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are evidence of the vast efforts at that time made by Sardinia for the extension of her commerce; the treaty of 1854, between Japan and the United States; the treaty of 1854, between the United States and Russia, relative to the rights of neutrals on the sea ; the treaty of commerce entered into in 1857, between France and Russia, &c. &c.
As regards treaties in which Great Britain is directly concerned, this collection is not, and it cannot be expected that it should be, nearly so complete as Mr. Hertslet's invaluable collection of treaties subsisting between Great Britain and foreign powers, but as it comprises treaties between all nations, it supplies much information which Mr. Hertslet's work does not afford, and may be consulted with advantage by those desirous of tracing the progress of other nations besides our own, and of learning something of the relations of foreign states amongst one another.
Amongst the publications notice whereof we must defer, are the following :-Mr. T. S. Paton's treatise on Stoppage in transitu ; and a Manual of the Roman Civil Law, by George Leapingwell, Esq., LL.D., &c. Two pamphlets on Trial by Jury are also before us. entitled, “ Unanimity on Trial by Jury Defended,” is by Mr. G. Rochfort Clarke. The other entitled, “ The Dark Side of Trial by Jury," is by Mr. Joseph Brown. The former supports the institution with undoubting and undoubted orthodoxy. The latter assaults it with unshrinking courage and vigour. We purpose to deal with these learned pleaders and experienced ccunsel according to law, on another occasion.
Events of the Quarter.
OUR Parliamentary "events of the quarter," regarded as to the amount of business done, and not the quantity of verbiage reported, will be very brief –The proceedings were inaugurated by flags waving and by the ministers' own trumpets blowing. But the unhealthy breath and wheezing bellows of faction have puffed, or are trying to puff out, the government rushlight. At all events, the flickering night-lamp of parliament has been extinguished, and much that threatened to be the most disastrous and sham legislation on important subjects, has for the present been dropped.
On March 29, a debate on the second reading of Lord Campbell's bill to regulate the verdicts given by juries on civil causes, took place in the House of Lords. The result is, that the legislature has refused for the present to alter the law as it now exists in England. With the arguments on both sides our readers are now familiar, and we need not here repeat them. No one, however, although his opinion may be strong in favour of abolishing forced unanimity, after reading Lord Lyndhurst's speech on the occasion referred to, can fail to recognise, in common candour, that “much may be said on both sides." The speech referred to is among other things interesting, as showing the vigour of the “old man eloquent," and the zest with which he still points his shafts and plants his blows.
Another debate in the House of Lords, on April 8, should be mentioned, in which also Lord Lyndhurst took a prominent part. It arose on the Lord Chancellor moving the third reading of the “ Indictable offences (Metropolitan) bill”—the object of which is to enact that no criminal charge shall be preferred or tried in the central criminal court or sessions, within the metropolitan police district, unless such charge shall have been previously made and investigated before a justice of the peace. We will only offer one word of comment upon the debate raised on this question. Our ancestors and our successors seem to be, among other inconveniences, very great obstacles to practical legislation. A proved evil is put before the legislature. A remedy is suggested, whereupon the constitutional historian, with uplifted voice and deprecatory gesture, asks the Reformer-Did our fathers thus think? what was good for them must be suited to us; whilst the prophet of the future, on the other hand, bids us ponder on posterity, and what we owe to our children's children; "what has been useful,” he sings," though it be now injurious, may be again essential for unborn generations."
Now our fathers, when they did make good laws, made them, we believe, for their own use and behoof, and because they knew what
they wanted, and found a mode of supplying their own wants. They thought that succeeding generations could do the same. Alas! it is not so; for it is clear, from the wild debating of the present day, that on the most essential and important topics there is the greatest difference of opinion as to what we now want; and, if this is ever made clear to the majority, we have then to become antiquarian, and consider our forefathers' ways, and next whether our unborn children will not require the protection of the rules of our defunct progenitors.
The important matter relating to the title to real property and bankruptcy, which have formed the subject of parliainentary discussion, will be found discussed at length elsewhere in our pages this quarter.
Before our next number appears a new ministry will possibly be in office. Sir Richard Bethell may perhaps have to undertake some genuine conveyancing reforms. We shall then have three learned reformers at work on this and other important legal amendments. Those who have perused our Art. xiv. will see what Sir Hugh attempted. But Sir Fitzroy introduced (after a continuous parade of what he was about to do) at the last moment a batch of seven bills. With these doings the names of the three knights-at-law will be remembered perhaps as, in 1808, were certain three knights-of-war.* Some of our older readers will recollect a jingle then commonly sung in the streets, and which we have heard thus parodied :
“ Sir Richard and Sir Fitzroy, Sir Fitzroy and Sir Hugh,
Cock-a-doodle, Cock-a-doodle, Cock-a-doodle-do.
