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attended in the Faculty of Arts; the reply is, None.' Our conversation ends in an explanation that he was apprenticed in a country town for four or five years, and cannot now remedy his defects, as he must get through the law classes as fast as he can, consistently with working hard in a lawyer's office all day. Gentlemen, I make these observations from a university point of view, in the interest of the Faculty of Law. What more considerable names have we connected with the University-I pass by living men-than Forbes, Dundas, Wedderburn, Blair, Brougham, Horner, Jeffrey, Hope, Rutherfurd? What greater names are there in oratory, in law, in literature, in political economy, in the history of the administration and reform of the law, and of the vindication of the liberty of the subject at home and freedom abroad? And now that the students of the University have been enfranchised, should the Faculty to which these men belonged be excluded? The University authorities have, with the consent, I may almost say at the instance, of the Law Faculty, promulgated a scheme for the admission of law students to their proper place, which will involve some personal sacrifice to the Professors, and they are threatened, at the outset, with an increase of the main difficulty which stands in the way of students availing themselves of it, increase in the length of apprenticeship. If uniformity in the period of training of town and country practitioners is essential-and the desire for that is the only reason I can see for lengthening apprenticeships in the country-then it were more for the public good that the term of apprenticeship were diminished where it is five years than that were lengthened where it is four. The town practitioners need not be afraid of invasion from the country. Local agency and business is too convenient for clients and too valuable for the agents ever to cease. Nay, their importance seems rather to be on the increase. And are not the country agents' position and cultivation advancing also, so as to give reason to hope that they will be not unworthy to rank alongside of their town brethren? The body of country practitioners at all times contained some men of high culture and ability, and it is only of the mass that at one time comparatively depreciatory observations could have been made. But the Procurators' Act has done much to elevate the average standard, and the examinations they have instituted may well be looked upon like the sword of the magistrate, as a terror to evil-doers. I wish I could add that they are certainly a praise and protection to such as do well. But I must confess I am a little staggered when I see that some of the best students I have had fail to pass-students in whose lawyer-like qualities I have entire confidence. I should praise the examinators more highly for their strictness were it not that other students who have failed to earn reputation or position in the University seem to have experienced no difficulty in passing. One would be very slow to suggest the inference that there must be some capriciousness as to the questions put, and I would rather remind you that the race is not always to the swift; and that if the hare trust to its speed, it may find the tortoise reach the goal before it. Do not then, by reason of any success here, slack your efforts to prepare for the procurators' examination. It may be, however, that just as a Professor is best fitted to show his students knowledge, but not best fitted to test the general value of his acquirements, and therefore should have others associated with him in examining for degrees, and we of the Law Faculty hold stoutly by this view, and have begged to have other examiners associated with us--it may be, I say, that as we want assistance from without, the procurators might be the better of some assistance from outside their own body in settling who are to be admitted to their ranks. It might be that where they have discovered deficiency other examiners might do much to enable them to perceive that in the defaulting student there is really the possession of sound knowledge, and that the deficiency is rather apparent than real. I need hardly say I am not speaking of the examiners to disparage them. Many of them I am glad to number among my friends, and I entertain the highest opinion of their legal attainments, and know that they are actuated solely by a desire to elevate the standing and standard of qualification of their order. They have done much for this end. They have done much for the University by sending to it candidates for admission; and I believe that but
for their cautions the Procurators' Act would not have been passed, and that they are striving to work that Act well. If they wish their body to be joined by men of high culture let them urge all their apprentices to transfer one year of their apprenticeship to a master in a university town. But above all I deprecate any legislation which imposes longer apprenticeship than that required by the Procurators' Act-namely, four years, with a power of transferring one; and which does not, like the Procurators' Act, accord additional privileges by shortening apprenticeship and exempting from examination in the case of the possessors of university degrees."
