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edition, fallen very much behindhand in its exposition of current law. Not only did it suffer from the ordinary defects of an old edition—the absence of all reference to the more recent casesbut the branch of the law of which it treats had also been subjected to statutory emendations and reforms of a most extensive character. Changes in the law relating to Judgments, Registration, Bills of Sale, Bankrupts and Married Women, have all been carried out within that period, and it has also witnessed the Acts with which the names of Locke-King, Lord St. Leonard's and Lord Cranworth, are especially associated ; as well as the considerable modification in the law as to the Administration of Assets which has taken place. The task, therefore, which Mr. Mackeson found before him, was not so much that of an editor as of an author, and he has produced a book which, while nominally a new edition of “ Coote” is practically a new work from the pen of Mr. Mackeson. The author, as we shall prefer to call him, has evidently not been sparing of labour or care in carrying out his design. The old arrangement of the chapters has been retained, but the varied and extensive subject-matter has received a more logical treatment than formerly. We still think that greater pression would have been possible and desirable ; but there can be no doubt that the work is most comprehensive in its scope and exhaustive in its treatment, and that it affords to the practitioner a mine of valuable and trustworthy information conveniently arranged and clearly expressed. The short summaries of the results of cases and statutes interspersed at the end of many of the chapters constitute a valuable feature of the work. The table of cases alone covers 89 pages closely printed in double columns. The contents and index are very full and satisfactory.
Foreign Judgments. Part II. The effect of an English Judgment Abroad. By FRANCIS Taylor Piggott, M.A., LL.M., of the Middle Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Stevens & Sons. 1881.
We are glad to be able to draw the attention of our readers to Mr. Piggott's continuation of his important book, of which we noticed the first instalment in the Law Magazine and Review for November, 1879. Having devoted a substantive article to the question-Law Magazine and Review for August, 1879, as well as one by Mr. Pigott himself in our number for November, 1880,
say but little here in proof of the value which we attach to the thorough discussion of this widely interesting subject. Mr. Piggott, in his present volume, brings together a mass of details which it would be difficult to find elsewhere in our legal literature stated in so concise and accurate a form. From the United Kingdom the author soon passes to its Colonies, and here we see he has duly noted the progress of international legislation, tending to the simplification, if not unification, of practice, pending the arrival of the day to which he looks forward, when “one Imperial Statute shall bind together all the many Courts acknowledging the appellate supremacy of the Privy Council and the House of Lords." The discussion of Colonial Law leads to the citation of some interesting and, as it seems to us, rather remarkable judicial decisions. Thus, in Evanturel v. Evanturel (L.R. 6 P.C. 1), it was held that the Roman Law in force in the province of Lower Canada was that of the Theodosian Code, which, therefore, with the law of the Antonines, " ought to prevail over that of Justinian in countries governed by the Code of Paris" (cf., Symes v. Cuvillier, L.R. 5 App. Ca. 138). But what is this “Code of Paris?" Is it not the “ Droit Coutumier," as embodied in the decisions of the Parliament of Paris ? Is it then really a Code at all? And did the Privy Council mean to assert that Justinian's reform of the law was never accepted in the western division of the Empire, or, at the least, that Gaul was always an exception to the general rule ? Yet the school of Angers taught that law in the tenth century, teste M. Caillemer. We should have been glad if Mr. Piggott had annotated these judgments, and given us his opinion upon them. As a matter of philology, we may remark that we do not understand why he writes “Coutûne," unless it be a following of Privy Council orthography, and not of that of the French language. Nor do we see on what grounds he translates “ Faroe” as “ Horse Isle.” The etymology and meaning of this name were both discussed, as far back as 1862, in Notes and Queries, Third Series, II., 23, (s. v. Færoe: Fairfield,) where will be found an extract from a letter of Professor Stephens, of Copenhagen, which certainly appears clearly to establish that “Færoe" means “Sheep Islands" and so we had always ourselves understood it. These points, however, lie somewhat outside the direct province of Mr. Piggott's book, and do not interfere with its general value as a work of reference of great and increasing utility,
Statute Law: the Principles which Govern the Construction and Operation of Statutes. By EDWARD WILBERFORCE, of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law. Stevens & Sons, 1881.
What is “Statute Law?” The answer may seem easy; but, in fact, it is not so. We are accustomed to oppose lex scripta, or Statute Law, to lex non-scripta, or Common Law, regarding the former as written and certain, the latter as so far uncertain, in that it resides solely in gremio judicum. Yet Lord Bacon, long ago, pointed out that “more doubts rise upon our Statutes, which are a text law, than upon the Common Law, which is no text law.” This uncertainty of Statute Law is due to various causes :-to the imperfection of all language, the special defects of the language and style of the Statutes themselves--defects which have now been considerably abated within the last few years, but which are still not wholly removed-but, above all, to the action of the Legislature itself, by which the best-drafted Bill is often so mutilated by hasty and ill-considered amendments as to render it inconsistent alike with itself and with the law which it professedly leaves untouched. Statute Law has, therefore, to be evolved from the statutes themselves by the Judges; and the Judge-made rules on the construction of statutes form consequently an important element in the formation of “Statute Law.” In accordance with this view, Mr. Wilberforce proposes to define it, as we think accurately, as “the will of the nation, expressed by the Legislature, expounded by Courts of Justice.”
