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JULY 21, 1855.]
Hull Borough Sessions.
labour and inconvenience of themselves holding the sessions, remain to be seen. But consider the greatly increased-the doubled expense thus suddenly thrown on counties and boroughs; and the very serious additional tax imposed on the time of prosecutors, jurymen, and witnesses; and the hardship imposed on the Bar hitherto attending sessions. And I cannot help asking, in common justice and reason, whether the position of recorders is to be lost sight of? I, for instance, shall have, if I retain the office, to travel henceforth every six weeks to Hull, thus not only almost consuming the small salary annexed to the office, in the expense of living here, and coming, and returning, but seriously, if not fatally, interfering with practice at the Bar, both in London and at the assizes. I consider the office of recorder, especially of such an important place as Hull, to be a most responsible one, which ought to be filled by a gentleman whose rank and standing at the Bar afford some guarantee to the public for his fitness; but if this Bill pass in its present form, recorders must be resident on the spot, and possibly those gentlemen in whom the Profession and the Public would have confidence, will not, and cannot accept the office. The Bill makes no provision whatever for increasing the salaries of recorders, whose duties and expenses it thus suddenly doubles; but I am sure that as far as that goes, the Lord Chancellor is far too just a man to allow the Bill to pass with such an omission.
and being liable to others before it quits that the county justices will avail themselves of this House, with which I am not fully acquainted. option, or whether they will prefer the double Gentlemen, I venture, with the utmost respect, to express a doubt whether this Bill has received that full consideration which such an one demanded. The general scope of the measure is this. Her Majesty, by Order in Council, may order any two or more adjoining counties without regard to their being at present on different circuits-to be united, for the purpose of trying, in one of them, at an assize or assizes additional to the present Spring and Summer ones, any one charged with an offence committed in any of such united counties. And in like manner a county of a city, situate as Hull is, within a county at large, may be, for the same purpose, united with the county at large. A commission for the trial of such offences may issue for any one of such adjoining counties, or for such county at large, alone; and all persons committed in any of the other counties, shall be removed to the gaol of that for which the commission is issued, and be there tried. If found guilty, the offender may be punished in either the county where the conviction took place, or where the offence was committed; but in the former case the treasurer of the county where the offence was committed must pay to the treasurer of the county in which the offender is confined, the expense of his imprisonment and maintenance; disputes on the subject being adjusted by the machinery specially appointed for the purpose. Thus much for the proposed changes in the assizes, which are of an extensive character as you may see, disturbing very ancient institutions of this country, and especially the ambulatory administration of criminal justice Thus much for the Assizes and Sessions which has prevailed for ages; but I say no- Bill; and I think that its framers have not thing more at present concerning them, that I bestowed due attention on the effect of anmay come to the clause which so materially other which I hold in my hand, and which affects us here at Hull-that which relates to also appears on the eve of receiving the asthe sessions. It is proposed to enact, that the sent of the Legislature, entitled "An Act justices of the peace in counties, and the re- for Diminishing Expense and Delays in the corders of boroughs, shall hold four additional Administration of Criminal Justice, in certain general sessions unless the Secretary of State, cases." Now, gentlemen, a moment's considerin case of the smallness of the number of ation will show that the designed object, and prisoners, shall give a dispensation, to be re- the probable if not certain effect of this will be called when he shall think fit. These addi- not only to render superfluous, or at all events tional sessions are to be fixed annually at the premature, the other Bill-not only to afford no Epiphany Sessions, by the justices and record- occasion for double sessions, but to cause those ers respectively, so that the sessions and already held to shrink, as it were, into a span! assizes may be held at times as nearly equi- Because this second Bill invests justices and distant as possible. The county justices may stipendiary magistrates with the power, in the determine that a barrister-at-law, of not less great majority of session cases, of dealing than ten