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tribunals. He then reviewed the steps taken by Mr. Finlay without success to obtain compensation from the government of Greece. He went on:
"Well, then, Mr. Finlay could get no redress; but the right honourable gentleman (Mr. Gladstone) says that he might have gone to the tribunals of the country. The tribunals of the country indeed! They say, 'a little learning is a dangerous thing;' but this is equally the case when applied to law. The right honourable gentleman possesses every quality which would have made a most brilliant advocate. He has eloquence unlimited, subtlety unrivalled, casuistry unexampled; all he wants is a little knowledge of law. If he had not been a great statesman, he would have been a great lawyer, if he would only have condescended to put on the wig and gown, and acquire a little knowledge of the first principles of law. I would advise him, if he would accept of my humble advice, to confine himself to that science of which he is so great a master-politics—and not to meddle with law. The right honourable gentleman is ignorant of the fundamental principle of law—that a subject cannot sue the sovereign. That is the rule in every country, with the exception of this. And why is it not the law in England? Simply because, by the established usage and magnanimous practice of this country, the sovereign, upon the petition of a subject complaining of a wrong sustained from the crown, refers it to the first law officer of the crown, and indorses upon the petition the important and solemn words 'let right be done.' And upon that the sovereign condescends to submit herself to an equality with her subjects before the throne of law, and allows justice to be administered between her and the meanest of her subjects, and by the ordinary tribunals of the land. And thank God! that we have tribunals and that we have judges who would administer the law between the sovereign and her subjects with as much impartiality, with as even a hand, and with as unbiased a mind, as between any two ordinary persons. But is that the case in Greece?”
If the learned gentleman had been speaking in the present he would have discovered Lord Campbell's opinion that he had greatly understated his case, and that in no country and under no circumstances can the sovereign of any country, the head of the state, be rendered amenable, even by the seizure of his goods lying in any other, to the tribunals of that other country for contracts there made and there broken, or for liabilities there incurred. But we have discussed that question elsewhere, and return to Mr. Cockburn's argument. He showed by our minister's unanswered, and also by Mr. Gladstone unquoted, letter, that in the time of Lord Aberdeen redress was sought from the government of Greece; that the king was irresponsible civilly and politically, and that the officers of state were not responsible, because the matter occurred before the
constitution, by which alone even they became responsible and were called into power. In a manner equally clear he proved the case of the English government in interfering for Pacifico, who had been injured, and was entitled to redress; who had tried for that redress in a criminal court against the perpetrators of his injuries, who were let loose; after deriding Mr. Gladstone's notion that pecuniary redress could be obtained from suing for damages, a mob, "a rabble of brigands, vagabonds, and ruffians in rags and tatters, an experiment which even in England was not adopted by his grace of Northumberland when Nottingham castle fell in flames, or by the gallant Marquis of Londonderry when his house in St. James'-square was attackedhe demonstrated that no redress could be obtained in the courts of law, where no lawyer dare appear for the claimant and put himself in opposition to the will of the prime minister of the country; and where judges were nominally independent, but were in practice suddenly dismissed without reason assigned. He then gave a harrowing account of the actual modes of proceeding and of punishment in the Greek courts, although forbidden by a constitution worth not so much as the paper on which it was written-"set aside, violated, outraged in every respect and in every way." The speaker then passed from the particular to the general question which had been raised by the debate; he went fully into the charges made against Lord Palmerston, of interference in the concerns of foreign countries; and vindicated the policy pursued in relation to Spain, to the disputes between Naples and Sicily, and to the disputes between Austria and Lombardy. The following extract, which is of peculiar interest at this moment, particularly among the learned gentleman's constituents, will suffice to show the tone and spirit of this portion of the speech. Speaking of the futile negociation for the settlement of the affairs of Piedmont and Mr. Gladstone's charge that it ought to have gone further, Mr. Cockburn thus proceeds
"If it had gone further-if you had stopped the king of Piedmont -if you had interfered on the right side-for there is the gravamen of the charge; it is not that you interfered, but that you interfered in favour of constitutional liberty-if, said a noble lord in another place, if you had interfered to stop the king of Sardinia from marching into Lombardy, Austria would have had no difficulty in putting down the insurrection there-then the victorious troops would have had no difficulty in marching eastward and putting down the insurrection in Hungary, and thus the intervention of Russia would not have been required. But have you no sympathies for the Italian people? Can you not recall the eminent greatness and glory of the people-their mediæval splendour-their renown in arts and arms,
and all those imperishable monuments of human greatness which they have reared? Do these things not touch your hearts? Have you no sympathy for the people-if they, who for so many years have been degraded under the leaden rule of Austria, thought that at last the day of their regeneration had arrived, and the establishment of that nationality, which in their dreams they had pictured as rivalling the glories of ancient times-have you no sympathy for these people? Do you prefer that Radetzky, with his Teutonic hordes, should pillage their houses and drive the best and noblest of their sons to those horrible dungeons, those carceri du rissimé, which have already filled Europe with horror, and turned that which was wont to be the garden of the world into a desolate wilderness and a desert? Are your sympathies with Austria against Hungary--that noble people who possessed a constitution as ancient as your own-whose nationality was secured to them by treaty upon treaty-who raised Austria at a time when that state was almost prostrate under a combination of the powers that sought the dismemberment of the empire, but who are now sought to be absolutely merged in the Austrian empire, and to become a subordinate portion of the Austrian people? They said, " we have our own laws and constitution-we have sworn to