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as well as of Legal fitness, but that such certificates be competed for or not at the option of the Candidate.

The Committee in deliberating upon the measures suggested for the improvement of their branch of the Profession, have felt it desirable to ascertain and consider the improvements which have been effected or proposed for the Examination of Candidates for admission to the Bar, and to the Medical and Clerical Professions. They find that many years ago the College of Surgeons and the Society of

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE IN- Apothecaries established regulations, under


which a very comprehensive course of study Appointed by the Council on 24th February, became requisite on the part of Candidates ap1853, to consider the subject of the Examina- plying for admission to practise, and that the tion of Gentlemen intended for the Profession Examinations at the College of Surgeons and of Attorneys and Solicitors to ascertain the Hall of Apothecaries have been conducted with extent of their Proficiency-First, in General considerable strictness, and with beneficial Literature und Science; and, Secondly, in effect. It is also well known that, before OrKnowledge of the Law in its several branches: dination, Candidates must pass several Clasand the Subject of the Classification of Can-sical as well as Theological Examinations, and (with few exceptions) graduate at one of the Universities. With regard to the Bar, the Benchers of the Four Inns of Court have formed a joint Council of Education for all the Inns, and have established Lectures and Examinations to which all the Students for the Bar are admitted, and attendance at which confers some advantages on the successful Candidates, although the Examination is not at present compulsory.


THE Committee have considered various communications made to the Council relating to proposed improvements in the Education and Examination of Articled Clerks; some recommending that Examination should take place before articles; others suggesting that Certificates of Honour should be granted of attainments in Classical and General Education

promissory notes would have much the effect of warrants of attorney, and it would, in the opinion of the Master of the Rolls in Ireland, be most objectionable to introduce the Scotch Law of summary diligence into England or Ireland without some provision to prevent fraudulent preference.

It is manifestly of great importance that the Attorneys and Solicitors should take steps to maintain their position amongst the Learned Professions. Considering that in the performance of their duties they have to advise clients in the highest ranks of society, on questions often of the most delicate nature, affecting the peace and happiness of families, and that their efficiency and usefulness are much increased where their general as well as legal attainments The petition from Birmingham to Parliament are such as to command respect and attention; on the subject is, in the opinion of the Master-that they also have to appear before Comof the Rolls in Ireland, very deserving of consideration.

Neither of the Bills before Parliament contains provisions to prevent such preference.

2 Mr. Anderson dissents from so much of the Report as, under the head of PRINCIPAL DEBTOR AND SURETY, recommends that the maxim that prevails in England and Ireland, "Ex nudo pacto non oritur actio," should not be interfered with, and that the rule that some consideration is essential to a valid contract should be preserved in those parts of the United Kingdom; and also from so much of the Report as, under the same head, recommends that the rule of the English and Irish Law, that an unqualified discharge by the creditor of one of several sureties operates as a discharge of all of them, should be extended to Scotland, being of opinion that the rule of the Law of Scotland, that an unqualified discharge by the creditor of one of several sureties operates as a discharge of the cosureties only to the extent to which the surety discharged is bound to contribute to the relief of the others, ought to be extended to England and Ireland.

mittees of the Houses of Parliament, the Judges of the Superior Courts and other Tribunals; to attend Public Boards, and communicate with Official Authorities;-it is for the interest of the community at large that Attorneys and Solicitors should receive a liberal education, and, like the Members of the Clerical and Medical Professions, besides their professional skill, possess those advantages which a knowledge of the liberal sciences and the society of learned men are so well calculated to confer.

Before stating the improvements which the Committee consider desirable in the Classical, Scientific, and Legal Education of Attorneys and Solicitors, it may be proper to notice briefly some of the old provisions for promoting that object. So early as the year 1403,' it was enacted, "that all the Attorneys should be examined by the Justices, and that they that were good and virtuous, and of good fame, should be sworn well and truly to serve in their offices." In 1606, it was enacted, "that

