Page images
PDF
EPUB

which must be hung up in the attend them at their own cost; hall of audience, and in the studies they will have notice when perof the notaries of the arrondisse- mitted to attend. ment.

“ 15. The interdiction or nomi “15. Same here when necesnation of a council shall take effect sary — sometimes interim comthe day the judgment is delivered. mittees are appointed. All acts committed and concluded after the interdict or appointment of a council shall be null and void.

“ 16. The acts committed pre “ 16. Acts of lunatic may be viously to the interdiction may be impeached within any reasonable annulled, if the cause for interdic- time. tion notoriously existed previous to the period when these acts were affected.

17. After the decease of an “ 17. After his decease, and individual, the acts done by him within any reasonable time, his cannot be attacked or abrogated acts may be impeached, though on account of madness, except in not primâ facie lunatic acts, and asmuch as the interdiction has though no inquiry as to his state been pronounced or set on foot of mind in his lifetime has been before his decease, unless the instituted. proof of madness itself results from the act sought to be invalidated.

“ 18. If there is no appeal from “ 18. When committees apthe judgment of the Tribunal (of pointed, interim committees repremière instance), or if it be con- sign, &c. firmed on appeal, the court shall proceed to the nomination of a guardian, or a surrogate guardian, of the interdicted, according to the rules in the law De la Minorité, &c. ; the provisional administrator shall then cease his functions, and render all account to the guardian, unless he be himself appointed guardian.

“ He himself shall be examined at his own residence, by one of the judges deputed for the purpose, assisted by the registrar.

“19. The husband is of right “19. Not of right, only if he the guardian of his wife when in- is the most fit person. (Phillips, terdicted.

p. 278.) “ 20. The wife may be named “ 20. As above-security taken guardian of her husband, in which from committees for good concase the 'Family Council' will duct, act. under advice of Master regulate the forms and conditions in Lunacy, and are removeable for of the administration of the guar- misconduct. dianship, having recourse to the

tribunals on the part of the wife, should she think herself injured by the resolution of the 'Family Council.'

“ 21. No one, with the excep “ 21. No such absurd rule tion of the husband or wife, or the most fit person being chosen, the relations in the ascending or is removed when he has no inclidescending line, shall be obliged nation to remain, or becomes unto keep the guardianship of an fit. (Phillips, pp. 278, 353.) interdicted person beyond ten years. At the expiration of such a time, the guardian may ask, and ought to obtain, a substitute. “ 22. The interdicted person is

" 22. So in England. similar to a minor. The laws which regulate the guardianship of minors equally apply to the interdicted.

“ 23. The revenues of an inter “23. So in England-the aldicted person ought essentially to lowance for the maintenance of be employed to soften his afflicted the lunatic, and the management condition, and to hasten the cure. of his estate is based on the same The Family Council'

may re

doctrine; the committees of the solve (according to the character person and estate, are in lieu of of the malady and the state of the the 'Family Council.' They are fortune) that he shall be treated generally the nearest relations or at home, or placed in a private hos- connectious of the lunatic, and are pital, maison de santé, or even in under strict supervision by the a public hospital.

court. (Phillips, p. 303.) 24. When the question shall 24. The L. C., acting as arise for the marriage of the child good paterfamilias, may so deal of an interdicted person, the dowry with a lunatic's property, if he be or portion of the inheritance to be found so by inquisition. (Phillips, advanced, and the matrimonial pp. 332, 333, 334.) agreement shall be regulated by the 'Family Council,' allowed by the Court on the conclusions of the Procureur Impérial. 66 25. The interdiction ceases

35. So in England—there must with the causes which determined be a supersedeas.

be a supersedeas. (Phillips, pp. it, nevertheless the main levée) 359, 360.) replevy' cannot be pronounced without those forms be gone through which were necessary in pursuing the interdiction.

The interdicted person cannot resume his rights until the replevy shall be pronounced.

1“ So translated in all works of authority.” (An absurd translation, whether common or no.)

VOL. VII. NO. XIV.

a

2 G

THE FAMILY COUNCIL.

“). The Family Council shall be composed (exclusive of the justices of the peace) of six of the relations by blood or marriage, chosen either in the parish where the council is convened, or within the distance of two myriamètres,' half on the maternal, half on the paternal side, and following the order of nearness of relationship. A relative by blood shall be preferred to one by alliance of the same degree (a brother to a brother-in-law for example), and among relations of the same degree the elder shall be preferred to the younger.

“2. The brothers of the same blood and the husbands of the sisters are alone excepted to the limitation of number of which the council is to consist. If there are six or more they shall all be members of the Family Council, which they alone shall form, together with the widows in the ascending line, and those in the ascending line who have right to be excused, if such there are.

“ If the brothers and brothers-in-law be less than six, the other relations shall only be called to complete the council.

“ 3. When the relations by blood or marriage of one or other side are not in sufficient number on the spot, the magistrate shall call other relations by blood or marriage, either domiciled at a greater distance or in the parish itself, persons known to have been in the habits of friendship with the father or mother of the person to be interdicted.

“4. The magistrate may, however, even when there are present on the spot a number sufficient of relations by blood or alliance, summon at whatever distance relations nearer in degree of relationship or of the same degree as those present; in such a way, however, that some shall be removed of these last, so as not to make the council exceed the number before named.

