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JULY 7, 1855.]
New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Jan.
Then there are some other Bills which have commenced in the House of Lords, and not yet sent down to the House of Commons. Of these we may mention the Assizes and Sessions Bills, introduced by the Lord Chancellor, and the Speedy Trial of Offenders Bill brought in by Lord Brougham. The Government intend to press forward the Lord Chancellor's Bill which will increase the number of Assizes and Sessions. To which may be added the Irish Landlord and Tenant Bill, and the Irish Property Bill.
should be withdrawn, we trust the Bill try or place any oath or to take any affidavit or affirmation from any person whomsoever, and also to do and perform in such foreign country or place all and every notarial Acts or act which any notary public could or might be required and is by law empowered to do within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland; and every such oath, affidavit, or affirmation, and every such notarial act, administered, sworn, affirmed, had, or done by or before such ambassador, envoy, minister, chargé d'affaires, secretary of embassy or of legation, vice-consul, acting-consul, pro-consul, or contual, and shall be of like force and effect, to all sular agent, shall be as good, valid, and effecintents and purposes, as if such oath, affidavit, or affirmation, or notarial act, respectively, had been administered, sworn, affirmed, had, or done before any justice of the peaee or notary public in any part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain or Ireland, or before any other legal or competent authority of the like na
NEW STATUTES EFFECTING AL-
ADMINISTRATION OF OATHS ABROAD.
18 & 19 VICT. c. 42.
Oaths may be administered by ambassadors and other British ministers abroad; s. 1.
Affidavits taken before ambassadors, &c., abroad may be used in Courts in the United Kingdom; s. 2.
Documents to be admitted in evidence without proof of the seal or signature of the ambassador or other official person; s. 3. Persons swearing or affirming falsely guilty of perjury; s. 4.
Person forging seal or signature guilty of felony; s. 5.
The following are the Title and Sections of the Act :
An Act to enable British Diplomatic and Consular Agents Abroad to administer Oaths and do Notarial Acts.
[2nd July, 1855.]
Whereas by an Act of the 6 Geo. 4, c. 87, powers are given to British consuls-general and consuls to administer oaths and do notarial acts in the foreign places to which they are appointed; and it is expedient that the like powers should be given to ambassadors and other diplomatic agents and to vice-consuls and consular agents abroad: Be it enacted as follows:
1. From and after the passing of this Act, it shall and may be lawful for every British ambassador, envoy, minister, chargé d'affaires, or secretary of embassy or of legation exercising his functions in any foreign country, and for every British Vice-consul, acting-consul, pro-consul, or consular agent (as well as every consul-general or consul) exercising his functions in any foreign place, whenever he shall be thereto required, and whenever he shall see necessary, to administer in such foreign coun
2. Affidavits and affirmations so taken as aforesaid under the said Act of Geo. 4 or this Act shall and may be received, read, and made use of in and before any Court of law or equity or other judicature whatever in any part of the United Kingdom, and the Judges and officers thereof, in or in relation to any action, suit, cause, matter, or proceeding in or before and shall be of the same force and effect, as any such Court or judicature, in like manner, affidavits and affirmations taken in or before such Court or judicature, or by any person duly commissioned or authorised by such Court or judicature to take such affidavits or affirmations, and shall be filed and dealt with accordingly.
3. Any document purporting to have affixed, impressed, or subscribed thereon or thereto the seal and signature of any British ambassador, envoy, minister, chargé d'affaires, secretary of embassy or of legation, consul-general, consul, vice-consul, acting consul, pro-consul, or consular agent, in testimony of any such oath, affidavit, affirmation, or act having been administered, sworn, affirmed, had, or done by or before him, shall be admitted in evidence, without proof of any such seal and signature being the seal and signature of the person whose seal and signature the same purport to be, or of the official character of such person.
4. Any person knowingly and wilfully making any false oath, affidavit, or affirmation before any person having authority to administer such oath or take such affidavit or affirmation under the said Act of King George the Fourth or this Act, shall be deemed guilty of perjury, and such offender may be charged, proceeded against, tried, and dealt with in any county or place in the United Kingdom in the same manner in all respects as if the offence had been committed in such county or place.