preserve them inviolate-we have before drawn our swords for you in the time of national peril-we must now draw them in our own defence.' This was the people whom Austria attempted to put down, but she had no power to put down that gallant population. But there did at last occur the intervention of the barbarous hordes of Russia; and your sympathies are for the butcheries of Haynau-for his military executions-for his scourging of women; your sympathies are for these things, because you say that order is restored. The honourable and learned gentleman, the member for Abingdon, fancies in his ingenuity that he can change things by changing names, but he is marvellously mistaken. Tyranny, absolutism, despotism, do not change their character because you call them order. Liberty, freedom, constitutional rights, do not change their character because you call them republicanism. No, sir, these things will not deceive the people of England. The cause is the cause of civilisation and humanity all over the world. The question is, whether you will have absolutism on the one hand or constitutional government and freedom on the other; and don't flatter yourselves, because for a time a despotic government has prevailed-because order, as you call it, is restored in Europe--because the spirit of Hungarian liberty has been extinguished in the blood of the best and noblest of her sons-don't fancy that such a state of things is to last. There is not a drop of the blood that has been spilt that does not call to Heaven for vengeance. The generation that is to come, whose fathers have been gibbeted, and whose mothers have been scourged, they will avenge these atrocities. And you who complain of interference-you who complain that her Majesty's government has interfered in this case and in that-what do you say to the intervention of Russia-what do you say to the intervention of France? Who extinguished the liber
ties and constitutional rights of Hungary?-Russia. Who restored the old, worn out and effete government of the Pope and his conclave of cardinals at Rome?-France. What right have Russia and France to take umbrage at the noble lord, because he has interfered in favour of constitutional liberty, while they interfered in favour of arbitrary power?"
This speech was delivered on the 28th of June: the government had a majority: and on the 12th of July a new writ was moved for Southampton in the room of Mr. Cockburn, who had been appointed Solicitor-General. Thus within three years from his first appearance in parliament he attained the first great step of office: the electors unanimously confirmed the ministerial choice as they did when, within another twelvemonth, on the elevation of Sir John Romilly to the Mastership of the Rolls, the Solicitor-General succeeded to the superior office of Attorney-General; an office which has been raised from the contempt, into which it had fallen some thirty years since, by the successive abilities of Denman, Campbell, Follett, and Jervis; to the last of whom belongs the high credit, not only of conducting in a time of great excitement a series of political prosecutions, like Sir J. Campbell, with singular and uniform success, but of having at the same time conciliated public opinion and avoided the slightest charge of party persecution; who in addition to the heavy routine duties of his office sacrificed his strength, whilst he benefited largely the public and the ministry by the assistance he rendered both to the Home and to the Colonial Secretaries; and who, in the office of counsel to the Treasury, has left for the assistance of his successors a gentleman (Mr. Welsby) whose sound legal acquirements are known to and appreciated alike by the bench and the bar. Of the aptitude of Sir A. Cockburn for the duties of his new office it is yet too soon to judge. In the chief case which has come before the courts-the prosecutions by the Customs of the Dock Companies-the conduct of the case for the crown was beset with difficulties, and the crown counsel had to encounter the subtlety of Sir Fitzroy Kelly, and the unanimous hostility of the mercantile world. Of the opinions he may give on the cases submitted to him by the government, of the mode in which he may distribute the patronage which falls to his office, or on which he may be consulted, no materials for the formation of an opinion can thus early be before us. From his antecedents, however, we may express a confident belief that the merits which distinguished the rising advocate will mark the official career of the head of the English bar.
ART. V.-NEW LAW STATUTES OF THE SESSION.
N resuming our summary of the legislation of the past session as it affects the procedure and practice of the courts of law and equity, we may begin by congratulating the country upon some very valuable and important additions to the Statute Book which have passed into law since the appearance of our last number. The voice of public opinion, for some time raised against the over-strict refinements which, in many instances, disfigured our system of legal procedure, and rendered it not unfrequently an engine of chicanery and oppression, has, we are happy to say, at length forced itself upon the consideration of parliament; and one or two highly salutary acts directed to this object have recently received the royal assent. We hail this as the beginning of a new era in our courts, when substance will be no longer sacrificed to mere form, and when the rights of the litigant parties will be disposed of more speedily and less expensively, but at the same time with an increased satisfaction and respect for the judgment of the law. It rests much with lawyers themselves to carry to a successful issue this good beginning, and we earnestly trust that the profession will see how greatly to its own interest it is to unite in the common purpose of facilitating the attainment of justice between litigant parties, and how detrimental to its welfare are those practices which have not undeservedly brought upon it the reprobation of persons who, viewing it from a distance, are perhaps better able to form a rough and practical estimate of its merits or demerits. In these days of increased progress, any obstruction to the advancement of the science of law ought to be unheard of; still less should it be possible to assert, with any appearance of truth, that such an obstruction is sanctioned by those who have, from their practical experience, the best means of appreciating the subject. While, however, we make these remarks, we think it right to enter our earnest protest against an accusation which has been, we fear in no friendly spirit, advanced against lawyers as a class. Wherever any disinclination to change has been found to exist in the profession, we are confident it does not arise, as is insinuated, from any fear of interference with the interests of the individual. It is with great regret that we hear such sordid motives seriously imputed to a body of men whose general character is so universally recognized. The more true reason may, we think, be sought in the habit acquired by every man's