« PreviousContinue »
to tramways alone, but is general company law, and the most important principles applicable to the constitution, financing, and obligations of companies in general and tramways in particular, are shortly but clearly laid down and commented on. We may specially call attention to the manner in which the question of the liability of a company for the promoters' engagements is treated, both from a theoretical and a practical point of view.
The chapter on “ Capacities to be specially provided for ” is very carefully thought out, and contains many suggestions likely to be of value to those who may desire to promote tramway companies; and the chapter on finance deals with some very difficult and vexed questions in a thorough and practical manner. In dealing with the responsibilities of companies for torts, we think that Mr. Seward Brice's reference to Nevill v. Fine Arts, etc., Insurance Co., 1895, 2 Q. B. 156; 1897, A. C. 68, is surely not quite correct when he says. " the question was left open by the Court of Appeal, and not dealt with by the House of Lords, as to whether express malice can be implied against a corporation.” The question the Court of Appeal declined to decide was, whether a corporation could be affected by the actual malice of its servant, not whether malice could be implied ; in fact, Lopes, L.J., says “it is conceded that if the occasion is not privileged, malice may be implied.”
As might be expected, considerable attention is directed to the very important question of compulsory purchase of tramways under section 43 of the Tramway Act of 1870, and the decisions in the London Street Tramways v. London County Council are carefully examined and commented on. Mr. Seward Brice does not approve of the decisions of the Court of Appeal and House of Lords, and submits some ingenious arguments by which this case may be distinguished in future questions arising under the same section, or similar provisions contained in special Acts; but we do not think, after the decided expression of opinion in the House of Lords on the distinction drawn in the Act between “the undertaking” and "the tramway,” that there is much chance of such submissions being assented to. Some useful information is given as regards provisional orders and locus standi. Light railways are dealt with as fully as the novelty of the subject and the absence of decided cases thereon will permit. And there is a good chapter on the winding up both of tramway companies and light railways. The second part of the work contains the text, with notes, of the Tramway Act, 1870, Board of Trade Rules under the same Act, Model Form of Regulations and Byelaws by the Board of Trade with respect to the use of Steam (or any
mechanical] Power on Tramways, and Model Form of Regulations by Board of Trade as to the use of Electricity. The third part contains the text, with notes, of the Light Railways Act, 1896, and the Board of Trade Rules and Regulations relating to Light Railways, including the rules issued in October, 1898. There is also a full collection of Model Forms for Tramway and Light Railway Orders, including a form of Provisional Order for Tramways, and two forms of Orders for Light Railways, the latter having been supplied by the secretary to the Light Railways Commission, a number of special clauses and agreements taken from actual enactments and instruments, and a collection of miscellaneous forms.
The Maritime Codes of Holland and Belgium. Translated and annotated by His Honour Judge F. W. RAIKES, LL.D., Q.C. London : Effingham Wilson. Pp. 242. Price ros. 6d. net.
This book is a further valuable contribution to the science of comparative legislation and the literature of maritime law by the learned author of The Maritime Codes of Spain and Portugal, whose talents as a linguist, and special training, both at the Admiralty Bar and as a keen and discriminating student of international law, have pre-eminently fitted him for the work. The present volume contains the codes of Holland and Belgium, published together, because, as the learned author points out, for geographical reasons, if one code is wanted, the other is likely to be so also—indeed, the limits of jurisdiction between the two States, though clear enough on shore, are not so easy to distinguish on the water. But it will be observed that the two codes are widely different, and it may sometimes be of the utmost importance for a ship to have it clear under which jurisdiction she falls, notably in cases of collision. For instance, in a case where both ships are to blame, but one very much more than the other, in Dutch waters each pays its own loss; in Belgium, each pays in proportion to its own fault. Again, if a ship is badly injured in a collision, through no fault of her own, in Holland she can recover nothing beyond the actual material damage; whilst in Belgium she will recover demurrage during repairs as well.
In the preface to the codes we are treated to an interesting and instructive bit of legal history, from which we gather that the Code of Commerce of Holland came into force in 1838, and has had very few alterations or amendments since that date. It was discussed in the Chambers of the then United Netherlands from 1822 to 1826, but
was not put in force, in consequence of the revolution, which resulted in the separation of Belgium from Holland. Advantage was taken of this delay to make several alterations and improvements in the code, which resulted in what, especially as regards the part relating to maritime commerce, which alone is given in the present volume, is perhaps the most minute and careful piece of legislation to be found in any State—at all events, in the opinion of Judge Raikes, prior to the adoption by Germany of her present Code of Maritime Commerce.