5. If any person shall forge any such seal or signature as aforesaid,, or shall tender in evidence any such document as aforesaid with a false or counterfeit seal or signature thereto,
knowing the same to be false or counterfeit, he order upon the officer in whose custody such shall be guilty of felony, and shall upon con- person is for discharging such person out of viction be liable to penal servitude for the term custody, and such officer shall, on the receipt of four years, or to be imprisoned, with or with- of such order, forthwith discharge such perout hard labour, for any term not exceeding son; and it shall not be necessary for such three years nor less than one year; and when-person to take any oath of future obedience to ever any such document has been admitted in his or her ordinary: Provided always, that evidence by virtue of this Act, the Court or the such order shall not be made unless the costs person who has admitted the same may, at the lawfully incurred in any such suit shall have request of any party against whom the same is been previously paid into the registry of such so admitted in evidence, direct that the same Ecclesiastical Court, or unless the person shall be impounded and be kept in the custody against whom such costs shall have been deof some officer of the Court or other proper creed shall have already suffered imprisonment person for such period, and subject to such for one month in consequence of non-payment conditions, as to the said Court or person shall thereof. seem meet; and every person charged with committing any felony under this Act may be dealt with, indicted, tried, and, if convicted, sentenced, and his offence may be laid and charged to have been committed, in the county, district, or place in which he may be apprehended or be in custody; and every accessory before or after the fact to any such offence may be dealt with, indicted, tried, and, if convicted, sentenced, and his offence laid and charged to have been committed, in any county, district, or place in which the principal offender may be tried.
18 & 19 VICT. c. 41.
Jurisdiction of Ecclesiastical Courts in England, &c., in suits for defamation abolished; s. 1.
Persons in custody for defamation under order of Ecclesiastical Courts to be discharged, but such order not to be made until costs are paid; s. 2.
ALTERATIONS IN COMMON LAW PLEAD-
18 VICT. c. 26.
The preamble recites the 13 & 14 Vict. c. 16.
Powers conferred by the recited Act on Judges of Superior Courts of Common Law at Westminster continued.
The following is the Title and Section of the Act:
An Act to continue an Act of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Years of Her present Majesty, for enabling the Judges of the Courts of Common Law at Westminster to alter the Forms of Pleading. [25th May, 1855.]
Whereas by an Act of the 13 & 14 Vict. c. the Courts of Common Law at Westminster to 16, intituled "An Act to enable the Judges of alter the Forms of Pleading," powers were given to the Judges of the Superior Courts of Common Law at Westminster, within five
The following are the Title and Sections years from the passing of that Act, to make of the Act:
An Act for abolishing the Jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Courts of England and Wales in Suits for Defamation. [26th June, 1855.] Whereas the jurisdiction of the Ecclesiastical Courts in suits for defamation has ceased to be the means of enforcing the spiritual discipline of the Church, and has become grievous and oppressive to the subjects of this realm: Be it therefore enacted, as follows:
such alterations in the mode of pleading in the said Courts, and in the mode of entering and transcribing pleadings, judgments, and other proceedings in actions at law, and in the time and manner of objecting to errors in pleadings and other proceedings, and in the mode of verifying pleas and obtaining final judgment, without trial in certain cases, and such regulations as to the payment of costs, and otherwise for carrying into effect the said alterations, as to them may seem expedient: And whereas the said powers by the said Act conferred are about to expire, and it is des sirable that the same should be further pro longed: Be it therefore enacted, That the powers conferred by the said herein before-recited Act on the Judges of the said Superior 2. In the case of every person committed to Courts of Common Law at Westminster shall gaol before the passing of this Act under any the passing of this Act, subject always to the be continued for a period of five years from writ de contumace capiendo, issued in consequence of any proceedings before any provisions and conditions in the said recited Ecclesiastical Court in any cause or suit for Act contained as to any rules, orders, and redefamation of character, the Judge of the gulations which may be made by the said Ecclesiastical Court before whom such pro-Judges under and by virtue of the said powers. ceeding shall have been had shall make an
1. From and after the passing of this Act, it shall not be lawful for any Ecclesiastical Court in England or Wales to entertain or adjudicate upon any suit for or cause of defamation, any Statute, Law, Canon, custom or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
ASSIZE AND SESSIONS BILL.