Lord Westbury on Novation.-The inconvenience of arbitrations, instead of the ordinary procedure of courts of law, is already being shown in the way which we anticipated—the divergence of opinion among the arbitrators in different cases, who owe no authority to each other. The great subject which Lord Cairns had to deal with in the Albert arbitration, it will be remembered, was novation "in what circumstances the policy-holders of a company which was amalgamated were to be held to have accepted the responsibility of the amalgamated company, in place of the company which was originally bound to them. And this also promises to be the great subject of the European arbitration; but Lord Westbury proposes to apply a different set of principles from what Lord Cairns laid down. Lord Cairns's general view was substantially this-that although an annuitant who received his annuity from an amalgamated company could not be held thereby to have assented to the substitution of a new obligant for the original company bound to him, yet a policyholder who paid to the amalgamated company was in a different position, the terms of the receipts he received binding him in the absence of any express protest to the contrary, and placing him in this difficulty-that as he had paid the premiums to the substituted company, either they were bound to him, or nobody was bound to him. Substantially, under Lord Cairns's ruling the policy-holders in an amalgamated company could not go against the original company they insured with. But now Lord Westbury lays down an entirely different doctrine. The law he applies is to be that of the last Insurance Companies Act, which was passed to meet the very difficulties Lord Cairns had met with in applying what he thought the established principles of law. The onus of proof is now to be thrown on the original companies, to show that the companies to which they transferred their business had power to accept the transfer, that their policy-holders had ample notice, and that they gave an unequivocal consent. Unless they do so, payment of the policy-holder to the amalgamated company is held not to imply assent to a substitution of liability, and the original contract remains binding. Thus Lord Cairns and Lord Westbury differ. Lord Westbury's opinion, we believe, will be held the more equitable of the two, as its enactment after the Albert experience proves; but the inconvenience of the contradictory rulings remains very great. Policy-holders in the Albert will regret that the Legislature gave them Lord Cairns instead of Lord Westbury, and shareholders in the European will regret the mischance which gave them Lord
Westbury instead of Lord Cairns. The system of great arbitrations, though it may have been rendered necessary by the complication of the cases to be disposed of, appears to create a machinery for dealing with these complications which has the fatal defect of ex post facto legislation as to the substance of the law to be applied. If Lord Cairns had decided by giving a casting vote in an appeal case to the House of Lords, Lord Westbury, in a subsequent case, would have been bound by his decision; but the decision of Lord Cairns as an arbitrator is in no way incorporated with the general law, and does not bind subsequent arbitrators. Lord Westbury no doubt says that he considers the new Insurance Act as in some sort declaratory; but if it had been declaratory, and intended to apply to all cases which might come up after it passed and not merely to subsequent transactions, the intention of the Legislature could have been easily enough expressed. It is but too evident that, in precisely similar circumstances, we are to have one law for the Albert and another for the European litigants, and the scandal is increased by the very fact that we could not have higher authority than the two eminent men who differ.-Economist.
Christmas Recess.-Bill-Chamber rotation of Judges.—Monday, 23d December, to Saturday, 28th December, Lord Benholme; Monday, 30th December, to Saturday, 4th January, Lord Shand.
GEORGE OLIVER, Esq., Writer and Banker, Hawick, died at Bortbaugh, Hawick, Dec. 10th.
ALEXANDER NICHOLSON, Esq., Banker and Writer, Provost of Cupar, died at 93 Bonnygate, Cupar-Fife, Dec. 10th, aged 47.
DELAYS IN COURTS OF LAW.
To the Editor of the Journal of Jurisprudence.
SIR,-The confusion of ideas on the subject of these delays seems to be unaccountable.
When a Court of Law has either a glut of work to which the. number of its judges is inadequate, or when its machinery is so ill arranged that it cannot undertake its work, delay on any of these grounds is delay of which the public has reason to complain, and which it is the business of the Legislature to remedy. The Court of Session was in this condition a few years ago, when appeals VOL. XVIL NO. CXCIII-JAN. 1873.
from the Outer House to the Inner House had to stand for twelve to eighteen months or upwards before they could be heard. The English Courts, in which large numbers of cases have to be left over untried, under the name of remanets, at almost all the Assizes, are still in that condition. Such a state of matters is simply a denial of justice.
But when the delays are caused, not by the condition of the Courts of Law, but by one or other of the parties themselves, or by the desire or consent of both of them, they stand upon a totally different footing.