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none should be admitted, except those brought | presented a Memorial to the Judges and the up in the Courts, or otherwise well practised, Master of the Rolls, suggesting the expediency and of skilful and honest disposition." And, of an efficient Examination; and after many in 1654, it was provided by a Rule of the interviews with Deputations from the Society, Superior Courts at Westminster, "that none the Judges of the Courts, both of Law and should be admitted an Attorney, unless he had Equity, in 1836, made Rules and Regulations practised five years as a Common Solicitor in for the Examination of Candidates applying to Court, or had served five years as a Clerk, and be admitted; and in 1843, the Legislature should on examination be found of good ability authorised the Judges and the Master of the and honesty for such employment, and that Rolls to appoint Examiners. The Master of the Court should once in every year nominate the Rolls, by an order of January, 1844, and twelve or more able Practisers to examine such the Judges, by an order of Easter Term, 1846, persons as should desire to be admitted At- carried these provisions into effect. The Extorneys." aminers are the Masters of the several Courts of Law and 16 members of the Council of the Incorporated Law Society annually selected.

In former times all Attorneys were required to be Members of some Inn of Court or Chancery, and to be in Commons every Term, according to the Rules of the Superior Courts in 1632, 1654, and 1684; and in 1704 all the Courts of Common Law ordered, "that all Attorneys not already admitted into one of the Inns of Court or Chancery, should procure themselves to be admitted; and that for the future no person should be sworn an Attorney or admitted, unless first admitted of one of such Inns."

The Inns of Court and Chancery have not enforced this regulation: and, in fact, for many years all the four great Inns of Court have excluded those whose names are on the Roll of Attorneys and Solicitors, or who are articled to Attorneys or Solicitors, from being admitted Members of those Societies.

In 1729, it was enacted, "that the Judges, before they admitted any person to take the oath required by the Act, should examine and inquire, by such ways and means as they thought proper, touching his fitness and capacity to act as an Attorney."

The Judges, by Rules of Trinity Term, 1791, and Trinity Term, 1793, made Regulations, under which applicants for admission were required to give a Term's notice thereof, in various public places. Under these Regulations the several Law Societies, and other persons interested in the subject, both in town and country, were enabled to make inquiries into the character and conduct of the applicants, and to submit any objection against them to the consideration of the Judges; for which purpose it was the practice to enter a Caveat at the Judges' Chambers, whereupon notice was given, and the case heard before the Judge; but no regular Examination took place before any of the Judges, either of the Common Law Courts or in Chancery, regarding the fitness and capacity of the applicant to discharge the duties of an Attorney or Solicitor.

Several amendments in these Rules of Court were suggested by the Council and were adopted by the Judges; and the whole of the Regulations were consolidated by the Rules of Hilary Term, 1853, which came into operation on the 1st day of Trinity Term. Under these Rules the Examiners are authorised to require that the Candidates shall pass an Examination in the Law of Property and Conveyancing, as well as in Common Law and the Principles and Practice in Equity. They also continue the Examination in Bankruptcy, Criminal Law, and Proceedings before Magistrates, in order that the Candidates who answer the questions in these departments, may have the advantage of the ability shown in such Examinations in estimating their general qualifications.

In reviewing the course of Legal Education, it is not immaterial to observe that, so long as 22 years ago, the Incorporated Law Society instituted several courses of Lectures, which have been continued annually to the present time; and to these educational advantages may be added the formation by the Society of an extensive Law Library, consisting not only of the Text Books, Reports, Digests, and other works of a legal character, but also of Parliamentary Works, County History, Topography, and a large collection of miscellaneous books and books of reference.

On the 8th April, 1846, the House of Commons appointed a Select Committee "to_inquire into the state of Legal Education in Ireland, and the means for its further improvement and extension," which inquiry was afterwards extended "to the state, improvement, and extension of Legal Education in England." It appears that 18 meetings of the Select Committee were held, 27 witnesses were examined, and on the 25th August, 1846, the Committee made their report, which was printed with the Evidence, and occupies 400 folio pages.

The Select Committee in their Report reThe nature and extent of the Examination of commend "that in providing for the Legal Articled Clerks before their admission, were Education of the solicitor a stringent Exami frequently under the consideration of the Com-nation should be required, in proof of a sound mittee of Management under the 1st Charter General Education having been gone through of the Incorporated Law Society, and of the Council under the 2nd. In the early part of the year 1835, the Committee of Management

3 2 Geo. 2, c. 23, s. 2.

previous to admission to apprenticeship. That this Examination should embrace, in addition to the ordinary acquirements of the so-called Commercial Education, a competent knowledge of at least Latin, Geography, History, the ele

SEPT. 29, 1855.]

