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system of liability only up to the value of the vessel and freight is admitted all over the world, except in England, and that it is easier to alter one legislation than all the others.
Each of these two points of view has been very strongly advocated. The English system was defended with as much ability as vigour by Mr. Douglas Owen and Mr. Carver, Q.C., and was attacked with no less force by Mr. John Glover and Mr. Thomas R. Miller, who stated that English shipowners desired that the law should be on the Continental model. Mr. Le Jeune (Antwerp) and Mr. Sieveking argued on the same side, and Mr. Charles MacArthur expressed the hope that a settlement might be arrived at. Finally, the Conference decided to continue the discussion of the question at the next meeting. There certainly was a great numerical majority in favour of the Continental system, but this is one of the questions in which unanimity has yet to be arrived at-not by votes, but by discussion.
The present writer has the firmest confidence in the future of the movement. The next conference will, at the invitation of the English members, take place in London, and it is certainly much to be desired that the conference should be organized by the International Law Association and the International Maritime Committee combined. There is and can be no feeling of rivalry between the two organizations ; the programme of the International Law Association embraces a great number of matters which are altogether outside maritime law, and it will continue its work for maritime law as in the past. The particular work of the International Maritime Committee, which was created with the approval of the International Law Association, lies in taking questions in small numbers which seem ripe for a practical solution, in submitting them to the national associations and committees, and in endeavouring to get them introduced into positive law.
The utility of the work to be done is so great that it is bound to succeed, and it is to be hoped that the practical, reasonable, and moderate character which it has assumed will particularly recommend it to the English mind.
VI.-NOTES ON RECENT CASES (ENGLISH).
In Bayliss v. Figgins (33 L.J. 345), Mr. Justice Channell held that expenses incurred by the urban district council of Southall under the Public Health Act, 1875, s. 150, and summarily recovered by the council from the plaintiffs, were not rates, taxes, or assessments, recoverable by the plaintiffs (
(landlords) in their turn from their tenants (defendants), under the usual covenant for that purpose. This decision we submit is wrong. It is quite at variance with the catena of earlier decisions on the very point emanating from the Queen's Bench and Chancery Divisions. As a rule, the cases run thus :—Certain works are prescribed by a local authority; the landlord is called upon to execute them. He does so, and in his turn calls upon his tenant to reimburse him under a covenant for that purpose inserted in the lease. Tenants have escaped in cases where no such word has occurred as "charge," duty,” or “outgoings," or where there have been no words extending to charges upon the owner, or where there are words indicating an intention that the landlord is to pay. But where the words are complete, as they are in Bayliss v. Jiggins, it is evident that the governing intention of the lease is that the landlord shall get his rent clear of all deductions. A glance at such cases as In re Bettingham, Methado v. Woodcock (9 Times R. 48); Hartley v. Hudson (4 C.P.D. 367); or Smith v. Robinson (1893] (2 Q.B. 53), abundantly establish the truth of our criticism.
It is an axiom of the law that if a man leave anything dangerous in a place where he knows it is extremely probable that some other person will unjustifiably set it in motion to the injury of a third person, should such injury be brought about, the sufferer may have redress by action against both or either of the two, but unquestionably against the first. But the Courts have not sufficiently given effect to the position of a plaintiff when he has touched something which did not belong to him, and to his own detriment. Lord Denman missed the occasion of leaning on this latter point when he gave judgment in Scott v. Shepherd (2 Wm. Black. 892), and the evil has been perpetuated ever since. In Harrold v. Watney (33 L.J. 343) lately determined by the Court of Appeal, the learned Judges extended this pernicious doctrine to the extent of awarding damages to a small boy who injured himself by climbing on a fence belonging to the owner of the adjoining land, not for the purpose (it was said) of climbing over, but to look at some other children on the other side. In fact, the boy was a trespasser. Our trans-Atlantic cousins are wiser in this generation than we are. In their leading case (Hartfield v. Roper, 21 Wend. 615), their Court has held that the negligence of the parents in allowing a child to wander unattended in a public road is sufficient answer to an action for negligence.
When a livery stable-keeper supplies a servant, but the brougham, the horse, the harness, and the servant's livery belong to the hirer, who is answerable in the event of an accident—the livery stable-keeper or the hirer? Of course negligence is admitted on the part of the servant. But is the owner of the horse, and who had legal possession of the horse at the time of the accident, the person to be held liable ; or is the test of liability the principle of selection, i.e. the person who had the selection of the servant ?
was well debated in Fones and Sons v. Scullard (105 L.T. 358); and the Lord Chief Justice, in holding that the servant was the servant of the hirer, expressed a wish that the matter might be taken to the Court of Appeal. The authorities, in fact, are conflicting. Laugher v. Pointer (5 B & C. 547) lays down that where the owner of a carriage hires of a livery stable-keeper a pair of horses, and the livery stable-keeper provides the driver, the owner of the carriage is not liable for the negligent driver. This is followed by Brady v. Giles (I M. & R. 494); Randleson v. Murray (8 A. & E. 109), and Quarmann v. Burnett (6 M. & W. 499). On the other hand, in Rourke v. White Moss Colliery (2 C. P. D. 205), it was held that if the defendants sinking a shaft agreed with W. that he should find all the labour, they providing him with enginepower and an engineer who was to be under his control, and one of the men employed by W. was injured by the engineer, the defendants were not liable. The engineer remained the general servant of the defendants, yet being under the control of W., he was the servant of W. and not of the defendants at the time of the accident. This case is followed by Donovan v. Laing (68 L.T. 512).
The judgment of Mr. Justice Darling in Adam v. British and Foreign Steamship Company, Limited (33 L.J. 396), is not altogether free from adverse criticism. The mother of an engineer employed on a Belgian ship brought an action against the defendants under Lord Campbell's Act (9 & 10 Vict. c. 93), to recover damages for the loss of her son, drowned at sea through the negligence of the defendants. The questionable decision of Mr. Justice Darling is that the personal representatives of the deceased could not maintain an action under the above Act, or as amended by 27 & 28 Vict. c. 95. It was held in The Explorer (40 L.J. Adm. 41) that foreigners injured, or the representatives of foreigners killed, may sue in the High Court of Admiralty, in respect of
injuries done by a British vessel on the high seas, and this decision is not overruled by Seward v. Owners of the Vera Cruz (54 L.J. Adm. 9), because the latter case refers to an action in rem, not to one in personam. The latter action was brought in a form appropriate to actions in rem. Lord Campbell's Act was the sole source of the right in Adam v. British and Foreign Steamship Company, Limited, if the right existed, and we should look to that Act to see whether a claim made under it can properly be described as a “claim for damage done by any ship.” There is not a word about ships in Lord Campbell's Act. It is an Act which deals with a category of cases which may include injuries done by persons responsible for the navigation of ships to persons suffering by default in that navigation ; but it only includes them as part of a much larger and more general category. The legislation points to a common law action, to a personal liability, and to a personal right to recover, and is absolutely at variance with the notion of a proceeding in rem, on which alone Seward v. Owners of the Vera Crus was decided.
Penny v. Wimbledon Urban Council and Iles (33 L.J. 345) follows in the wake and to the same intent as Hughes v. Percival (8 L.R. App. 443). It is evident that a district council employing a contractor to do work in a place where the public are in the habit of passing must take precautions if the work is likely to cause danger to the public. If these are omitted, they cannot, on damage ensuing, escape liability by seeking to throw the blame on the contractors. No sound distinction in this respect can be drawn between the public highway and a road which may, and within knowledge probably will, in fact, be used by persons lawfully entitled to do so.