5. The time for appearing shall be appointed for a fixed day by the magistrate (juge de paix), but in such a manner that there shall be always between the citation and the day appointed for the meeting of the council an interval of at least three days, when all parties reside in the district, or within the distance of two myriamètres.

6. If however, among the parties summ moned, some shall be found domiciled beyond the regular distance, there shall be an interval of one day for every three myriamètres.

7. The persons, whether relations or friends, who are thus cited, are to appear in person or by a substitute especially appointed. The substitute cannot represent more than one person.

“8. Every relation by blood or alliance, or friend thus cited, and who shall not appear without legal excuse, will incur a penalty of not more than fifty francs, to be declared without appeal by the magistrate.

« 9. If there be sufficient excuse, and it agreed either to wait for the absent member or to replace him, in such a case, as in every other

1 Rather more than six miles.
? The word parish is the nearest approach to "commune.”

where the interest of the person to be judged seems to demand it, the magistrate may adjourn or prorogue the meeting.

(10. The council shall be held of right in the house of the magis. trate, unless he himself point out another place. The presence of at the least three-fourths of those summoned will be necessary for these deliberations.

“11. The family council shall be presided by the magistrate, who will have the right to discuss questions, and have the casting vote in cases where the opinions are equally divided.

“ 12. If the person to be interdicted is domiciled in France, but possesses property in the colonies, the special administration of his property shall be given to a protutor. In this case the guardian and the protutor shall be independent one of the other, and not responsible for their several management of property.

“13. The guardian will act and administer as guardian from the very day of his nomination, if it takes place in his presence ; if not, from the day on which the appointment shall be notified to him.

“ 14. The guardianship is a personal charge which does not descend to the heirs of the guardian; these will only be responsible for the manner in which the affairs have been conducted, and, if of age, are bound to continue the guardianship until the nomination of a new guardian.

“Now, on considering the practice in the two countries on this most important subject, it must be obvious that mucli is done for the protection of the lunatic, but there is no graduation of restriction ; all found of unsound mind are equally interdicted, though they might go about with impunity, or where their unsoundness of mind was perfectly harmless. I would, with great humility, call your Lordship's attention to the clause in the French Code, which might, after the consideration of the law officers of the crown, be modified so as to lessen the extreme penalty of unsoundness of mind '-confinement in a lunatic asylum for a series of desolate years.

“ This clause is especially intended for those cases in which a young man of weak intellect is destroying his property and lavishing his means childishly, and yet is in the enjoyment of good bodily health, and able to appreciate the good things of this world. I purposely abstain from examples, because it would make this paper too long.

“ The clause is this :

“« On rejecting a demand for interdiction, the tribunal may, nevertheless, if circumstances require it, order that the defendant shall not hereafter plead, compromise, borrow, receive personal property, purchase, or give receipts, alienate or mortgage his property, without the assistance of a council, who shall be appointed at the same time.'

“ Undoubtedly it often happens that a man is of too weak a mind to transact affairs without being taken in or cheated, and yet quite able to enjoy uncontrolled the comforts of life, being prevented only from being ruined, by being obliged to consult a wiser head in cases of importance."

The “ Family Council," and the provisions above described, form a system which in comparison with that existing in England does not

seem to command such advantages as to induce us to prefer it. It is nevertheless useful to be able to test one system of law by another, and especially so in this case, as that wbich exists in relation to lunacy in England is admitted to be by no means perfect. Hints (and nothing more) may possibly be taken from the practice in France. Except as possibly suggesting these, Dr. Seymour's pamphlet is worthless.

The Claims of Ragged Schools to Pecuniary Educational Aid from the

Annual Parliamentary Grant. By Mary Carpenter. London: Partridge & Co.

MARY CARPENTER has a right to be heard on this subject, for she knows by personal experience, and through personal labour and sacrifices, what Ragged Schools are, what they do, and what they want. We, in these pages, have also a right to demand a hearing for her, because the subject of Ragged Schools and the Reformatory are closely connected with those of crime, the criminal courts, and the prison. Until we grow hardened by the repeated spectacle of the criminal dock, our heart is dismayed with the number of those who, assize after assize, occupy it—at that constant succession of criminals evidencing the fertile causes of crime, some of which are known to be removable, yet remain unremoved.

It would be dull repetition of established truths-recognized by all whose attention has been directed to the subject, and whose judgment is worth regard—to affirm that the vitiated thousands of children in the land, who are born in abject poverty, and nurtured in ignorance and squalor, form the bulk of the “ dangerous classes," and fill our jails. Both in and out of prison they live on the industrious classes. The practical philanthropist, in providing some instruction and exhibiting some care for their welfare, is doing service to the state, not only to be reckoned by positive advantages obvious to the practical eye and the sensitive purse, but in respect of preventing evil which is incalculable.

The author of the pamphlet before us pleads for efficient aid from the Committee of Council on Education; now this committee is rather a troublesome body to deal with, red-tapish and crotchety; yet they have, it must be remembered, difficult duties to perform—difficult in themselves, and not rendered lighter by having to confer in a multitude of cases, with impracticable and unbusinesslike people, who rush up from parsonages

with more wants than wit. But let us see why the Committee of Council object to lend the aid of national funds for Ragged Schools. We read :

First, that in giving educational help, an officer of the State ought not to take it for granted that there would be permanently a Ragged School class in the country, and therefore ought not to make provision for it.

“Surely this is not the principle on which the Government of our country is carried on! It arises from a wrong state of things' un

« PreviousContinue »