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A Treatise on the Law of Negligenoo. By HORACE SMITH, B.A., of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and of the Inner Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Stevens & Sons. 1880.
This is a book of modest dimensions, which, nevertheless, contains a great deal of useful information on the subject of Negligence. The author divides his subject into three classes, viz., neglect of duties requiring—(r) ordinary; (2) more than ordinary; and (3) less than ordinary care. These divisions are in their turn sub-divided into sections, each section dealing with a particular class of circumstances, such as duties by owners of dangerous goods, duties of gas companies, duties by carriers, by owners of ships, &c. We may safely say that in the compilation of this book the author has not been guilty of negligence, but, on the contrary, has given proof of considerable care and attention. There is evidence of a due appreciation of the various subjects under discussion, and of an accurate knowledge of the law which he has undertaken to expound. It is a pity, however, that at p. 44, Mr. Horace Smith did not elaborate the proposition concerning the keeping of infectious animals a little more fully, particularly as in Mallet v. Mason (35 L.J. C.P. 229) the defendant was held liable for the loss of cows of the plaintiff, infected through a deceased cow of the defendant, notwithstanding that a jury had found that he was not aware of the disease. Again, the term under-servant, somewhat forcibly put forward at p. 65, has rather the appearance of having been coined for the occasion, for it neither has sufficient recognition as a legal phrase to warrant its employment, nor does the Law Report, quoted in support of the argument, make use of the word. But all these faults are trivial, and we shall hope to see ere long a new and improved‘edition of this useful book.
We were at first somewhat at a loss how to class this fresh production of an already somewhat teeming legal press. We knew that Sir Edward Vaughan Williams might be said to have covered the whole ground, and we wondered a little where Mr. Stuart Macaskie was making his breach in the hedge of works on the Law of Executors and Administrators. We have come to the conclusion that he has written for the class specially interested in knowing this branch of law, i.e., those who have to perform the duties enjoined by it, and who are usually laymen. This work, which is a useful one, Mr. Macaskie seems to have done in generally simple language, carefully supported by reference to decided cases. We should prefer the plain “ woman ” to the somewhat artificial “lady," in the author’s text. On page 44, we should have deleted the first “ that," after “ But it has been held," in the sentence embodying the principle of Hervey v. Fitzpatrick. And on page 104, there is a very obvious slip of the pen or press in the sentence, “ Where an annuity is give to an executor.” Of course, we do not for a moment suppose that these little blemishes of style are other than accidental, and we point them out chiefly because there is no list of errata, so that they have evidently escaped the author's eye. The book will be acceptable as a guide to a large, and often rather helpless class of persons.
The Testamentary and Succession Laws of the Rejtablic of Chili. Translated and edited by WILLIAM GRAIN, Notary Public. H. Sweet. 1880.
Even after their recent great victory, we should not altogether care to have a succession opening at the present moment in the Republic of Chili; but if such a windfall- were to befall us, we should be very glad of the assistance which such a work as the present would afford us. Mr. Grain deserves praise for the pains which he has bestowed upon what is, but too frequently, the somewhat thankless task of bringing an expert‘s knowledge to bear upon a complicated branch of private international law.
The Law of Italy relating to Concessions, Railways and Tramways, Expropriation, and Companies. Translated and annotated by CHARLES VVOODWARD WALLIS, M.A., of the Middle Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Stevens & Sons. 1880.
This little work deals with a large and important subject, or rather group of subjects. It seems a pity, considering the wide interest felt on what is, to a great extent, the law relating to investments, that Mr. Wallis did not annotate more fully. In our view, such a book, to be thoroughly satisfactory, ought to partake of the character of a study in Comparative Legislation. Still, we cannot but be glad that the English investor, generally innocent of any knowledge of either the Italian language or the Italian law, should have in Mr. Wallis a guide to whom he may look for the legal provisions which govern his status as a shareholder. The whole question of Company Law, as prevailing in the principal countries of the Continent, was very carefully gone into, and very keenly discussed at the International Congress of Commerce and Industry, at Brussels, last September. A special letter to the President was circulated by an Italian member, Com. Carotti, on obligatory notification of their trade name (raison sociale) by Firms, proposed in several Italian Draft Laws. It struck us that many suggestions were made at Brussels of value to ourselves, no less than to our Continental friends. We would ask Mr. Wallis whether it would not have been well to have rendered “[>eriti" by “ experts," adding “as assessors," or “ as valuers,” according to the circumstances, rather than to render it sometimes by “assessors ” and sometimes by “ valuers." And we cannot help thinking that “ Vis Major” would have been a better sub
stitute for “ forza maggiore ” than the highly technical English, “Act of God.”
