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more connection or interest in one than another. The number of cases tried at Nisi Prius, were on the
Home Circuit - - - 200
As to the causes of action in the above suits, we see that the most prolific origin of litigation was, on account of “goods sold and delivered,” (135.) Next comes ejectment, (131.) Then special contracts, (123.) Trespass on lands, &c., (90 ;) and notes and bills, (6-3.) For breach of promise of marriage, there were eleven actions brought; for seduction, 7; libel, 13; slander, 32; and assault, 30.
The proceedings of the Court of Error exhibit the following phenornena:—
Notices and Writs of Error - - 37
There are only two facts which we shall single out of the statistics relating to County Courts, for the purpose of impressing them upon the reader’s mind :—
Total amount for which Judgments were obtained £965,533
This shows a most monstrous and cruel impost, on which comment is needless.
So, too, the succinct statement of a few items relating to Bankruptcy, will convey certain information to the law reformer not without value.
Assets received by the oflicial assignees - - £1,785,263
Thus, the special charges and deductions amount to 17'8 per cent. on the assets; the debts paid in full, and dividend ordered, to 53'8 per cent. The expenses of the bankruptcy 22 9 per cent.
Passing over some curious details unfolded with respect to the insolvency jurisdiction, We come to the returns appertaining to the Court of Chancery. The following returns comprise only the half-year ending 1st November, 1858 :-
Su-mmonses to originate proceedings :—
For the administration of estate - 137
maintenance of infants - - - 59
Other summonses - - - - 5864
Orders made of the class drawn up by
Orders made of the class drawn up in
Crders brought into Chambers for pro-
companies) - - - - - 790
Purchases of Estates under order of Court :—-
We have next an interesting return of the comparative particulars for the whole of the year 18.58, with those of the five
previous years :—
1858 1857 1856 1855 185! 1853
Summons originating proceedings in Chambers . 650 654 518 447 463 475 Other Summons . . 15,427 14,528 13,896 11,639 10,974 6,862
The number of all matters disposed of in each of the years
ending 1st November :1858 1857 1856 1855 1854 1853 Appeal motions and special
motions - . 1,315 1,235 1,309 1,374 1,672 1,858 Petitions . - 2,346 2,549 2,574 2,730 3,046 3,180 General paper . . 1,777 1,653 1,923 1,848 1,763 1,456 Appeals and rehearing £0 99 109 120 70 S0 Claims . . . 79 112 130 211 265 383 Orders on Summonses draw-n
by the Registrars 5,322 4,991 4,457 3,993 3,325 1,632
Total . 10,919 10,639 10,502 10,276 10,141 8,619
The yearly amount of fees collected by stamps in 1858 was upwards of £13,000.
The number of petitions set down for hearing-—
Before the Lord Chancellor . 8
,, the Lords J ust-ices (on App.) 34
,, Kindersley, V.C. >' . 194
,, Stuart, V.O. . . 285
,, Wood, V.C. . . . 206
The explanation of the favour in which the court of Stuart, V.C., is held, can easily be explained by the practitioner in equity. VVith the Accountant-general’s return and the Fee fund we will not now meddle, as we purpose to consider the subject in greater detail ere long.
In the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Court we find there were 352 petitions filed; those for dissolution of marriage were to those for judicial separation as 244 to 82. The causes tried amounted to 58 ; judgments given, to 52. There were about 600 summonses and motions heard and disposed of.
The proceedings of the Court of Probate and Principal Regis
try, may briefly be stated as including about 1300 probates and administrations. Trials prosecuted in the court were eight in number, and causes heard by the judge only nineteen.
Probates and administrations were granted :—
On hearing of causes .......... .. 24
In forty district registries about 17,000 probates and administrations were granted in common form, and nineteen under direction of a judge. The amount, however, of duty stamps was in these courts a little more than half of that paid in the principal registries.
In the Court of Admiralty there were given 130 final judgments, 105 of which were for the plaintifi, and 25 for the defendant.
The number of appeals before the Judicial Committee of Privy Council in the year 1858, were 58; 26 being from the Admiralty courts, 1 from the Ecclesiastical courts, 4 from the Channel Islands, 12 from the Colonial courts, and 15 from the courts in India. On 36 appeals judgment was aflirmed, on 4 varied, and on 28 reversed.
And lastly, in the House of Lords the number of appeals and causes in error presented were 47, of which 25 were heard, 16 were atfirmed, 2 atiirmed with declarations, 1 reversed, and 6 reversed with declarations. There were still 69 remaining for hearing.
Such is a brief abstract of the elaborate tables entitled Judicial Statistics, which henceforth must be consulted by every one who seeks to promote amendment in legal procedure, or to discover the principles by which litigation is governed, and protection extended to society in the enjoyment of legal rights by the enforcement of legal remedies. We may be assured that, by reading aright the results of “judicial statistics," our means of measuring the advancement and retrogression of the civilization of the country will be obtained. They indicate to some extent the course which the national mind is pursuing, and which veritable history must record. When we observe in legal procedure an excess of technicality, we know that it indicates a mixture of refinement with barbarism; that the misdirected acuteness of the professional and educated few, is addressed to subtle methods, not understood or valued by the many, and which do not exist for their benefit. A tedious and complicated system may be maintained while the law exists for the rich man only; but when the interests of the public in general are duly consulted, we find in its place the greatest simplicity consistent with the habits and constitution of society. Whilst the merits of a judicial system mark truly the civilization of a particular epoch, and the character and habits of the population, the success of that system is best tested by the careful collection and comparison of facts, such as have been brought together and marshalled by Mr. Redgrave.
The criminal statistics contain confessedly the most important revelations of the past and present moral condition of large classes of society, and must be henceforth the best guide for future legislation with respect to crime and its repression; and
l we prophesy that regular and perfect returns relating to ciyil
suits, will likewise prove an essential guide to all future reforms, and a sure protection against mere speculative innovation.