ANALYSIS OF CLAUSES.
HER Majesty in Council may order adjoining counties to be united for the purposes of this Act; sect. 1.
Her Majesty in Council may order counties of cities to be united with the counties surrounding them for the purposes of this Act; s. 2. Such order to continue in force until revoked by her Majesty in Council; s. 3.
When counties are so united Commissions may be issued into either, or into the county at large; s. 4.
Prisoners in the gaol of a county for which Commissions are not issued to be removed to the gaol of the county for which Commissions are issued; s. 5.
When the trial or sentence of any prisoner removed under the preceding section is postponed the Court may remand the prisoner to the gaol from whence he was removed, to be there imprisoned till the next assizes; s. 6.
Where counties are united the Court may sentence prisoners to be punished either in the county where they are convicted, or in that where the offence was committed, and in the latter case may order the prisoners to be taken back to the county from whence they were removed; s. 7.
The treasurer of the county in which any offence is alleged to have been committed shall pay to the treasurer of the prison in which the offender is confined the expenses of his maintenance, imprisonment, &c.; s. 8.
An account of the expenses of prisoners to be delivered; s. 9.
to be removed into the city, and there punished; s. 15.
Prisoners while under removal to be deemed in legal custody; s. 16.
Inquisition, &c., to be returned to the proper officer of the Court from the county for which no commission is issued ;, s. 17.
Process may be issued against persons at large on the finding of an indictment against them, and witnesses may be compelled to attend at the trial, &c.;, s. 18.
Costs of prosecutions and rewards may be ordered to be paid; s. 19.
Courts held for one of two or more adjoining counties to have the same authority as if held in each of such counties; s. 20.
Offences which are triable in the county for which Commissions are not issued may be tried, &c., in the county for which Commissions are issued; s. 21.
Offences committed in a county of a city united with a county at large may be tried, &c., in such county at large; s. 22.
Form of recognizance where counties are united; s. 23.
Form of recognizance where a county of a city is united with a county at large; s. 24.
Her Majesty in Council may make rules for effecting the purposes of this Act; s. 25.
Justices of the peace and recorders shall hold four additional Sessions, unless the Home Secretary shall dispense with any of them; s. 26.
The times of holding the additional Sessions to be fixed at the Epiphany Sessions; s. 27. Justices of the peace may determine that a legal chairman with a salary shall be appointed,
Any disputes to be settled by arbitration; and thereupon the Crown may appoint such a chairman, who shall be a justice of the peace and have the same authority as chairmen now have; s. 28.
Arbitrating barrister may state a special case for the opinion of any Common Law Court at Westminster, or raise any question for such Court on his award'; s. 11.
In case barrister die, &c., before making his award, another may be appointed; s. 12,
Prisoners in the gaol of a county of a city to be brought before the Court for the county at large for trial, &c.; s. 13.
Chairman to take oaths and make a declaration before acting; 29.
The Bill has been amended in Committee by altering the 28th clause, and directing that the justices of the peace may determine that a “legal" assistant chairman" should be appointed; and providing that such assistant chairman shall not
When the trial or sentence of any prisoner removed under the preceding section is post-interfere in any business relating to county rates, poned, the prisoner shall be taken back to the or licenses of inns, &c., or the removal of officers. gaol from whence he was removed, and there And by a new clause the justices may deterimprisoned till the next assizes; s. 14. mine that an assistant chairman is no longer Prisoners convicted at the assizes for a necessary, and thereupon the Crown may county at large of offences committed in a city cancel the appointment.
