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and the great alteration made in regard to election in burghs under the Police Acts (p. 59).
The Act is printed in full at the end and illustrated by a variety of useful annotations. Some of these notes are very valuable. Thus a note to the sec. 11 of the statute gives a full statement of the liability for misconduct of the officials who have to carry the Act into execution: and another note on sec. 16 fully states the law as to the arrangement of polling districts.
We think there is but one mistake with which Mr. Crichton is chargeable; and it is one that is more injurious to himself, his publisher, and the public, than to the comparatively few who will read his book. He has made it applicable, as his title-page informs us, to Scotland only, while no great addition of labour and paper would have made it as valuable in England as in Scotland. Indeed, even as it is we believe that there is no equally trustworthy, convenient, and accurate manual across the Tweed, and this therefore might be introduced with great advantage by English law booksellers. We suggest an early reprint for the benefit of our English and Irish fellow-subjects.
A Handbook of the Law of Scotland. By JAMES LORIMER, Advocate, M.A., F.R.S.E., Professor of Public Law in the University of Edinburgh. Third Edition. By DUGALD M'KECHNIE, M.A., Advocate. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 38 George Street.
WE have a quarrel with Mr. Lorimer. He informs us on his titlepage, quoting from Cicero, "Potius ignoratio juris litigiosa est, quam scientia," and this saying has suggested to us the solution of a problem which has long vexed the souls of Scots lawyers. Mr. Lorimer's book, first published in 1859, was intended for the use of the non-professional public and of students, and we apprehend that the extensive use of it by the former class verifies the motto on his title-page, and accounts for the lamented decline of litigation in Scotland; men have read Lorimer and have become too knowing to go to law! After this discovery Mr. Lorimer and Mr. M'Kechnie might well expect to be unfavourably reviewed in a periodical written by and for practising lawyers. But as lawyers ought to be and generally are (we speak for ourselves) above personal considerations, we propose to speak as well as of Professor Lorimer and his editor as they deserve.
We must confess that we have now acquainted ourselves with Mr. Lorimer's book for the first time. We were not before aware that the non-professional Scotchman and the tyro in the law possessed so simple and accurate a manual. We have no approbation to bestow on the catchpenny handbooks in paper covers or limp and shabby binding that issue from the shops of some popular publishers. Some of them are clever and inay occasionally be useful, but they are generally hastily and imperfectly got up, and
for the most part they are anonymous,-this being by itself a sufficient reason for not buying and not consulting them, for an anonymous legal opinion is generally worthless.
Professor Lorimer's Handbook belongs to a different class of books. It is the work of an accomplished scientific lawyer, a trained political jurist and man of letters, who has availed himself of these various qualifications to make the somewhat complicated system of Scots law clear and easily understood by any ordinary citizen. The success testified by the publication of three editions in fourteen years is due not merely to the growing desire of laymen to understand the laws under which they live, but to the guarantee afforded by an eminent name and to the terse and elegant English in which the book is written.
Mr. M'Kechnie has done his part of the work with modest and judicious care. He also is a lawyer who has been impregnated with some feeling for the larger principles of jurisprudence; and he has known how to refrain from useless citation and superfluous detail. We thought in one or two cases that we had discovered an oversight or an error in "bringing down" the law to the present date; but on further examination we found that the editor was right and that our critical suspicion was too sanguine. In a very few instances, Mr. McKechnie, who is very capable of thinking and striking out a path for himself, leaves his text and takes a little flight by himself for a few sentences; but in all these cases the excursus is justified by the result, for he either elucidates the subject in hand by his own original thought, or he brings some new light from a more recent decision. We may refer to his statement of the principle of stoppage in transitu (sec. 1739), his observations on the vicennial prescription of crimes (sec. 1290), his distinction between bills and promissory notes (sec. 1518), etc.
The index is good and the type clear and readable. Though intended mainly for students and laymen, the practising lawyer also will often find the book useful; for the references to the leading authorities on each subject treated of, though few, are well chosen, and may often save time in searching them out.