SMALLER Booxs AND PAMPHLETS.
In a slim volume of one hundred pages, Mr. Hastings Kelke, M.A., of Lincoln's Inn, has produced a compact Digest of the Law of Practice under the Yudicature Acts and Rules (Stevens and Haynes, 1880), in which he has recorded the gist of all important practice cases in the Chancery and three Common Law Divisions, decided with reference to the Judicature Acts, in immediate connection with the portions of the Acts and Rules themselves which they interpret. Notwithstanding the necessarily condensed and abbreviated form in which the author’s statements are cast, they are very clear, and are methodically arranged. Within a small compass he has compressed the result of much labour and care, and we believe this little tractate will be found useful alike by students and by the general practitioner. A marginal analysis would have materially aided facility of reference.
An Ejtitome of the Laws of Probate and Divorce, by Mr. Carter Harrison, Solicitor (Stevens and Haynes, 1880), provides for Articled Clerks, reading for the “ Final,” a sufliciently clear and comprehensive account of the origin and nature of the existing law on the subject of which it treats. It will form a useful introduction to the larger text-books.
Mr. Eddis, Q.C., has done good service both to those who had, and those who had not the opportunity of hearing his lectures at the Inns of Court, by throwing into the shape of a. substantive work, his valuable course on the Administration of Assets in Payment of Debts (Stevens and Sons, 1880), delivered in 1876. The learned Professor has compressed into the short space of barely more than a hundred-and-fifty pages, an amount of doctrine as well as practice, which will fit the reader who masters the contents to deal with many a knotty point in that great division ofjurisprudence which we still call Equity.
The Case of Ireland Stated (Chapman & Hall, 1881), by Mr. T. De Courcy Atkins, B.A., Barrister-at-Law, is a “ Tract for the Times," deserving of careful perusal. The author has devoted his energies to tracing historically the evolution of the distress which underlies much of the present agitation. His resume of Irish history is graphic as well as terse, and he has no difficult task in proving that the growth of the native civilisation was arrested by the Anglo-Norman Conquest, while the AngloNorman element itself was not so firmly seated that it could consolidate and develop as in England. For a remedy, the outlook does not seem very hopeful. “It is vain," says Mr. De Courcy Atkins, “ to talk of meeting such a state of things . . . by the three F’s." But failing them, what has he to propose? First and foremost, the creation of peasant proprietorships; secondly, the “three F’s.” It is obvious, however, that no class of proprietors can be created in a day, and Mr. Atkins should, we think, turn his attention to some immediately feasible palliation. We do not imagine that it could be anything more than a palliative. Time, and the rigorous administration of 'even-handed justice, combined with a really national education,
‘can alone restore peace.
“" Pressure on our space compels us to postpone several Reviews, as well as our “Select Cases."
THE so-called treaties of guarantee to which England
is a party are very numerous. At the present time, England is liable to be called upon by at least ten European and two American Powers, to fulfil engagements of the most varied and yet of the most doubtful nature—entered into under circumstances which in many cases now no longer exist. The country is bound to maintain powerful States in the possession of territory, and small nationalities in the enjoyment of their privileges; at one time we have constituted ourselves the guardian of a Nation's independence, and at another we have undertaken to prevent any infringement of a State’s neutrality. Some of our engagements are absolute, others conditional——some are joint, others several. And as if to complicate our position as much as possible, the terms of many treaties are couched in language so vague and so indefinite, that it is alrhost impossible to say what we are bound to do ourselves, or what we can call on the other signatories to perform.
Before enumerating or discussing the treaties of guarantee binding on England, it is necessary to point out the loose and inaccurate manner in which the word “ guarantee" is often used. The modern treaty of guarantee is not a guarantee in the strict and proper sense of the term. It is
really a treaty of alliance, and several writers on inter