The Code of Maritime Commerce of Belgium constitutes the second book of the Code of Commerce as at present in force; it is the result of fifteen years' deliberation in the Belgium Assembly, the commission for the revision of the former Code of Commerce, which was identical with that of France of 1808, having been appointed in 1864; whilst the second book, in its present form, was only finally passed, and received the royal assent, in 1879. Curiously enough, there is no special section of the code relating to the very important subject of salvage. It is interesting to note that at the present time an effort is being made to substitute courts of arbitration for the ordinary tribunals of commerce in actions arising out of collisions, such courts to consist of a lawyer as president and two experienced commanders, who will not only take their share of the responsibility of deciding the merits of the case, but will also assess the damages. A court thus constituted will combine the functions of the Admiralty Court and of the Registrar and merchants in this country. A report of a case so decided will be found in the Revue Internationale du Droit Maritime, vol. xiii. pp. 695-744. To the learned editor of this publication (Mons. F. C. Antrun), and the editors of the Journal du Droit Internationale Privé, Judge Raikes courteously acknowledges his indebtedness for the valuable information extracted from their respective publications, also to a well-known author on questions of maritime law and recent contributor to the Law Magazine—Mons. Louis Franck, advocate at Antwerp--for much assistance in the work. We trust that the learned author will find leisure in the discharge of his new duties as a judge of county courts to continue to completion this valuable series of maritime codes.
The Land Transfer Acts, 1875 and 1897, and Land Transfer Rules and Forms, 1898, with notes. By W. AMBROSE, Q.C., M.P., and W. B. FERGUSON, M.A. London : Butterworth & Co. 1898. Pp. 283. Price ros.
The Land Transfer Acts, 1875 and 1897, with notes, forms, and precedents. By B. L. CHERRY and H. W. MARIGOLD. London: Sweet & Maxwell. 1898. Pp. 564. Price 18s.
The Land Transfer Acts, 1875 and 1897. By J. S. RUBINSTEIN and W. LEE-NASH. London: Waterlow Bros. & Layton. Pp. 298. Price 4s. net.
The natural result of the passing of the Land Transfer Act of 1897, has been the appearance of a number of works dealing with the subject. The inconvenient method of legislation adopted by amending the Act of 1875, partly by the Act of 1897, Part II., partly by the ist Schedule to the same Act, and partly by the Statutory Rules and Orders of 1898, renders a guide particularly necessary, and there is no lack of them. Messrs. Ambrose and Ferguson supply a useful introduction and a number of careful notes and full cross references to both of the Acts. We think they overrate the dangers to which beneficiaries are exposed under the new system, in consequence of not attaching sufficient importance to the safeguards afforded by means of the notices, cautions, and inhibitions. We also think some subjects might have been more fully treated in the notes, such as the death duties, and dealings with property outside the Registry ; but the work, which also includes the Draft Order as to Fees and Rules under the Small Holdings Act, 1892, should be of considerable assistance to those studying the Acts.
Messrs. Cherry and Marigold's book is a work of great industry. It has a careful introduction, and numerous and elaborate notes to both the Land Transfer Acts. Almost every subject connected with them has been worked out and is referred to. We may particularly refer to the care with which the subject of mortgages and charges has been considered. The authors by no means consider the Act perfect, and point out where, in their opinions, it will require amendment and judicial interpretation. There are also some useful precedents and a Conveyancing Bill drafted by Mr. Wolstenholme, assisted by Mr. Cherry. The Index is very complete.
Messrs. Rubinstein and Lee-Nash set out in their introduction shortly but clearly the position of the real representative, and give a convenient summary as to the effect of the Act of 1897 in charging real estate with debts and legacies. The Acts of 1875 and 1897 and the Rules of 1898 are set out in full, but there are no notes to the
former Act, and not even reserences to the Act of 1897 or the Rules of 1898, by which whole sections of the principal Act have been repealed. There are some notes to the first part of the Act of 1897, but none to any of the other parts. This considerably detracts from the usefulness of the book. There are in addition some precedents, the Land Registry Act of 1862, the Solicitors' Remuneration Act, 1881, and the General Order thereunder.
Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity or Forensic Psychiatry* By S. V. CLEVENGER, M.D., of Chicago. New York : Lawyer's Cooperative Publishing Co. 1898. 2 Vols. Pp. 1356.
We are indebted to America for many valuable contributions to the literature of forensic medicine, especially in that branch which our author calls forensic psychiatry. We welcome the volumes before us as the most exhaustive dissertation on the medico-legal aspects of insanity which has yet appeared in the English language. Dr. Clevenger is not only a professor of anatomy, and a lecturer on other kindred subjects, but, as an ex-superintendent of an asylum for the insane, he has had large experience as an "alienist.” The greater part of the work is necessarily occupied with the medical aspects of insanity, and so far as we can form an opinion on this branch of the subject, the author has acquitted himself in a satisfactory manner.
We cannot, however, ignore the fact that medical jurisprudence, in all its branches, is a compound of medicine and law. It is true, that the physician assumes the sole right to deal with the subject in its complete form, and, that while he holds himself free to explain and criticize the law, he would probably regard as presumptuous any attempt by a practising lawyer to encroach upon the region of medicine. Of this we do not complain, for the considerations which weigh with the lawyer are of such a general and public character, that the physician, as a member of the public, may fairly claim the right to form an opinion. But when we find the medical men denouncing lawyers and the public alike, we are entitled to ask whether their investigations, however valuable in themselves, entitle them to dogmatize in a sphere entirely removed from their special studies. The fact is, that the physician and the lawyer approach the subject from different points of view. With the former, the primary object is the welfare of the individual ; with the latter it is the safety and well-being of the community as a whole.
* This valuable work will be reviewed at length in our next issue, by Professor Richd. Brown, Dean of the Faculty, St. Mungo College, Glasgow.