years' standing, shall be appointed to summarily with them, in pleas of either guilty, preside at all or any of the sessions, as they or not guilty; so that I, for one, so far from may think fit, at a salary which they may fix; looking for doubled sessions, looked forward but the appointment of such a salaried chair- to seeing my calendar reduced to a dozen priman is to be vested in the Crown; and he is soners, or thereabouts, the sessions contracted to hold his appointment during his good be- into a day, and the Bar dwindled into two or haviour or for life, for that is really what it three gentlemen, who hardly find it worth their means, as it is the presumption of law, that a while to come and afford the Court their assistperson appointed to an honourable office, will ance, and themselves acquire a knowledge of behave himself properly so long as he lives. the practice of an honourable profession. And He is to be ex officio a justice of the peace, it seems to me, that if this second Bill be not and to be able to appoint a deputy, in case of in itself a failure, it will render the other such. sickness or unavoidable absence. Whether To proceed with the Bill, is like doubling your
team, while halving or quartering your load! | then"—even in his time, "so far extended, as, A word or two, however, on this second Bill, if a check were not timely given, to threaten which has undergone important and beneficial the disuse of our admirable and truly English modifications since I last addressed you; to trial by jury, unless only in capital cases." which my highly valued friend, your late dis- And after enumerating the evil consequences tinguished recorder, Mr. Baines, contributed, flowing from this tendency, he says, that from in a Select Committee to which the Bill was them "we may collect the prudent foresight of referred. As amended by them, the Bill now our law-givers; who suffered neither the prostands essentially thus. In simple larceny of perty, nor the punishment of the subject, to be property to the amount of five shillings, or re- determined by the opinion of any one or two ceiving it, knowing it to have been stolen,-or men; and we may also observe the necessity in the case of an attempt to commit larceny of not deviating any further from our own anfrom the person, or simple larceny, justices of cient constitution, by ordaining new penalties to the peace may dispose of it summarily; and if be inflicted upon summary conviction!" Gena confession, or a procf, if defence be offered, tlemen, resist the thin edge of the wedge; five and a conviction ensue, they may commit to shillings will soon swell into five, fifty, or five prison, with or without hard labour, for a pe- hundred pounds; and on the one hand, the pririod not exceeding three months. They may soner loses the precious right he has of being dismiss the charge, if not proved, and such tried by his equals; the public lose the benefit of dismissal bars all future proceedings. All this, the salutary terror of a solemn public exposure however, is on the assumption that the pri- in Court before Judge and Jury, inspired into soner consents to such summary proceedings: those meditating guilt; while your own valufor he is to be expressly asked whether he does able functions of grand jurymen are altogether so, or prefers his case being sent to the ses- abrogated. But if these arguments must not sions or assizes, in which latter case the law prevail, and this Bill is to pass into a law, is it will take its course as formerly. If there be a not premature, indeed, to pass the other Bill previous conviction against the prisoner, ren- into law, without waiting to see the operation dering him liable to transportation or penal of this which may render it nugatory? Genservitude, or if the justices think the charge tlemen, there appears to me one change which to be otherwise fitter for adjudication at the the legislature might most beneficially introassizes or sessions, they will simply commit duce-simply by restoring the jurisdiction for trial as at present. Again: in case of taken from Quarter Sessions in the year 1842, simple larceny of property above the value of by Statute 5 & 6 Vict. c. 38,-in every case of five shillings, or of stealing from the person, an offence punishable by transportation for or of larceny as a clerk or servant, or embez- life, and in a series of other special cases; for zlement, or obtaining or attempting to obtain instance, burglary, bigamy, perjury, forgery, property by false pretences-a prisoner, being arson, libel, conspiracies, &c. I never saw the duly cautioned that it is optional to do so, may propriety of this arbitrary change: but now plead guilty; on which he may be at once sen- all reason for it is removed by the subsequent tenced by the justices, provided the imprison- passing, in 1848, of the Statute 11 & 12 Vict. ment with or without hard labour, be not c. 78, constituting the new Criminal Appeal longer than six months. But the petty