Page images

are necessary to constitute a tenancy in common. When the Criminal Code has become un fait accompli, we shall not despair of seeing our law of Real Property codified, and, in the process, simplified and further amended. Mr. Foster may be congratulated on having produced a very satisfactory vade-mecum on the Law of Joint Ownership and Partition. He has taken considerable pains to make his treatise practically useful, and has combined within the fifteen chapters into which his book is divided, brevity of statement with completeness of treatment. Much convenient information has been brought together in Appendix, comprising the Partition Acts, 1868 and 1876; Forms of Judgments and Orders in Actions (Mr. Foster still calls them “suits ") for Partition; the Inclosure Acts, 1845 to 1876, so far as they relate to Partition; Forms of Partition by Inclosure Commissioners; and an Index to Precedents of Instruments relating to Joint Ownership and Partition, extracted from Copinger's useful Index to Conveyancing Precedents.


A Digest of the Principles of the Law of Trusts and Trustees. By Henry GODEFROI, Barrister-at-Law. Stevens and Sons. 1879.

This book, though not a digest, its author explains, in the sense in which jurists use the term, is yet a collection, and almost solely a collection of what a Roman Jurist would have called “sententiæ et opiniones eorum quibus permissum est jura condere." From this point of view it is a work of great utility to the practitioner, especially as the Table of Cases cited gives reference to every series of Reports in which the cases will be found. This is a principle which we have constantly advocated, and which we are glad to see carried out in a book dealing with so important and at the present moment absorbing a question as that of the Law of Trusts and Trustees. The search after the principles of the law is now-a-days so much more in vogue than formerly that we have no doubt Mr. Godefroi's book will be consulted on both sides of the Tweed. Our readers may see for themselves how frequently we report that "English cases were cited” in the Court of Session. The wider the

range of the appeal to common legal principles, the better, we believe, will both advocates and suitors be satisfied. Mr. Godefroi's work is one which gives no scope for literary embellishments, but as a straightforward digest of legal principles it will be found a useful companion for Court and Chambers.

Smith's Law of Contracts. Seventh Edition. By VINCENT T. THOMPSON, M.A., of Lincoln's Inn, and of the North-Eastern Circuit, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. Stevens and Sons. 1878.

A seventh edition of this well-known work demands but little comment from us. Originally delivered in the form of lectures at the Law Institute in 1842, by the late Mr. John William Smith, the learned author of “ Leading Cases,” &c., and first published in 1846, the lapse of more than thirty years has only seemed to augment its popularity. The present editor while taking pains to bring the book up to the current state of the law by noting all legislative changes, and the effect of recent decided cases, has wisely refrained as much as possible from unduly increasing the bulk of the volume. His treatment of the very important changes in the law effected by the Factors' Act, 1877, and their relation to the previously decided cases of Fuentes v. Montis, Johnson v. Credit Lyonnais Co., fenkyns v. Usborne, and Van Casteel v. Booker (pp. 43-52) is at once concise and sufficient for the purpose. On the whole this new edition will, we believe, be found quite equal to its predecessors.

The Law of Parliamentary and Municipal Registration. By A. C. NICOLL and A. J. FLAXMAN, Barristers-at-Law. Second Edition. Knight & Co. 1878.

The Parliamentary and Municipal Registration Act, 1878, with an Introduction, Notes, &c. By G. LATHOM BROWNE, Barristerat-Law. Stevens & Sons. 1878.

The usefulness of the work which Messrs. Nicoll and Flaxman had set before them has been, we are glad to see, duly appreciated by the large and varied class of persons interested in the subject either as occupiers, lodgers, and overseers, or officers of City Companies. The more study we have given to it the more we have been convinced that notwithstanding the efforts of Mr. Marten, Q.C., Sir Charles Dilke, and Sir H. Drummond Wolff, on different sides of the House, much yet remains to be done by our Legislature to render this very important subject adequately clear and intelligible. Messrs. Nicoll and Flaxman give the utmost assistance they can by careful annotation, embodying recent leading decisions, and by furnishing tabulated schemes of the duties of Registration Officers, the Statutes under which they are to be fulfilled, and the dates within which they must be carried out. The number of different lists to be prepared within slightly different dates

strikes us as one of the needlessly cumbersome features of the present state of the Law of Registration. And we can see no valid reason for the extreme favour shown to objections made by Overseers, of which Mr. Lathom Browne remarks that their introduction into Borough Registration is of doubtful value.” The powers of the Revising Barristers themselves have sometimes appeared to the lay public to be arbitrarily exercised. We must confess that not a little of the language of the Statutes bearing upon those powers seems to us still to be obscure. There is yet plenty of work for members desiring to aid the good cause of the Amendment of the Law of Parliamentary Registration, to whichever side of the House they may belong. Messrs. Nicoll & Flaxman, as in their first edition, set forth all sections both of the latest and of previous Acts in force at the present time, while Mr. Lathom Browne confines himself to the Act of 1878, with references to former Legislation in his Notes and in his Introduction, which last forms a brief but clear epitome. To the Revising Barrister, as well as to the Overseer or other Registration Officer, this new edition of the work of Messrs. Nicoll & Flaxman will commend itself by its useful Tables, its consolidation of the various existing legislations, and its constant citation from recent decisions. To those practitioners who want a short but, at the same time, critical manual of the Registration Law of 1878, Mr. Lathom Browne's book will be a convenient and intelligent “aidemémoire.”