NOTICES OF NEW BOOKS.
self, conspicuous for his eminent attainments in both law and letters.
Blackstone's Commentaries systematically Our space prevents a fitting analysis of Abridged and adapted to the existing this elaborate performance; a careful conState of the Law and Constitution, with sideration of which prompts us heartily to great Additions. By SAMUEL WARREN, express a wish, that every lawyer and memof the Inner Temple, Esq., D.C.L., ber of either House of Parliament, every F.R.S., Recorder of Hull, and one of clergyman, every member of our univerher Majesty's Counsel. London: W. Maxwell. Pp. 834.
sities, every one interested in the great work of education, would possess himself of a THIS work is of a highly important and work shedding a flood of light on the existinteresting character both to the Profession ing laws and constitution of this great and the Public. It must be regarded as a country. We know of no other that can substitute for one long looked for, in conse- compete with it; and it supplies a void quence of announcements from time to time which every one has felt for years. It is that Mr. Warren's leisure was occupied fortunate, indeed, that Mr. Warren has had with the preparation of an elaborate edition the courage and patience to qualify himself of the entire Commentaries. for his work, by some twenty years of laWe are not in the least surprised that the idea is at bour at every interval of leisure. length abandoned, for the magnitude of such A conspicuous portion of the work is an undertaking is necessarily on too great a that "scrupulous fidelity and even judicial scale to be consistent with the sweeping partiality," to which he lays claim, in his and incessant changes now made in our graceful dedication to the Earl of Derby, as laws. Mr. Warren, in his Preface to the Chancellor of the University which nurtured Blackstone. Mr. Warren's well-known work before us, touchingly indicates his labour lost on the above score: "The conservative opinions, for instance, has not labour of a whole long vacation has several blinded his eyes to the enlightened innotimes been rendered useless by the altera-vations on ancient things, consequent upon tions effected in the ensuing Session of the passing of the Reform Bill; and we Parliament!" And yet it is of the utmost history of the last twenty years legislation, would point to the impressive and masterly importance for both professional and aca- with which (pp. 704-726,) the work demic purposes, that there should be some one portable work, exhibiting faithfully, closes, as an irresistible proof of his title to and comprehensively, the existing condition the implicit confidence of his readers. of our laws and constitution-to which reference would be easy by a lucid arrangement and a full index. In the handsome and very cheap volume before us, this has been most admirably effected by Mr. Warren, who is indeed the Author of twothirds of the nine hundred pages of which it consists.
"It were to be wished that the changes in our laws effected during the last 19 years, and throwing into the shade those of several centuries recorded in our annals, could have been lineated by a pen so masterly, as those of Sir reviewed by an eye so discriminating, and deWilliam Blackstone. There is a special reason for exhibiting a faithful picture of legislation during this interval; that it follows, and is "It is considered," says Mr. Warren, largely due to, the energy and activity infused "that the proper method of preparing for into the Legislature, by the Acts passed in the the public such a work as the present, is to year 1832, for amending the representation of conceive, if possible, how Sir William Black- the people. As in all great changes, the one stone would now look at the edifice of our in question was inaugurated with sanguine laws and constitution after a century's le- of evil. It is for the impartial chronicler of predictions of good, and confident forebodings gislation, giving him credit for being im- our laws and institutions, to afford an oppor bued with the spirit of an age entitled to tunity for judging how far events have justibe regarded as one of progress and en-fied the hopes and fears of those respectively lightenment. It has been endeavoured to favouring, and deprecating, so great and suddo this, in the present volume, which den a strengthening of the democratic element be regarded as a SYNOPSIS of our laws and in our constitution. The change in question constitution as they stand in the year diction of one of its responsible promoters, has already gone far towards verifying the pre1855." Had the whole Profession been that it must influence the character of the canvassed, we doubt not that its voice would Government and the Legislature in all future have been unanimous in indicating Mr. Warren as the gentleman best qualified for 1 Hansard, vol. ii. col. 1318, 9 (3rd Ser.), such an undertaking: like Blackstone him- Viscount Palmerston.