The Law of Trade Unions in England and Scotland under the Trade Union Act 1871. By WILLIAM GUTHRIE, Advocate, Registrar of Friendly Societies and Trade Unions in Scotland. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas.
THE passing of the Statute of 1871 marks an important epoch in the Law of Trade Unions, introducing as it does many important changes both in their constitution and in their relation to the public. And Mr. Guthrie's official experience of the working of Trade Unions under the Act must have qualified him to speak with authority on the subject. The book, which is intended both for professional and lay readers, necessarily deals with the law
existing prior to the recent Statute as well as with the changes introduced by the Statute. The "Criminal Law Amendment Act" is appended to it. But into the criminal law in relation to Trade Unions the author does not enter, because, as he thinks, and we are to dispose to concur with him, that belongs to a different department of law. The book will be useful on both sides of the Tweed, because the only other work on the subject (Sir William Erle's) was written for guidance in legislation rather than in actual business. The writer of this notice has had occasion prior to the publication of Mr. Guthrie's book to consider for professional purposes several of the questions discussed, and he can bear testimony to the accuracy and exhaustiveness of the author's labours. It is of course impossible, and therefore foolish, to attempt to put technical ideas very clearly into non-technical language, but, from the nature of the questions discussed and the general clearness of the style, we should think that those of the general public who take an interest in Trade Unions should not find much difficulty in understanding a work to understand which would be a benefit to them.
Stamp Duty on Deed of Assumption of Trustees and Conveyance. -We have received the following letter, which unfortunately fell aside last month:
"SIR, In the extract from the Law Times in your September number, a question is raised regarding the Stamp Duty on Deed of Assumption and Conveyance to new trustees; and it appears that a view is taken by the Commissioners of Inland Revenue different from that usually taken by the profession. This may be very serious to many conveyancers who have acted on the idea that one 10s. stamp is sufficient for the purpose. Will you kindly take up the subject in your next number and give your opinion. The intention seems clear, that there should be only one stamp duty; and if the words of the Act bear an opposite construction, it would be well for the Law bodies to agitate for a declaratory Act to make the legal construction to correspond with the intention. --Faithfully yours,
We agree, though not without some hesitation, with the view taken by our correspondent of the construction of the Act. It is, however, to be regretted, that any doubt should exist; and it is desirable that it should be removed as soon as possible by an authoritative decision of the Court. The Law Times, in a subsequent article on the subject, has the following observations with regard to the suggestion, that although the proviso in the 78th sec. might not control the language of the 8th sec., if it were clear that the appointment and conveyance are "distinct and separate" matters, yet it must not be conceded that, for the purposes of stamp duty, there is any "distinctness" or "separateness":"The appointment of new trustees and the vesting the trust property in them, are matters so intimately connected, that it appears very VOL. XVII. NO. CCIV.-DECEMBER 1873.
strange to treat them as separate and distinct. Indeed, it would be easy without any express appointment of new trustees, simply to convey to them upon the trusts, which would have precisely the same effect as an express appointment. The mere fact that an ' appointment of a new trustee' is mentioned in the schedule under a heading distinct from that of a 'conveyance not hereinbefore described,' is by no means conclusive of the question. The Act of 1870 was not, generally speaking, intended to introduce any new principle as to the levying of stamp duties, but to consolidate and embody the pre-existing law. Neither can we see that anything new has been effected by the provisions of the 8th section, subsec. 1. The case really seems to come within the principle of the illustration given by the late Mr. Tilsley (Stamp Laws, 336, 3rd edit.) of an appointment in execution of a power-a declaration of uses or trusts—and also a revocation of uses or trusts contained in a deed, on which, as he says, 'only one duty will attach, as on a deed not otherwise charged.' It is remarkable in regard to the illustration thus given, that if reference be made to the schedule, it will be found that appointment of a new trustee is charged, uno flatu, by the very same sentence, and with the very same duty, as the appointment in execution of a power of any property, etc., the words being appointment of a new trustee and appointment in. execution of a power of any property, or of any use, share, or interest in any property by any instrument not being a will...10s. And see sec. 78.'
