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such a course the reading for the Oxford B.C.L. degree is perhaps the best. There is a feeling among many teachers of law that it would be well to make every professional course, such as law and theology, a post-graduate course. But, in the present state of the Universities, with so many vested interests to be considered, this can be regarded as no more than a counsel of perfection.
CONTEMPORARY FOREIGN LITERATURE.
Les Vices de notre Procédure en Cour d'Assises. Étude de Législation Comparée. Par H. SPEYER, Avocat à la Cour d'Appel. Pp. xx, and 363. Brussels and Paris, 1898.
This is a thesis for the Doctorate, and well worthy of it. It is a study in comparative jurisprudence of great merit, based no doubt in the first instance on the previous work of M. Prins, Étude Comparative sur la Procédure pénale à Londres et en Belgique (Brussels, 1879). But M. Speyer evidently thinks for himself. His book takes the form of a criticism of the reformed code of criminal law recently discussed in the Belgian Chambers, and then-like our own draft Criminal Code-abandoned. The main Continental systems are well known to him, and English legislation and text-writers come in for very full notice. The writer adopts “law of evidence" as a technical term for which no French equivalent is to be found. He has the highest admiration for the English system, and evidently knows it at first hand from attendance in our Courts. The jury he regards as especially suitable to the English character. It has developed with the nation, unlike the Continental jury, which has in most cases been imposed as a modern reform. As to other matters of criminal procedure, comparisons fruitful in food for thought are made between the English and Belgian law in the following points. The acte d'accusation aims at giving the whole history of the accused with more or less animus, the indictment simply sets out the charge in formal words. The interrogation of the accused is unknown in the English system, at any rate as a definite part of the proceedings. Judges are differently trained. In France and Belgium the judge starts his judicial career at once, he is not a successful advocate promoted to the bench after a successful forensic career. Certain questions of evidence could never arise in England, eg. how far the juge d'instruction can supplement defective evidence by his own deposition,
and how far the partie civile can, during the trial, change his position from that of an ordinary witness. Hearsay evidence and leading questions are much more strictly treated in England. An example of Belgian practice, horrifying to an English lawyer, is to be found at p. 180. In the course of a recent notorious trial the following evidence was received. “M. Slotmans m'a raconté qu'une dame était venue dire chez Mme. Lagasse que Van Steenkiste lui avait dit que Van der Auwera était coupable, mais qu'il ne pouvait pas parler sous peine de perdre sa place.” Other parts of procedure differing from the English practice are that the prosecuting counsel sits on the bench instead of in the parquet, and that there is no summing up or résumé in most cases. In the place of this, detailed written questions are submitted to the jury, and they find something in the nature of our special verdict. In England their attention would usually be called to these points by the summing up, and thus they are enabled to find a general verdict of “Guilty” or “Not Guilty.” In almost all these cases M. Speyer proposes modifications of English law. The learned writer is able to cite Acts of Parliament correctly, a somewhat rare accomplishment among Continental jurists. Once or twice he is at fault in small matters. “Lord Russel of Killowen" and “L'Attorney-Général Lord Coleridge" do not seem quite correct.
Recherches sur l'Histoire de l'Economie Politique. By ERNEST Nys, Professor in the University of Brussels, etc. Brussels and Paris. 1898. Pp. 247.
The researches of Professor Nys in legal and economic history are probably well-known to most readers of the Law Magazine and Review. This work is the latest of a long list, the earliest of which appeared in 1879. It is singularly interesting, for it describes the struggle for principles through many centuries. Economic science in the classical age was in many ways'sounder than in the mediæval. Aristotle recognized natural economic forces, politicians of a later date attempted to produce by artificial means results more or less disastrous to trade. Usury and navigation laws were axioms of politics two centuries ago, and their effects have lasted into our own times. The bridge from Aristotle to Adam Smith is skilfully constructed by Professor Nys. His style is admirable for brevity and point, at the same time the information contained in a comparatively small volume is amazing. There is probably no other existing sketch on similar lines of the economic theories of the Emperor Frederic II.,
of Albertus Magnus, St. Thomas, Cardinal Egidio Colonna, and many another who, with more or less enlightenment, handed on the torch of learning. Among curious and interesting matters not generally known may be mentioned these, simply instances among many others. Precursors of the modern "strike" were known as early as 1385 and 1387; in the former case, at Dantzic, the luckless strikers were punished by the loss of an ear apiece (p. 80). In 1625 the citizens of Amsterdam claimed the right of trading with the enemy without any licence from the State (p. 95). At p. 230 is a notice of that strange treatise, written about 1460, Le Débat des Hérauts d'Armes de France et d'Angleterre, The heralds of the two nations plead besore Lady Prudence, and each in turn gives reasons for the superiority, commercial and otherwise, of his own country, the French herald, of course, having the better of the argument. The sketch of the law of usury (Ch. vi.) is well done, and the learned writer has cited a selection of the interminable opinions of mediæval writers on the matter. He has not, however-possibly from reasons of space-dealt with some of the curious ways in which the law was evaded, as by the mohatra contract and the fiction of a gratuitous loan with interest accruing on mora. Philosophical and theological arguments, sometimes against excessive interest, sometimes against any interest at all—the argument in Dante, Inf. xi. 95, is a particularly interesting example-could not convince necessity, and the Jew was repaid for his unpopularity by his usurious gains. Provided, that is, that he enjoyed them in his lifetime, for in England, as well as in other countries, the property of a usurer was forfeit to the Crown at his death, as Glanvill and Fleta inform us.