In the former of these cases, in which the delay is caused by one or other of the parties themselves, the proper and obvious remedy is to give the other party power to force on the proceedings at pleasure. This power has all along been in the hands of all concerned. If they don't use it, they have only themselves or their agents to blame. If their agents don't please them, they have power to change them at pleasure, and have always a very large professional body from which to choose others. If parties don't choose to exercise their own rights and privileges, it is not easy to see that they have any reasonable ground on which to blame the Legislature or the Courts of Law in a matter in which the remedy is entirely in their own hands. They might as well ask the Government to regulate their private households.
In the latter case, in which delay is wished for or consented to by both parties, the interference of the law is not only not called for, it is not even justifiable. The State or the public have neither right nor interest to collar people to the yoke, and force them to fight to the last, when they think they have already had enough of it, and when matters are gravitating either towards an amicable settlement, or towards letting each other alone. Pressure at such. a stage may be even pernicious and oppressive. Not very long ago the writer, within his own knowledge, heard some parties complain grievously of being forced, against the desire of all of them, to go to the trouble and expense of a debate, in a case which they were in course of settling, and which they did settle within a very short time afterwards. If judges are trifled with, or if the procedure of the Courts are unduly interfered with or interrupted, that part of the matter would fall to be remedied. But so far from this, every cause settled or not proceeded with occasions a corresponding saving of trouble to the judges, and of time to other suitors who are waiting to be heard.
These views, which are not put forward as being in any way profound, humbly appear to the writer to be as clear and simple as he hopes they are sound. But they appear to be ignored in recent so-called reforms, in which the object appears to be to compel expedition, at all hazards, without sufficient regard to other considerations. That effort has hitherto been abortive, and it is one which must ultimately fail, because it is at variance with
sound principles of judicial administration. But it may occasion much suffering and injury in the meantime. When such suffering and injury can no longer be endured, we shall probably, after our usual manner, oscillate in some equally unscientific shape as far in the other direction.
The greatest and richest commercial country in the world is supposed to imagine that it cannot afford to maintain a permanent ministry and department of justice to keep such matters on a proper footing, and, from time to time, to afford and maintain the adjustments which a living science, like that of the law, constantly requires. It would defy calculation to estimate how much is lost, both directly and indirectly, from our want of system in regard to what ought to be a leading department of the government of the State, and in which scarcely any amendments are made, or attempted, except by way of occasional desultory reaction against some of the consequences when they may happen to have become no longer tolerable.-I am, etc. AN OUTSIDER.
The Scottish Law Magazine and Sheriff Court Reporter.
SHERIFF COURT OF PAISLEY.
WILSON BROTHERS AND OTHERS v. JOHN YUILL.-November 5, 1872.
Landlord and Tenant.-Public Work.-Lease.-Obligation for Repairs.-Landlord bound to execute necessary Repairs at "Overtime" or on Holidays. The following interlocutor, which has been acquiesced in, fully explains the nature of the case, viz. :
"Paisley, 5th November 1872.-Having heard parties' procurators, and considered the Closed Record, proof adduced, and whole process: Finds in fact that by lease dated November 1868, the respondent, who was then proprietor of the premises in question, let to George Wilson, and by sub-lease dated December 1869, George Wilson let to the petitioners, Wilson Brothers, the premises in George Street, Paisley, now occupied by them, together with the engine, boilers, and machinery therein; that said lease to George Wilson contains an express obligation (assigned by sub-lease) on the part of the respondent to keep up in good tenantable condition the buildings of the premises thereby let; that it also contains a clause in these terms, and in the event of any accident occurring to any part of the engine, boilers, shafting, and other machinery hereby let, the first party binds himself and his foresaids to repair same at his own expense, on written notice, without unnecessary delay, unless such accident,' etc.; that subsequent to said lease the respondent sold to the other petitioners, Gibson Brothers, the premises in question, but undertook to relieve them of any liability for the up-keep of the engine, boilers, and machinery during the currency of the lease to George Wilson-that is, he undertook that said engine, boilers, etc., should be kept up either by the tenants, or, them failing, by him