by cross titles to the sub-divisions of that Statute Law as found under the proper effective titles.
The selection and limitation of the particular subject-matter to be indexed under a particular effective title is a matter requiring careful consideration. As a rule, subjects which have usually been grouped together in the same Act or series of Acts should be arranged under the same effective title. For example, the enactments found in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, and its amending Acts, will be indexed under the head “Merchant Shipping," although those enactments contain provisions which logically would not find a place under that title. For the same cause, provisions falling properly under the heading “ Local Government” have been directed to be indexed in the specimen index under “Public Health.”
The reason for this arrangement is that practical convenience