« PreviousContinue »
should attempt the book, in England. It may be otherwise in Scotland, where there is probably a greater amount of reading for the sake of gaining knowledge than obtains here. For the variety of the topics which it embraces, and the fulness with which it discusses them, Professor Lorimer's new edition of his Institutes of Law deserves a place on the shelves alike of the jurist, the historian, the civilian and the canonist.
A Rubric of the Common Law, being a Short Digest of the Common Law, illustrated throughout by Leading Cases. By CHARLES George WalPoLE, M.A., of the Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law. Shaw and Sons. 1880.
The author's object has been to aid the student by disentangling from the superincumbent mass of reported cases a series of “ legal canons” embodying the general principles of the Common Law: and the book is not inappropriately dedicated to the late Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, whose profound knowledge of the principles of law, as contradistinguished from a mere familiarity with decided cases, was not one of the least of his many excellencies. The title “Rubric ” would seem more fitted for an ecclesiastical than for a legal treatise ; and we have found the amount of red type rather trying to the eyes by gas-light. But the work appears to us to have been well done. The legal propositions are tersely and clearly stated, and the illustrations, drawn for the most part from leading cases which are briefly set out, are valuable both for the immediate purpose of elucidation and as an introduction to the study of the Reports. The first of the four Books into which the volume is divided treats in various chapters of the Common Law, Actions, Contracts, and Torts generally. Book II, is devoted to Particular Contracts. Book III. takes up the the subject of Particular Torts; and the fourth Book discusses Damages. In an Appendix are given excerpts from various Statutes of special importance, e.g., the Statute of Frauds, Lord Tenterden's Act, the Carriers Act, Prescription Act, Innkeepers Act, &c.; and in addition to a Table of Cases there is a triple Index,“of examples,”“of illustrative cases," and“ general.” The student both at the Universities and the Inns of Court will find Mr. Walpole's work well worthy of most attentive perusal, and even to the practitioner it may not improbably prove a useful book for ready reference when doubtful on some point of Common Law.
SMALLER BOOKS AND PAMPHLETS,
Mr. J. Perry Godfrey, who oddly enough describes himself as " of Gray's Inn, Solicitor," to which last position the Honourable Society cannot possibly have admitted him, publishes a Pamphlet on The Bar, Solicitors, and the Public (Evison and Bridge, 1880), in which he advocates the easy passage from one branch of the Legal Profession to the other. There is, no doubt, something to be said for the American system, but it is practically a system of partnership, in which each partner keeps to his own special line of work. That does not appear to be what Mr. Godfrey desires, and we doubt whether he will see the speedy fruition of his hopes.
Mr. Horace Smith, B.A., Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and of the Inner Temple and Midland Circuit, brings out an edition of the Employers' Liability Act, 1880, with an Introduction and Notes (Stevens and Sons, 1880). The more we read on this subject the more we feel its importance. The whole question is one which calls for serious consideration. Mr. Horace Smith shows that our Legislation on the subject was, like so much of our Legislation, a matter of compromise. When he has said that “the general scope is in favour of the workman or servant; but the limitations, which are many, are in favour of the master," he has said enough to show how much consideration the subject still requires.
We see by the November number of Colburn's New Monthly (E. W. Allen and Co., Ave Maria Lane), that Juridical subjects are much to the fore. The number contains an article on the “ Administration of Oaths in Great Britain by Foreign Consuls,” by Sir Sherston Baker, Bart., the editor of the English edition of Halleck's International Law, and a “ Chronicle” of the Oxford Meeting of the Institute of International Law.
Notes. The Congress season set in this autumn with great severity, and, most unfortunately, with great clashing of dates. The only two meetings of juridical interest which have steered clear of each other, and of similar meetings, have been the Berne Conference of the Association for the Reform and Codification of the Law of Nations, in August, and the Edinburgh Congress of the Social Science Association, in October. No less than three important juridical meetings directly concerned with the jus inter gentes of the nineteenth century, were holding their sessions in three distinct and widely-separated centres, between the very same dates, viz., 6th-11th September. These were the Institute of International Law, at Oxford, the International Congress of Commerce and Industry, at Brussels, and the Italian International Juridical Congress, at Turin. We cannot but consider this clashing of dates a very unfortunate circumstance, and we should like to see some steps taken by common consent to prevent its recurrence in future years. For it is obvious that, in the absence of the gift of ubiquity, no one could attend more than a single meeting of the three which were held in September. Yet the subjects, in several instances, of the Oxford, Brussels, and Turin meetings so dove-tailed into each other, that the presence at any of those three Congress of persons who had taken part in one of the others, would have been of great assistance in the debates. This is most particularly evident, perhaps, in the case of the Brussels and Turin gatherings, the latter of which may be said to have unconsciously carried the aspirations of the former into the region of “practical politics." Having thus entered our protest, we proceed to comment, within the limited space at our disposal, on the interesting gathering held at Oxford during the early days of September.