Education and Examination of Attorneys and Solicitors.


ments of Mathematics and Ethics, and of one ship until the age of eighteen or nineteen; and or more modern languages. That, for this might be of serious consequence to himthe further education of the Solicitor, it would self, or his father or guardian, by reason of the be highly advisable he should also have, even increased expense of education and maintewhilst articled Clerk, opportunities for attend-nance.

ance on certain classes of Lectures in the Inns If it were proposed to meet this difficulty by of Court, and also on others of a nature more shortening the term of Clerkship, the consespecial to his own Profession, in the Law quences would be found generally disadvanSociety of which he might happen to be a tageous; for though the inconveniences may member. . . That to render more bene-not be sensibly felt of a few persons being inficial Societies which embrace the double pur- troduced after taking a Degree at a University pose of surveillance over the Profession and of and serving a Clerkship of three years only, instruction, it would be advisable to keep the it is probable that not less than five years will purposes distinct, and to adopt in the appoint- be found requisite generally, for young men to ment of professors, rules analogous to those acquire sufficient knowledge of the practical recommended to the Inns of Court. details of the Profession.

That the Examination of the several courses which the future Solicitors should be required to attend, should be marked equally by a Certificate and Examination, and that the final Examination, as a condition for admitting to the Profession, should be conducted more in reference to general principles than technicalities, by enlarging and improving the Examination papers, and calling in some of the Examiners of the Inns of Court.

That it should be in the power either of the governing bodies of the Inns of Court, or of the Solicitors' Societies, to admit the Certificates of attendance on Lectures in the Universities to a certain extent, as exempting from attendance on their own." Amongst the members of this Select Committee were, Sir Thomas Wilde, Mr. Walpole, Mr. Watson, Mr. Wyse, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ewart, and Mr. Godson.

It should be recollected also that, however desirable such attainments may be, they must not be allowed to supplant the indispensable requisites of an extensive knowledge of the Law and the Practice of the Courts.

The Committee do not deem it necessary or expedient to set forth the names of the Authors in whose works they conceive the Examination should take place; because the Examiners would from time to time select and announce the books to which the Examination would extend. For the present, at all events, the Committee have deemed it sufficient to state the general scope of the preliminary Studies and Examination, leaving the details to be settled after the general plan has been approved.

The Committee have had under their consideration some cases, which might be deemed exceptions to the general rule, of persons of Having thus noticed the past progress of great industry and integrity, who have long Professional Education, and the views submit- and usefully served as Salaried Clerks in the ted to the House of Commons, the Committee Office of Solicitors, and who in the present proceed to offer some suggestions:-1st, On state of the Law might be articled and pass the General Education and Examination of the present Legal Examination, but probably persons entering into Articles of Clerkship. could not pass a Classical and Scientific Exa2nd, On the mode of conducting the Legal mination. Whilst the Committee regret that Examination and the time at which it should some meritorious persons may thus be extake place. cluded from the Profession, they are not preThe Committee are of opinion that the Stu-pared to suggest any exception in their favour, dent should have acquired a knowledge of more especially as persons of intelligence and English History, Geography, the Latin and industry might by study and diligence prepare French languages, Arithmetic, and Bookkeeping; and that the Examinations should take place and Certificates of proficiency be granted by competent Examiners before or during Articles, or before admission. Such Examination may take place either in London or in the Provinces, as may be convenient. lation. If the Clerk has obtained a Degree at any of It has been suggested by the Metropolitan. the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Dublin, and Provincial Law Association, and concurLondon, or Durham, of course no further pre-red in by nine of the Provincial Law Societies, liminary Examination would be required; nor would it be required from Associates of King's College, or University College, London, or the Colleges of Edinburgh, Glasgow, or Aberdeen, or the Queen's Colleges in Ireland.

themselves to pass the Examination; and they think it would be ultimately better for such persons to undergo both Examinations, and place themselves upon an equal footing with the rest of the Profession, than to enter the Profession by favour of an exceptional regu

that the Articled Clerks should have separate Certificates of proficiency in four of the five branches of Law, and should compete for such certificates either together or separately, at fixed periods during their Clerkship.