Professor Nys cites a good many modern English writers, such as Mr. Buckle and Dr. Cunningham, but he does not seem to be aware of Professor W. J. Ashley's researches in the field of economic history.
Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift. Upsala. October, 1898.
This number contains a continuation of the article on proportional representation, already noticed in our August number. A considerable part of the article deals with the results of our general election of 1895, the author proving that according to the number of votes polled the Unionists had about one hundred seats too many. The figures, however, seem to be vitiated by the fact of the numbers for uncontested constituencies having to be given from the election of 1892, or even from that of 1886. The author (Herr Emil
Svensén) regards the existing English system as a very complete means of crushing the minority vote. But it is at least simple and comprehensible; any one of the alternative plans proposed would entail more trouble than the average elector is likely to give himself.
Journal du Droit International Privé. Paris, 1898. Nos. 9 and 10.
One of the longest articles is on public international law, Mr. A. P. Morse of Washington giving the American view of right of visitation and search, blockade, prize, and contraband. In the domain of private international law, the question of caution judicatum solvi fills a somewhat disproportionate space, it being treated in two or three different places. The most interesting article is perhaps the beginning of what appears likely to be an exhaustive examination of the new German code as far as it affects private international law. The contributor is Herr J. Keidel, Bezirksamtsassessor at Marktheidenfeld, who treats his subject with German thoroughness.
La Giustizia Penale. Rome, 1898.
It is obvious from one or two articles that the peculiar Continental combination of civil with criminal procedure in the parte civile is attacked in influential quarters. There is a valuable bibliography of works on criminaal law, anthropology, etc., including, however, only those written in the Romance languages. There is, of course, an article on the Dreyfus case. Several cases as to reserence to oath and prescription for offences raise points unknown in England. The reports seem full and complete, and the periodical ranks as the “ Cox's Criminal Cases” of Italy.
Revue Bibliographique Belge. Brussels, 1898. Nos. 9 and 10.
The most useful feature to a lawyer is a summary of French and Belgian decisions dealing with matters of literary interest, such as press offences and breach of copyright.
SOME WORKS OF REFERENCE.
Whitaker's Almanack, 1899 (31st year). Whitaker & Sons. Pp. 776. (Price 25. 6d.)—"Self-praise is no commendation," but it will be admitted that, in the case of this indispensable publication, laudatory comment is quite superfluous, as it is the synonym of excellence; and to the uninitiated, if such there be, a glance at its contents will enlighten them more than a page of eulogism. We may point out that “The New Employers' Liability Act ” and “The National Debts of the World" are, amongst the new subjects, succinctly dealt with; that two fresh pages have been added to the index, giving increased facility of reference; that a Municipal Directory of Scotland and Ireland has, for the first time, been included ; and that the Historic Peerage has been permanently transferred to Whitaker's Titled Persons (3rd year). Not only is this vade mecum invaluable as a reference-book, but it is a mine of knowledge by means of which many an odd half-hour may be most pleasantly and profitably occupied.
The Royal Blue Book, Fashionable Directory and Parliamentary Guide, 1899, January and May (77th year). Kelly's Directories, Ltd. Pp. 1440. (Price 5s.) -This old-established and popular work—one might almost say the inseparable companion of Whitaker--needs no spokesman, as it is well able to take care of itself and to stand on its own merits. Though nearly an octogenarian, it is yet thoroughly up-to-date. The present form of the book embraces the names and addresses of the “better-class” private residents roughly comprised in the district bounded by Hampstead on the north, the Chelsea reaches of the Thames on the south, Finsbury Circus on the east, and Hammersmith on the west. It is not, however, simply a street directory, as it contains much valuable information regarding the Royal Household, the Judiciary, the Services, consuls and colonial agents, etc. It has been put into new type, and, as usual, will be re-issued in May next.
Hasell's Annual for 1899.-A Cyclopædic Record of Men and Topics of the Day. Edited by W. PALMER, B.A. (Lond.) (14th year). London: Hazell, Watson & Viney. Pp. 676. (Price 35. 6d.)—An enormous variety of subjects are treated of in this most valuable and unique publication, embracing, as it does, a comprehensive retrospect of Foreign, Colonial and Home Affairs, Science, Art and Literature, Great Britain and her Foreign Trade, Parliamentary Session of 1898, and Reports of Parliamentary Commissions, Biographies of men who are specially " in the public eye,” and a wealth of statistics and articles on other topics of the present moment. The matter is arranged in alphabetical order, thus forming its own index, and we can heartily recommend the work to those whose attention it may have escaped.
Lloyd's Calendar, 1899.- Printed at Lloyd's, Royal Exchange, E.C.—The intention of Lloyd's in preparing this Calendar has been to furnish information of value to masters and mates of vessels in the Merchant Service. A glance at the names of those who have assisted in the compilation of the work will satisfy the most captious critic that the information supplied is of the highest technical character, and, beyond all doubt, reliable. We note, amongst other well-known and distinguished names, the Astronomer Royal, the Chief Surveyor to Lloyd's Register, Lord Kelvin, and the Hydrographer to the Admiralty. We should think that this book would prove invaluable to every one having any business connection with the sea service, and especially to Admiralty practitioners.