ses- Court: by which any miscarriage in point sions at which all this is done, is to be an open of law, at either assizes or sessions, may be public Court, of which full previous notice is promptly rectified, and substantial justice done to be conspicuously given. These powers may between the public and the prisoner. What be executed by any stipendiary magistrate, as serious offences can we, and do we, try in well as the justices. this Court, punishable with fifteen years' transportation! If an error, in fact or in law, Gentlemen, I shall not repeat at length be committed at the trial, the Secretary of what I said at the last sessions, and have State, or the Appeal Court can promptly set it often since stated to members of both Houses right; and consider what a vast saving of exof Parliament, on the subject of these mea- pense and time it would be, to dispose of such sures, and which views I know to have cases on the spot, instead of dragging jurymen met with their cordial concurrence. But I and witnesses to the assizes. This, gentlemen, enter my solemn protest, as one ardently at- I think, would be a solid improvement in the tached to the liberty of the subject, against law, and in unison with the modern feeling in the principle on which the measure proceeds, favour of the local administration of justice. and which, however plausibly recommended As to the evil of keeping untried prisoners by factitious and delusive safeguards derived long in custody, no one feels it more strongly from a prisoner's preference of summary correction, is a direct invasion of our glorious and hallowed institution, trial by jury. I quoted to you in my last charge, a very striking passage from Blackstone: and I have since discovered another, still more pertinent and forcible, and which I do earnestly commend to your attention, and that of our hasty legislators. He said that "summary conviction was objectionable.
than I do; but I would remedy it as far as practicable by liberality in granting bail, which is in accordance with the explicit enactment of the famous Bill of Rights; and I would also, at all events, wait to see the effect of the most important measure proposed to obviate this very evil, before hurrying into that other measure which seems to me so
JULY 21, 1855.]
Hull Borough Sessions.
Gentlemen, a third Bill most materially affect- might say much, because I feel deeply on this ing us, is also at this moment before a Select subject, but all I will say is, that since I arCommittee of the House of Commons-that of rived in Hull I find something is really doing; a public prosecutor. To that, also, I, as well as the vast majority of the Legal Profession, am very strongly opposed; and for reasons which I have twice explained from this place. But I have grounds for believing that the measure is not likely to obtain the sanction of the Legislature. Unless I am misinformed, very strong evidence has been given against the measure, before the Select Committee before which it is lying.
Another Bill concerning us is before Parliament a short but useful one, simply for causing the witnesses who go before you, to be sworn before you, instead of here in Court, which it only disturbs, while it impairs the impressiveness and solemnity of the oath administered amidst such hurry and confusion.
that though the local papers, which I read regularly every week with more interest and attention than I do even the London_daily papers, have been silent on this subject during the last few weeks, I nevertheless am assured, on indisputable authority, that the movement is progressing satisfactorily in this borough. Gentlemen, that is of itself a rich consolation to all in this town who are resolved to render God good service, and take the best possible mode of removing the increasing weight of crime with which society is burdened. Gentlemen, let none of us who have put our hands to the plough dare to look back, but having perceived the danger and the difficulty, let us confront the one, let us make a vigorous effort to overcome the other. Let us never lay down our arms but with life. For, as our Saviour I have been thus full and explicit on the sub- says, "the poor ye have always with you," so ject of these proposed changes in the adminis- shall we always have the guilty. Let us be tration of criminal justice, not only because they stimulated to the work by the reflection-how are so deeply interesting and important to our- criminal we all are in the sight of our unsleepselves here, but because I entertain a strong ing and Omniscient Creator! Gentlemen, it impression that none of them far advanced makes my heart bleed to hear and to read though some of them be, will receive the as- complaisant declamations on the subject of sent of the Legislature this year, in the present crime when committed by the lower orders! advanced period of the session, in the state of Do not certain recent disclosures force us to public business, and the temper of the House think of