It does not appear to be requisite that the It has also been suggested that the CandiClerk should have attained any high degree of dates should be arranged in two classes: the knowledge in Classics, the Sciences, or Gene- first comprising those who pass well; the seral Literature. Indeed, if such attainments cond, those who barely pass. This latter propowere required, he could not enter on his Clerk-sition the Liverpool and Hull Law Societies do

not consider necessary, if the other suggestions | should be authorised, if they deem it expedient, are adopted.

The course of proceeding adopted at the Legal Examination having been continued with slight alteration for 18 years, and it having become necessary at some of the Examinations to reject a considerable number-in one instance 20, in another 23, and in another 33 Candidates-the Committee have been induced to consider the method of Examination with a view to introduce some improvements therein; and they recommend that, instead of a General Examination founded on questions taken from various books, or from a recollection of points of practice occurring to the individual Examiners, a few works should be selected in each of the five Departments of Law and Practiceprobably two in each Department will be found sufficient, and that the questions be chosen and the Students examined chiefly from such books.

to subdivide their questions, and where the Clerkship is for the term of five years to examine the Clerk at the end of the third year, either in Common Law and Equity, or in Conveyancing and Bankruptcy, at his option; and at the termination of the Articles, in the remaining branches, including Criminal Law and proceedings before Magistrates. In the case of Graduates articled for three years, such first Examination might be at the end of the second year, and the remaining Examination immedi ately before admission. But the Committee think that it will not be expedient for the sake of the clerk himself, nor convenient in conducting the Examination, to allow the Clerk to postpone, at his own option, the whole of the Examination till the end of the Term. If the alteration take place on the ground of its beneficial effect in studying the Law, the rule should be applicable to all the Candidates.

It is anticipated that by these means the The subject of the Classification of the CanStudents will be better enabled than at present didates, or the selection of a certain number to prepare themselves for the Examination, and who have passed the Examination in a suthat the Examination will, by being less dif-perior manner, has frequently been under the fused, be more useful to the Candidates and consideration of the Examiners. It was also more satisfactory to the Examiners.

It is also recommended that the Examiners, at the commencement of each year, should announce the titles of the works in which Students will be examined in the following year.

For the information of the Students, the titles of the works in some of which he will be examined, should be given to him on entering into articles, in order that during the whole of his clerkship he may pursue a regular course of legal study, but his examination will be chiefly confined to a small number of them; of these he will have a year's preparatory notice.

It may be usefully stated to him, that it will be highly expedient he should throughout his Clerkship be diligently employed in making himself acquainted with the Commentaries of Blackstone, and as far as he can with the leading authorities to which that work refers, which he will find exceedingly useful in the prosecution of his studies in every department of the Law upon which he will be examined, and on which he will afterwards have to practise either as principal or as clerk.

The object of the suggestion of separate Legal Examination at different times in the five several branches of the Law, appears to be that the Student may be induced immediately to proceed in preparing himself for the first part of his Examination, instead of delaying his studies till the last year or two of the Term. To this suggestion it may, however, be objected that it will occasion the additional expense and inconvenience to those who are articled in the country (and who are seventenths of the whole) of coming twice to London; and that the labour to the Examiners and expense to the Society will be considerably increased.

If, however, the other proposed changes are effected, it may be desirable that the Examiners

adverted to by the Judges at the time the Rules and Regulations were framed, but no measure of that kind was then determined upon. The encouragement which such an honourable distinction would afford to Students is obvious; and although at the College of Surgeons and the Hall of Apothecaries,whose examinations approach nearest to that held in the Hall of the Society,-no distinction or classification is made, yet on a careful consideration of the subject, the Committee have come to the conclusion that the Examiners should be empowered to make the following distinctions amongst the Candidates who pass the Examination :

1st. That the Candidates who answer all the questions correctly shall be placed in the First Class.

2nd. That the Candidates who answer threefourths of the questions correctly shall be placed in the Second Class.

3rd. That the Candidates who answer correctly a majority of the questions in the Departments of Common Law, Equity, and Conveyancing, but less than three-fourths, be allowed to pass, but not to rank in any class.

The Committee have not overlooked the fact, that at most of the Examinations there is a considerable difference in the age of the Candidates, and that there is much diversity in the means and facilities enjoyed by the Candidates of acquiring professional knowledge both in town and country. As, however, the future Examination is proposed to be confined to certain selected books, it will be in the power of all the Students to prepare themselves for answering any questions therein, and the Committee also think it right that no classifications should take place, unless the Candidates signify in writing at the time of delivering in their answers at the Examination, that they desire to compete for distinctions.