Notwithstanding the time-honoured work of the late Sir Fortunatus Dwarris and the more recent treatise of Sir Peter Benson Maxwell on the Construction of Statute Law, which might seem to have fully occupied the field, we think there was room for a book such as this which Mr. Wilberforce has written. The idea of writing it was suggested to the author, he tells us, by the difficulty which he experienced in the course of practice, when some years ago he had occasion to search for cases bearing upon the subject. His object has been not merely to accumulate cases decided upon the words of particular statutes, but to "arrange in a logical order the leading principles by which Statute Law is governed, and to illustrate them, as far as possible, by a consistent chain of authorities.” The work is divided into seven chapters, treating respectively of 1. Statutes and Statute Law. 2. The Authority of Statutes. 3. The Construction of Statutes. 4. Their Operation. 5. The Various Kinds of Statutes. 6. The Several parts of a Statute; and 7.
The Repeal of Statutes. The subject matter of each chapter is methodically and clearly treated, and the author's statements of the law are lucid and terse. The ipsissima verba of decided cases are frequently incorporated in the text, and every assertion is supported by authority. We can recommend the book to the practitioner as a convenient and trustworthy guide.
Steer's Parish Law. Fourth Edition. By Walter Henry MACNAMARA, of the Inner Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Stevens and Sons. 1881.
The Parish is an ancient English unit, historically speaking, alike in Civil and Ecclesiastical Law. Like many other words famous in history, it has gone through not a few vicissitudes. At times it has to be read as the equivalent of the modern Diocese ; at times it has to be read in a sense wholly foreign to its ecclesiastical origin. A book on Parish Law might take up this "little republic" at its cradle, and trace it down the stream of English civil and ecclesiastical history. Such was not the plan adopted by Mr. Steer, nor has the present editor attempted so fundamental a change. A new edition was imperatively called for by the legislation of late years. It may be questioned whether a more entire re-casting would not have been the wiser course. As it is, much of the preliminary titles of the various sections consists of a conservative repetition of exploded antiquarian and philological, or rather pre-philological crotchets—quaint, no doubt, but scarcely useful. This is the more to be regretted as the work is a valuable one, and the subject remains important under whatever alterations of law and procedure. The chapter on Marriage might well be remoulded. A book of so wide and varied a bearing upon the concerns of everyday life will, we feel sure, repay the editor for making it Macnamara's Parish Law, based upon Steer.
Bankruptcy Law and Practice. By H. Wyatt Hart, of the Inner Temple, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Waterlow Bros., and Layton. 1880.
On the eve of the introduction of a Bill which must materially alter existing legislation on the subject, it might seem wasted labour to produce a work on Bankruptcy Law. But the difficulties which have hitherto obstructed the passage of such a measure, and the fact that any new law must incorporate
a considerable portion of the old, combine to give a raison d'étre to Mr. Wyatt Hart's book. It is not a treatise, or a text-book on the subject, but for the most part an annotated edition of the Act of 1869 (32 & 33 Vict., c. 71 ;) and is suited rather to the practitioner than the student. The framework, roughly speaking, consists of two parts; the first includes the Act of 1869, with its sections noted and interpreted by judicial decisions; the general rules made in pursuance of the Act; and a schedule of forms; the second, an appendix, embraces certain statutes and rules dealing with cognate subjects, such as the Act for the abolition of imprisonment for debt (32 & 33 Vict., c. 62), &c., besides a useful list of those County Courts which have and those which have not Bankruptcy jurisdiction. This is a good arrangement in accordance with the scope of the work, for while the principal statute is discussed by itself, a ready and easy reference is provided to such matters as are of almost equal importance, and are daily discussed in courts having bankruptcy jurisdiction. Whether or not Mr. Wyatt Hart has chosen the best method for his exposition of the law is a different question. However that may be, he has shown an intimate knowledge of the case-law of his subject, and has honestly and with considerable success faced the difficulties occasioned by the obscure wording of some of the sections, and the conflicting interpretations put upon them. The more important sections, such as secs. 6, 15,23, 31, 40, 125 and 126, are carefully noted and discussed ; and his illustrative propositions are generally accurate. A systematic ordering of the cases under each particular head, and some underlying principle deducible from each set of similar decisions would have rendered this work still more useful ; but the former requirement is, in a great measure, met by a very ample and accurate index. Care and industry are conspicuous throughout this book, to which members of both branches of the profession may safely have recourse, as furnishing in a clear and concise form all leading and recent expositions of this complicated subject. We think that the publishers would have done better had they produced the book in a more pleasing form as to shape and style of binding; it is too long to be handy; in the portions containing the forms there are several almost blank pages, which if properly utilised, would have prevented an unnecessary increase of size. This defect might easily be remedied in a future edition.