our own and the higher orders? of Commons. There will be time, in such an Cannot we pluck out the beam that is in our event, for giving that consideration to those own eye before we pronounce too severely_as Bills which they demand, and which I do not to the mote that is in our brother's eye? Let see that they have hitherto received. Gentle- us make an allowance for poor transgressors, men, ever since I sat here, I have felt it an in- young or old, who stand at that bar, exteresting duty to lay before the grand jury, posed to temptations which they cannot resist. and through them this large and enlightened Cannot we, whom Providence has blessed with section of the community, the changes pro- a lot above theirs, take care to exhibit those posed and effected, in the administration of virtues which ought to adorn that more elecriminal justice. No people can be deemed vated sphere? Let us seek-not with Phaworthy of liberty, that does not feel a lively risaic pride to thank God that we are not alike interest in such matters; and I believe, nay I sinful with them; but with a gratitude corresknow, that you do. But what have we hitherto ponding with our mercies in being reclaimed been concerned with? The mode of punish- ourselves, and stimulated by that kindness ing crime at once efficiently-and shall I which has been bestowed upon us, may we say it economically, a word which may earnestly strive that our poor brother may resuggest serious and stinging reflection on ceive the same assistance. I have read the retoo conspicuous tendency of the age. port of your exemplary and pious gaol chapWhile we are thus seeking to punish, as lain, with feelings of deep emotion. You will, quickly and cheaply as possible, our guilty I hope, all read it attentively, for it discloses but unfortunate brethren, cannot we cast our in vivid hideousness, ignorance, and intemeyes on, and seek to occupy higher ground- perance, and the barbarous neglect and corthe prevention of crime? Indeed we can, but ruption of youthful innocence, in full and fell this, I need not remind you, cannot be done action. by the spasmodic efforts of mere eloquent and sentimental philanthropy, and pecuniary libe- The learned Recorder then, with a few rality. What has been done, gentlemen-ac- passing remarks on the calendar, dismissed tually done, in the great cause of Reformation, the grand jurors to their duties. The calendar in this borough, since we last met? Are we was heavier than, until a week ago, he had anall standing languidly, as it were, with wooden ticipated-containing 46 or 47 cases, and the axes, around the dread Upas tree of crime? Believe me, keen steel, sinewy arms, and a thoroughly-determined will-an impulse and energy springing from a sincere and enlightened heart and conscience-are needed to lay the axe to the root of that accursed tree, with any hope of felling it. Gentlemen, I
names of upwards of 50 persons for trial. One was a case of escape from prison and violent assault upon one of the upper officers of the gaol, but none of them required from him any particular remark. In hearing the evidence of some young children, who were stated to have been robbed, the good sense of the grand
jurors would lead them to take it in such a way as would preserve the composure and self-possession of the witnesses.-Hull Ex
COURT OF CHANCERY.
RETURN to an order of the House of Commons, dated 8th June, 1855, "of the Number of Causes in the High Court of Chancery, whether commenced by Bill or Claim, in which Evidence was taken, between the 1st day of November, 1853, and the 1st day of November, 1854:"
"Of the Number of such Causes in which the Evidence was taken Orally:"
"Of the Number of such Causes in which the Evidence was taken by Affidavit:"
"And, of the Number of such Causes in which any Witness or Party was Examined therein, under the Act 15 & 16 Vict. c. 86, s. 39, before the Court where such Causes were heard; with the Names of the Judges before whom such Examinations took place (in continuation of Parliamentary Paper, No. 234, of Session 1854)."
Return of the Number of Causes in the High
to the 1st October, 1848, from which date they have been paid by Salary 3. Total amount of the Salaries paid to the Judges, by way of Salary, from the 1st October, 1848, to the 1st Jan., 1854.
4. Total amount of the Allowances for Travelling paid to the Judges, from 1st October, 1848, to the 1st Jan., 1854 .
Difference between the total amount of Judges' Fees reIceived in the Courts since the 1st October, 1848, and the amount of Salaries and Travelling Expenses paid thereout
6. Total amount 'of Clerks'
Fees received in all the Courts from the 13th March, 1847, to the 1st January, 1854 (the division of which is shown in the three following Columns)
7. Total amount of Salaries paid thereout to those Clerks mentioned in the Order of Council of the 30th July, 1849, and who are alone paid by Salary, and to their Office Clerks, from 1st October, 1849, to the 1st January, 1854 .