SEPT. 29, 1855.] Legal Education.-Law of Attorneys and Solicitors.

The Examiners have been often urged to establish some tests of merit amongst the Candidates; and a majority of such of the Provincial Law Societies as have expressed their opinions on the subject, are in favour of the distinctions which the Committee have now determined to suggest.

Several of the suggestions which the Committee have made may be carried into effect by the Judges under the authority of the Act of 6 & 7 Vict. c. 73; but others will probably require the sanction of the Legislature before they can be carried into effect. The Committee, however, anticipate no difficulty in this respect. When a Deputation from the Council attended the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the 23rd April, 1853, on his proposed reduction of the Stamp Duty on Articles, the right hon. gentleman expressed his approval of the suggestion made by the Deputation, for securing a better Education of the young men before entering the Profession, and stated that probably the Government would favourably entertain a proposition for effecting that object. March 20, 1855.




person having been admitted or restored to the Roll of Solicitors here, without having previously been admitted or restored to the Rolls of one of the Common Law Courts as an attorney.

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"By this application I am asked to depart from the rule which the Court has adopted, and that in a case in which two successive applications have been made to the Court of Queen's Bench for a similar object and have been refused. I do not understand the expression of the Lord Chief Justice that this is our final decision' to mean that this is a case in which under no circumstances will we allow the matter to be brought again before us for our consideration. If those words are to be so treated, it is clear that the same observation would apply to the new matter attempted to be brought before me, and to the introduction of fresh evidence of a very material and important character, which was not before the Court of Queen's Bench. I have not the slightest doubt that both the Court of Queen's Bench and the other Courts in Westminster Hall will regard and consider the case of Mr. Barber, if it is brought before them upon evidence which was not before them upon the occasion of the previous decisions.

"I am asked upon the present occasion to rehear the case which has been twice before the Court of Queen's Bench, not by way of But I think it would be productive of very appeal, but because the evidence is different. serious inconveniences if I were to rehear the case; and I think the observations of Lord

Ir appeared, on this petition under the 6 & 7 Vict. c. 73, s. 25, for an order on the Registrar of Attorneys and Solicitors to grant the usual certificate, that Mr. Barber Cranworth apply to cases of this description.' was supposed to be implicated in certain It is a very serious inconvenience for one transactions relating to the transfer of some Court to decide upon a matter which has unclaimed moneys standing in the Bank already been decided by another, and after books, which had been obtained by means one Court has pronounced its decision to allow the same case of probates on forged wills procured by per- brought before another Court, either upon to be subsequently jury, and that he had been tried, convicted, the same or with additional materials, in order and sentenced to transportation. Subse- to try to obtain a different decision upon the quently, in consequence of representations subject. It is true that the right does exist made to Government, the Queen was pleas- in the case of a writ of habeas corpus, and ed to grant a free pardon, and he returned although the liberty of the subject may afford to this country. some reason for the exception, the inconveniThe petitioner had, in 1850 and 1851, in a great many cases, and in a variety of inences arising from it have been very obvious made two unsuccessful applications of a stances. Even in Chancery, great inconvenisimilar nature to the Court of Queen's ences have frequently arisen from the attempts Bench, which had been refused. It was to obtain a decision of one branch of the Court alleged that additional evidence had been at variance with that of another. since discovered, upon which this petition was presented. On an objection that the application should be made at Common Law, the Master of the Rolls said :

"I have felt from the first an inclination to

view this case both as favourably and as leniently as I could, and I have been impressed with the circumstance of a free pardon having been granted by the Crown to this gentleman; "I am of opinion that the objection is an but it would not have been possible for me to insuperable one, which I cannot get over. I have interfered, even if the case had not already felt it when I first read the petition. Upon an been tried before and decided by another Court, application either to admit or to restore a per- and if the application had been made to me in son to the Roll of Solicitors, the practice of the first instance, unless an application had this Court has always been to require that the been previously made to one of the Common application should, in the first instance, be made to one of the Common Law Courts; and I believe that no instance can be found of a

'See Exparte Wetherall, 2 De G., M'N. & G. 363.

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