JULY 7, 1855.]
Review: Warren's Blackstone.
times, and impress its influence on the whole | spotless integrity, of the greatest intellect, and frame of society.' A consideration of what has beyond all suspicion of undue bias or motive, been done, and attempted, since the year 1852, if it could only be made out by a train of subtle suffices to remind us that activity and energy in the Legislature, must be associated with prudence, moderation, and forethought, in order to secure the enduring results of bold and beneficial legislation."
Another leading and truly admirable characteristic of this work, is its systematic development of the Christian character of our institutions. From the solemn and stately language of the introduction to the concluding paragraph of the work, this object is never lost sight of, and for this we tender Mr. Warren our cordial acknowledgments. This communicates a pure and lofty tone and character to the entire work, which must exercise a most salutary influence. The next feature of the work which struck us in an examination of its pages (not near so deliberately as we could have wished), is the ease and felicity with which principles are expounded; in a style at once so chaste and picturesque, as to challenge the observation of the most idle reader, and fix in his mind the subject so illustrated. This is the mode, for instance, in which we are introduced to the vast changes effected in the Law of Evidence.
reasoning that he might have a single farthing's interest in the ultimate issue; while the same law admitted into the witness-box those influenced and tempted, by the strongest ties of natural affection, to deceive.
of steps in that direction, the Legislature, by a "At length, in the year 1851, after a series single section of Statute 14 & 15 Vict. c. 99, let in a flood of light on every question, thenceforth made the subject of legal investigation, by removing the incapacity of THE PARTIES themselves to any legal proceeding. This effected a complete revolution in this extensive department of the law. Those who had for ages stood with sealed lips in Courts of Civil Justice, while their characters, properties, rights, and liberties were assailed, by falsehood and fraud, with perfect impunity,; those who alone knew the true facts in dispute, and yet were compelled to look on with silent indignation, while futile and illusory efforts were being made to prove those facts, were, by the fiat of the Legislature, suddenly given the power of speech, and enabled, in their own persons vivá voce, or by affidavit, to state those facts before competent authorities. From that moment fraud and chicane received a desperate check; and claims were justly enforced and resisted, which would otherwise have continued to be withheld, or submitted to, unjustly. It must not, however, be disguised, that these great advantages have been not unattended with the countervailing disadvantages of exposure to a temptation to commit perjury, too frequently proving irresistible."
"Such fundamental changes have been effected in the Law of Evidence within the last ten years, or even a much shorter period, that it may be said to stand upon quite a new basis, and to be thoroughly illuminated by the light of good sense. In no department of our juris- This work, modestly called "a systemprudence has the hand of innovation been atic abridgment," partakes far more of the bolder or more successful. The Legislature character of a deeply-considered original has liberated the Law of Evidence from work; into which is incorporated the very shackles which had for centuries impeded its essence of all that remains in force as ex-search after truth; and whoever can contrast There are no the present with the very recent state of that pounded by Blackstone. law, will feel astonishment that such impedi- fewer than 70 chapters traversing every ments should have been tolerated so long. department of our laws, with a view (wisely English law books swarm with complex rules, discarding as Mr. Warren does, merely and decisions of Courts carrying out those historical and antiquarian topics) to exhibit rules with a sort of relentless and excruciating them as they now are; all the Parliameningenuity, the effect of which is now seen by tary and municipal changes; and those all, to have been only to shut, carefully, as connected with the administration of jusmany apertures as possible, through which
that truth might be seen, which Courts of tice. In addition to this, about a dozen Justice were instituted to discover. This arose chapters are devoted to the exposition of. from a marvellous distrust of the conscientiousness of witnesses, and the intelligence of juries, together with an inversely strong confidence in the means resorted to by law for obviating such evils. To see whether these remarks are well or ill-founded, it may be observed, that down to the year 1843, the law excluded from the witness-box a person of
the leading doctrines of law, and frequently
An interleaved copy of this work would