The meeting of the Institute of International Law at Oxford may be singled out as forming an epoch in the history of that distinguished body of Jurists. In coming to a seat of learning, once the resort of crowds of students from various parts of the Continent, the Institute was, indeed, as Dr. Bryce with truth, though perhaps somewhat too strongly, put it, coming to the early home of the modern Law of Nations. Gentili, we of course admit, was a precursor of Grotius, but had not Gentili his own predecessors? Without, however, making either too much or too little of this purely historical question, we will pass to the
consideration of the work of the Institute for the Session of 1880. In this, as in other such meetings, we shall of course find that some important subjects were barely touched, and remitted to future gatherings, while others, perhaps not less important, received the most careful scrutiny. We should be sorry if it were otherwise ; for we do not think that any Congress, or meeting of a Society, is ever likely to be able to discuss profitably the whole of its programme, unless it be by means of the selection of a necessarily limited number of special questions, as is done at the Social Science Congresses. It may be regrettable that the question of the Conflict of Penal Laws, reported upon to the Institute by M. Charles Brocher, of Geneva, should not have been taken, as intended, with Extradition, though, in the unavoidable absence of M. Brocher, its postponement was the wisest, if not the only practicable course to adopt. A similar cause led to nearly similar results in regard to the Conflict of Commercial Laws, a subject which the Brussels Congress had referred to with satisfaction as being under discussion by the Institute. As a matter of fact, some of the most important questions connected with Commercial Law were debated with great earnestness and considerable success, both at the Brussels and Turin Congresses. It is, therefore, to our mind, a gain rather than a loss that circumstances should have obliged the Institute to leave this portion of its work for fuller discussion on a future occasion.
In regard to Bankruptcy, and “ sociétés anonymes," in particular, there will be much which the Members and Associates may study with interest in the reports of the Brussels and Turin meetings.
We are not surprised to find that M. Bulmerincq's report on Maritime Prize Law should have been adjourned, especially as it was not yet quite complete, although already reaching perhaps the most formidable dimensions of any report hitherto presented to the Institute. When actually under discussion, we should expect to find no little divergence of opinion on some of the learned reporter's conclusions. We may say the same of Dr. Bluntschli's very remarkable “Avis” on Extradition. Its learned author takes up a position for which we feel it difficult to find a suitable classification. He makes some excuses for the non-extradition of political offenders of which we are obliged to say that they appear to us both insufficient in themselves, and entirely beside the real mark. He makes other excuses which, to say the least, are capable of being very easily
misconstrued. It is beside the mark, we cannot but hold, to say that political offenders are not always wicked or perverse men, but sometimes men of lofty soul and of good faith, sometimes even generous and honourable patriots.” This admission does honour to Dr. Bluntschli's sense of justice, but none the less must we say that these are not the grounds upon which we understand the non-extradition of political offenders to be based. Nor can we admit that it is a question of “ interest," and that the extradition of such persons might be “contrary to the interests of the country of asylum.” We do not believe that a refusal to extradite would stand for a single day, if it were based on no better ground than admiration for the possibly high personal character of a political offender, or the assumed “ interests ” of the State from which, ex hypothesi, such extradition might be demanded. The true doctrine, we hold, is that laid down by Dr. Spear in his able and lucid work on Extradition (Albany, N.Y., 1879) : “ It is to be remembered that each Government assumes as its starting point in making an extradition treaty, that every person within its jurisdiction and not violating its laws is entitled, as against all the world, to the prima facie right of undisturbed and protected asylum.” (Op. cit., p. 173.) Again, to say that a State cannot be expected to deliver up its “friends or protégés” is, we think, to depart widely from the real question. Can it be supposed that Winslow was a "friend and protégé” of the British Government, or the so-called Hoffmann of the French Government ? The latter case, we believe, could the alleged identity have been proved, really would have trenched upon a question which Dr. Bluntschli distinctly raises in a subsequent paragraph, viz., the view that Nihilism is an offence against the public order of all civilised nations, and should be made an extraditable offence. Dr. Bluntschli here seems to desire a great and undefined extension for the area of extradition. In such a desire he is to some extent supported by the authority of a well-known character in English history. Henry VIII., so the Institute was reminded by Sir Sherston Baker, argued (with an eye to the person of Cardinal Pole) that high treason was an extraditable offence, and wrote, or caused to be written, a treatise to that effect. But three centuries have passed away without carrying into the practice of the Law of Nations this contention of one who, in his day, was of considerable weight in the Councils of Europe.