"It would be curious if one rule as to stamps should be applied to the appointment of property, and another to the appointment of a trustee, when both are charged by the same sentence with identical duties. The headings of conveyance in the schedule, which do not exclusively relate to sales or mortgages, all contain a reference to the 78th section. The proviso to this section, and the reference to this section under the heading Appointment,' we conceive were added ex majori cautela, for the purpose of making it abundantly clear that 10s., the ordinary deed stamp, was sufficient in the case of an appointment of a new trustee, and a conveyance or transfer accompanying or consequent thereon, coming within the head, Conveyance or Transfer of any kind not herein before described.' The conveyance, it may not unfairly be said, was incidental to the appointment.
"The decisions under the repealed Acts, which show the sufficiency of the ordinary deed stamp in cases similar to that which we are discussing, appear to be applicable. We may mention in particular Jones v. Sandys (Barnes' Notes, 463); Doe v. Wheeler (4 Nev. and Man. 10); Doe v. Fereday (12 Ád. and Ell. 23). Bearing in mind the general principle, that every charge upon the subject must be imposed by clear and unambiguous words, we scarcely think that th claim for double duty will meet with any favour from the Courts." Some Personal Items.-Since our last issue it has been announced
that it is Her Majesty's pleasure to confer a peerage on the Lord Justice-Clerk by the title of Lord Moncreiff of Tullibole. It will be remembered that at his appointment as Lord JusticeClerk Mr. Moncreiff was made a Baronet. Lord Moncreiff of Tullibole was called to the Bar in 1833, was appointed SolicitorGeneral in February 1850, and Lord Advocate in April 1851. He held that office till the retirement of Lord John Russell's ministry in March 1852, but resumed it on the appointment of the Aberdeen Government in December 1852, and continued to hold it till February 1858. He was a third time Lord Advocate from June 1859 until July 1866, and was reappointed a fourth time in December 1868; this time leaving the office only for the presidency of the Second Division. He sat in Parliament for the Leith Burghs from 1851 to 1859, for Edinburgh from 1859 to 1868, and for the Universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen from December 1868 until his retirement to the Bench in October 1869. He was elected Dean of the Faculty of Advocates in 1858, when the present Lord Justice-General left the bar to become Lord Justice-Clerk.
From the Sheriff Court Act of 1853, and even earlier, down till 1868, the name of Lord Advocate Moncreiff was connected with many of the most important measures passed or attempted by the legislature; it was associated with every department of the government of Scotland; and he had signalized himself by his remarkable eloquence and staunch usefulness to his party in almost every political conflict and emergency in those eventful years. He was more of a politician than a Scots lawyer; for it is one of the misfortunes of the Scotch Bar that when an advocate attains its highest prize he must cease in a great measure to belong to the Bar. Some men possibly do so, because they are elated by the possession of power and position, and willingly forget the pit out of which they were dug, but, in most cases, the separation is due to no such unworthy feeling, but to the fact that Parliamentary life and the political duties of the office are every year making more exclusive and irresistible demands. To hold the office indeed in these times, as recent experience shows, costs a lawyer in large practice the absolute loss of some thousands a year.
Although, however, Lord Moncreiff's peerage must be regarded as in some measure a reward for great services rendered in London, rather than a prize falling to him as a member of our profession, the law claims a right to a special share in the satisfaction with which the bestowal of the honour has been received. It is something that a second peerage should be won by a Scottish lawyer; and it is still more that the profession should be so worthily represented in the highest assembly in the Empire.
With what ulterior views, if any, the honour has been given or accepted, we do not venture to suggest. All or most of the talk on this subject with which our ears are wearied is, we hesitate not to say, mere speculation. Only this is certain that there is no im