Cock-a-doodle, Cock-a-doodle, Cock-a-doodle-do." Lord Brougham has again brought in his bill for extending his act of 1851 (Evidence of Parties) to criminal cases, at the option of the defendant. It was opposed by some of the law lords, upon this ground mainly, that whoever refused the benefit given, of electing to be examined, would be presumed to decline, because he was apprehensive of the effects of a cross-examination by the prosecutor. It is needless to observe that the case is very rare indeed, of a person not conscious of guilt, only shrinking from examination because deficient in acuteness, or courage, or presence of mind; and that the case is equally rare of a guilty person trusting to his courage and dexterity for defeating a cross-examination. The objection, therefore, really arises from a disposition to favour the escape of the guilty rather than provide for the safety of the innocent, to whom the fullest examination must always prove advantageous. A remarkable instance occurred the very day after this discussion, of the gross injustice which may be caused by the mouth of one party being closed while the other is fully heard. A petition was presented, setting forth that a clerk in a trading-house had been convicted and suffered six months' imprisonment for a fraud, * Sir Arthur Wellesley, Sir Harry Burrard, and Sir Hew Dalrymple,
“Sir Arthur and Sir Harry, Sir Harry and Sir Hew,
only proved by the testimony of a party in opposition to the firm ; and the petitioner's attorney, having acted in league with the prosecutor, had subsequently been convicted of fraud and forgery, while the attempt to proceed against the perjured witness failed, by his having fled after a fraudulent bankruptcy. This, no doubt, must be regarded as an extreme case, and one of rare occurrence; but we have the high authority of Mr. Stuart Wortley, when recorder of London, who, though averse to Lord Brougham's Evidence of Parties' Bill in 1851, and giving the reasons why he could not support that great change in the law of procedure, stated that, if it was adopted, there might be an extension of it to criminal cases, as his own judicial experience had brought him acquainted with repeated cases, in which injustice would have been prevented by the examination of one party as well as the other.
Some of the learned judges are understood to consider that the measure should be adopted in all cases where he real prosecutor is called as a witness; that to these cases the examination of the defendant should be confined, and that it should be excluded in all cases other than misdemeanour. In fact, cases of misdemeanour are almost the only ones in which the real prosecutor is examined, and this alteration may be made when the bill is re-introduced.
The subject is of great magnitude, but the arguments are within a very small compass. We feel, or affect, great repugnance to a party accused of a crime being examined even voluntarily; but let him only be in misfortune, we allow him to be examined whether he will or no, and compel him to answer questions with the certainty that all he says, and also all his refusals to answer, may be given in evidence against him, on a charge it may be of felony, as well as misdemeanour. A bankrupt, or insolvent, must answer all questions put to him by his creditors, and his answers may not only cause his conviction in another court, but his punishment by the court where he is interrogated.
Nor is this the only inconsistency and caprice of our rules of procedure. Observe the distinction taken on this head, from the form of the proceeding, the substance being exactly the same. Under the new law of evidence, all parties may be examined, both voluntarily and compulsorily, on charges of the grossest frauds, the foulest conspiracy, the most outrageous violence, if the form of the proceeding is an action. Surely it is now too late to refuse extending the new act to prosecutors also, without which extension this important amendment of our law remains imperfect in a very essen
Sir Joseph Aruould, as many of our readers will with us rejoice to know, has been appointed one of the puisne judges of the supreme court at Bombay. It is always dangerous to predict with certainty of any man that he will make a good judge, or we should prophesy it of Sir Joseph Arnould without hesitation. Mr. Arnould was well known in the profession as a learned and sound lawyer, rather than one over
whelmed with junior business; and it speaks well for the discrimination of the authorities who have given him the appointment at Bombay, that they have known how to fix on a lawyer whose acquirements render him the right man for the preferment in question, though his name perhaps has not been among those most popular with attorneys, or very familiar to the readers of the newspaper Nius Prius reports.
The new judge has been living in a time of great legal reform in England, and has associated with those who have remodelled and renovated the procedure of our English courts. He knows therefore the principles of true reform in the matter. He will, it is to be hoped, bring his experience to bear on the new system to which he has removed. Mr. Arnould's work on marine insurance (a new edition of which we have recently seen) is an important contribution to legal literature, and affords an excellent example of a learned law-book in which scientific treatment and a practical object are alike observed. In America, where our really good law treatises are certain of being reprinted, “ Arnould on Marine Insurance" has already passed through three editions.
Sir Joseph Arnould was entered at Charterhouse in 1828, and then proceeded to Oxford, and became a scholar of Wadham. He took his degree in 1836, and, achieving high honours in classics, became a fellow of his college in 1838. In 1841 he was called to the bar, having been a pupil of Sergeant Scriven and the present Mr. Justice Hill. He was a member of the Surrey sessions and the home circuit. And is an eminent example of a man who can combine the knowledge and practice of his profession with literary tastes and pursuits,
A disgusting and humiliating spectacle is being now exhibited in the city of London. A certain number of members of the bar are condescending to canvass, advertise, and puff themselves, for the purpose of procuring their election for the judgeship vacated by the death of Mr. Prendergast. Under such a system, and through such means, it is impossible for any barrister of standing or repute, or any gentleman having self-respect, to aspire to the office.
We trust the electors may have the good sense to reject all the pushing and canvassing candidates, and select, under proper advice, a really fit man for the office in question.
A commission has been appointed to report on the subject we lately discussed at length, that of providing in the metropolis proper courts of law on suitable site. The commissioners are Sir J. T. Coleridge, Vice-chancellor Page Wood, Sir G. C. Lewis, Lord Wynford, Dr. Phillimore, and Mr. John Young.
Another commission (consisting of Sir John Awdry, the Earl of Devon, and Mr. Jebb) is appointed to report on the laws, civil and ecclesiastical, in Jersey-( Vid ante, Art. II).
VOL. VII. NO. XIII.