8. Total amount of Fees received by those Clerks of County Courts who are not paid by Salary
£ s. d.
150,684 0 0
333,000 0 0
64,433 0 0
18,911 0 0
557,772 0 0
76,725 0 0
464,242 0 0
9. Surplus of the Fees received in those Courts, the Clerks of which are paid by Salary, under the Order of Council of the 30th July, 1849, over and above the amount of their Salaries and those of their Clerks 10. Total amount of High Bailiffs' Fees received in all the Courts from 13th March, 1847, to 1st January, 1854. 394,054 0 0 Paid over to the High Bailiffs,
these officers being remunerated by fees alone. 11. Total amount received by the treasurer of each Court, on account of the general fund, from March, 1847, to 1st January, 1854 12. Total payments made thereout for the disbursements of each Court during the same period.
13. Difference between receipts and expenditure
16,805 0 0
321,589 0 0
275,282 0 0
46,307 0 0
14. Total amount allowed to treasurers to defray their
JULY 21, 1855.] Parliamentary Returns: County Courts.-Statute Law Reform.
£ s. d. by Welsby and Beavan, taking care to make the division as perfect as possible, and, where 23,737 0 O necessary, as will sometimes occur, referring the same clause to more heads than one. Having done this, I propose to arrange the clauses of each head in chronological order, 4,344 0 0 and to number them consecutively 1, 2, 3, &c. ; but, for convenience of reference, to retain also their present designations by chapter and section.
2,511 0 0
"For completeness I propose by a general enactment to repeal all Statutes and parts of Statutes not dealt with in this way.
"I propose that no alterations should be made in the wording of the sections, except 23,450 0 0 perhaps merely for the purpose of supplying references.
Out of surplus
"With respect to future Statutes, each enactment should be referred at once to its proper head, and the new sections should be numbered consecutively, in continuation of the preceding sections of the head to which they belong.
By way of illustration, I have appended the Statute Law relating to Arbitration,' treated in the way I have suggested. On the left-hand side are the proposed new numbers of the different sections, and on the right their present designations by chapter and section. Future enactments might be engrafted upon those already in force in the way indicated by what follows s. 17, of 17 & 18 Vict. c. 125.
"I have added an index for the purpose merely of showing how the special enactments of any head might be dealt with as distinguished from the general enactments of the same head.
"The advantages of the plan I have ventured to bring before your lordship appear to me sufficiently obvious; but I will take the liberty of mentioning four :
"1. By retaining the different enactments in their integrity, with no further alterations than such as I have suggested, no disturbance would take place in the law as settled by the decided cases.
2. By collecting the clauses under their PROPOSED PLAN OF REVISING THE EX-proper heads, and numbering those of each
ISTING AND FUTURE STATUTES.
IN the form of a letter to the Lord Lord Chancellor, Mr. Kimplay2 has proposed a plan for dealing with the Statute Law, public and general, which we submit to our readers ::
"I propose, in the first place, to ascertain the whole Statute Law in force intended to be retained, and to divide this into heads, as is done in the valuable edition of Chitty's Statutes
1 In two cases the money has been borrowed on mortgage of the general fund, under sect. 51 of 9 & 10 Vict. c. 95, the total amount borrowed being 8,6001.
• Proposed Plan for dealing with the Statute Law. By James Kemplay, M.A., Barrister-atLaw. London: Benning. Pp. 16.
head consecutively 1, 2, 3, &c., and continuing such consecutive system of numbering in the future enactments falling under the same head, the whole Statute Law relating to any particular subject would always be presented in a compact form, with some security for its completeness. At the same time, by retaining, in addition to the new system of numbering, the present designations of the clauses by chapter and section, the same facility of reference as exists at present would be afforded.
"3. By collecting the Statute Law intended to be retained, and repealing all the rest by a general enactment, a service of a far more practical and useful kind would be rendered both to the public and the Profession, than by merely determining the enactments which have been repealed or are obsolete.
"4. The plan suggested would not in any way interfere with the great work of codifica