Economics for Beginners. By H. DUNNING MACLEOD, M.A., Barrister-at-law. Longmans. 1878.

We have more than once had occasion to express our high esteem for Mr. H. Dunning Macleod as at once a clear and philosophical writer on the science of economics. If the reputation which he has long since acquired both at home and abroad needed any increase, we think that his present work would provide a sufficient title for it. To write an elaborate work

may often be easier than to write a primer, and to cater for the advanced student is both pleasanter, and in some respects easier, than to adapt oneself to the wants of a beginner. Mr. Macleod, however, has written a distinctly able book, which the student may take up in full confidence of understanding its plain, though strictly scientific, language, and which the jurist and advanced economist may yet study with profit. We could

wish that a copy of Economics for Beginners" were placed in the library of every one of the numerous working men's clubs and institutes which are starting up throughout the country. Both masters and men would profit by the attentive perusal of Mr. Macleod's earnest words on the relation between Capital and Labour, while at the same time his book contains much that cannot fail to be of value to the lawyer. Mr. Macleod is one of the few among us who keep in view that connection between jurisprudence and economics which our continental neighbours recognise in their examinations for admission to the bar.

Consolidated Abstracts of the Highway Acts, 1862-4, the Locomotive Acts, 1861-5, and the Highways and Locomotives (Amendment) Acts, 1878. By JAMES A. Foot, M.A., Barrister-at-Law. Shaw and Sons. 1879.

We have here an attempt made, and skilfully and successfully made, to codify the Highway Acts. The task has been undertaken by no untried hand. Mr. Foot was the coadjutor of Mr. Wood in that first attempt to revise the Statute Law, which resulted in a volume that every lawyer has been ready to welcome. The result here produced might, therefore, have been anticipated, when it was known by whom the labour was undertaken. This codification of statutes treating of one definite subject is a most acceptable beginning of what our successors may, perhaps, see attempted with regard to the whole law, though there, of course, something like a digest must be combined with it. For with all our readiness to be pleased with new made law of the statutory kind, it is impossible to avoid saying that the old rules of law, and the old decisions upon them, often exhibit, in a higher degree, than do modern statutory provisions, the true principles on which legislation should be founded. Mr. Foot's book is necessarily one which does not offer opportunities for quotation. Its principle of combining, in a complete form, the various provisions of the recent Highway Acts is one which recommends it alike to the student and to the practising lawyer, and that principle has been carefully carried into execution.

A Compendium of Precedents in Conveyancing. By Thomas Key, one of the Editors of “ Davidson's Precedents," and Howard WARBURTON Elphinstone, both of Lincoln's Inn, Barristersat-Law. Maxwell & Son. 1878.

With the standard works of Davidson and Prideaux already in possession of the field, there might seem at first sight to be hardly room for these two goodly volumes of Messieurs Key and Elphinstone; but an examination of the work has convinced us that it really supplies a mass of fresh material which every conveyancer will find a most useful addition to his library. The forms are far more numerous than the precedents which are drafted by way of reference to them. They are professedly “modelled mainly upon those in general use among conveyancers of the modern school,” whose characteristic is clearness and conciseness, as distinguished from the prolixity and verbosity of the older generation; and in many cases both concise and full forms are given. Both the precedents and forms have evidently been selected with much discrimination, and are carefully and accurately edited. By making use of the ordinary contractions much space has been saved, so that the Compendium at the same time covers a very wide range, and is yet kept within convenient limits. The notes are very short, but practical and to the point, and references are given to “ Davidson's Precedents," and other works on conveyancing, for fuller information on the law and practice. We can thoroughly recommend the book to both branches of the profession, but more especially to Solicitors, who will find it a valuable aid for ready use in all ordinary conveyancing practice.

A Digest of the Hindu Law of Inheritance and Partition, from the Replies of the Shastris in the Bombay Presidency. Second Edition, with Introductions, Notes, and Appendix, by RayMOND West and JOHANN GEORG Bühler. Bombay Education Society's Press. 1878. (London: Trübner.)

We have here what will, we cannot doubt, prove a useful addition to the library both of judges and magistrates, and members of the Bar in India, and of counsel engaged in Indian cases before the Privy Council. Messrs. West and Bühler present us with a goodly volume of Responsa Prudentum" from Western India, devoted to an important and often perplexing branch of law. In fulfilling their functions as editors they have added remarks wherever the “Responsa" seemed to require annotation, discussion, or explanation. Their references, in the excursuses which they prefix to all the principal divisions of the work, cover a wide area of Indian and European writers on the subjects with which they have to deal. There are

« PreviousContinue »