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where the property passing does not exceed $25,000; and Queensland exacts a maximum duty of 20 per cent. from large estates where the beneficiary is a stranger in blood. Under the heading Dates' is given a synopsis of the changes in the statutory law of the subject since 1805.
In a book so generally excellent it is a pity that more attention was not given to the references to cases. If we turn to Att.-Gen. v. Cowley, the Law Reports reference is to the decision below: the case is reported on appeal, '98, 1 Q. B. 355 (now reversed in H. L. (1899) W. N. p. 32). To Att.-Gen. v. Wolverton in the H. L. only a Law Times reference is given, although the case is to be found both in the Law Reports and the Law Journal. These are omissions of substance. To go to matters of form
C. A. (1898) 435' (p. 57) and 'C. A. 145' (p. 337) are rather puzzling. 'Sco. Sess. Ca. 4to Ser.' (p. 143) is presumably meant to be a reference to 1 Rettie; and 'L. R. 1 Eng. & Ir. H. L. App.' (pp. 284, 434, 485) is as long a form of reference to L. R. 1 H. L. as we remember to have seen.
A Digest of Cases relating to Criminal Law. By John Mews. London:
Sweet & Maxwell, Lim., and Stevens & Sons, Lim. 1898. La.
8vo. xi and 862 pp. * LET me see your cases and I'll get through them' was a characteristic obiter dictum of an eminent judge, renowned as an authority on criminal law. To appreciate the observation one ought to know what the cases in question were, which is not recorded; but in all probability they are duly referred to in the volume before us, and that 'though some points (see R. v. Checketts, 6 M. & S. 88, at p. 653) are of obsolete pleading, and some (see R. v. Davis, 6 C. & P. 177, at p. 741) are not law.' The fact is that lawyers themselves have effected a great reformation in the criminal law, by letting large parts of it fall into oblivion; and the consequence is that an unusually large proportion of the cases which Mr. Mews has so laboriously collected are of only archæological interest. Then, too, the fact that this volume is only a part of a far larger work (of which we hold that the critic may take judicial notice in favour of the prisoner) leads to the omission of cases, such as R. v. Erdheim, '96, 2 Q. B. 266, which, though they may be found elsewhere, are wanted by the practitioner in the Crown Court. Saving these two objections we have no very serious fault to find either with the arrangement of this work or with its contents. The guidance of the alphabet is hardly made any use of, which is a shock to the reader for a moment, but the arrangement of what is practically a Table of Contents is such that by reference to it we have generally experienced no difficulty in finding cases the name of which we have forgotten, though we remembered their effects. The cases dealing with lunacy, for example, are easily found without a reference to the Table of Cases, but we cannot say the same with regard to those which deal with attempts. We need not expect Mr. Mews to give us much assistance in elucidating the meaning of doubtful cases ; but he commits a distinct blunder in not recording the fact that R. v. Lillyman was decided on a count in trying which the consent of the chief witness was not in issue. We are obliged to express our regret that, in a work of such importance as this undoubtedly is, the usual order of quoting reports should not be followed, and that in the Table of Cases, where properly enough only one reference is given, that reference should not be to the Law Reports.
On the whole, however, the book is one the possession of which is a matter of necessity to a good many practitioners, and though it does not reach the highest standard for such work, it does not fall below what the profession at large expect of it.
Roscoe's Digest of the Law of Evidence in Criminal Cases. Twelfth
Edition. By A. P. PERCEVAL KEEP. London: Stevens & Sons,
(£1 118. 6d.) In his new edition of this well-known work Mr. Keep has managed to reduce a book of 1060 pages to one of 998; and it was not till we had recourse to the obviously unfair method of a textual comparison of this edition with its predecessor that we were able to trace any signs of a deletion. As it is, we are in a position to point out to our readers that there is a slip on page 270, and to assure them that any one who can correct it off-hand will show a very creditable, though possibly useless, acquaintance with statute law. Though such a book as Roscoe can of course never be a really high authority on matters of doubt, comment may sometimes elucidate a mere abstract of cases, but of comment of any knd Mr. Keep seems quite innocent. The queer jumble of cases quoted on page 270, for example, as to what constitutes an attempt, might be made reasonably clear with very slight pains. As it is, it represents only half a dozen decisions, most of them slightly considered, and all of them confined to the narrowest possible limits of application. The matter could have been made clearer, too, had Mr. Keep not omitted to indicate the facts in R. v. Brown. The account given of the decision in R. v. Gordon is correct, but we should have liked to see some notice of the fact that it is as inconsistent with the law of false pretences, as understood at the time when it was given, as it is with the subsequent case of R. v. Jones, 1891, 1 Q. B. 119, which, oddly enough, Mr. Keep does not notice. The explanation, of course, is that Gordon was a well-known money-lender, an element in the case which, whatever influence it may have properly exercised on the Court, ought to have been adumbrated in a dis.
a creet and respectful manner. Modern legislation is duly noticed, and on the whole well enough; and the index is quite up to the highest standard.
The Criminal Evidence Act, 1898. By A. R. BUTTERWORTH. London:
, Sweet & Maxwell, Lim. 1898. 8vo. xv and 107 pp. The Criminal Evidence Act of last session is still fresh enough to stand the very thorough system of expounding its provisions which Mr. Butterworth has adopted. As a rule, where a single statute is edited with copious notes, an introduction is unnecessary; in the present case, however, where it has been the subject of keen professional controversy, we are glad to find the objections brought against it fairly set out in a permanent and easily accessible form. In his notes on the Act itself Mr. Butterworth has spared neither pains nor space; and though according to modern ideas, he places an excessive value on decided cases, and the strict construction of enactments relating to evidence and procedure, this in a commentator is a fault on the right side. He is right in his anticipations of what the law would be decided to be as to allowing prisoners to appear before the grand jury; but R. v. Gardner shows that he is over-ingenious in suggesting that prosecuting counsel soses the right to sum up when the prisoner is the only witness called. His treatment of the crucial point of the Act, the crossexamination of prisoners to credit, is judicious, though we expect that it is likely to be settled on more rough and ready lines than he suggests. He brings out clearly the fact that R. v. Wealand and R. v. Paul are still binding on the Courts, and that it will still be the duty of a judge to point out that the jury must remember what the wife said, when they are considering the prisoner's guilt as to offence A, but are to forget it when it is a question of offence B. He is right in our view in holding the two cases inconsistent, and he brings out the likeness between the two sufficiently clearly to prevent us regretting that he prefers what we hold to be the wrong decision. He has not foreseen the point of the controversy between Mr. Haden Corser and Sir Harry Poland as to the position of the prisoner's witness before a committing magistrate, which we regret because it supplies a curious instance of sound practice over-riding an express enactment. The table of offences in the schedule to the Act is worked out in a way likely to afford the greatest assistance to the practitioner, and with the exception of a few sins of commission we have nothing but praise for his Appendix of Statutes relating to evidence.
Stone's Justice's Manual : being the yearly Justice's Practice: A Guide to
the ordinary duties of a Justice of the Peace. Thirty-first Edition. Edited by GEORGE B. KENNETT. London: Shaw & Sons ;
Butterworth & Co. 1899. 8vo. Ixviii and 1127 pp. (258.)
Law and Practice relating to matters occupying the attention of
1899. 8vo. lxxxiii and 866 pp. (208.) Both these useful books were noticed in this Review in the April number of 1898. But statutes and decisions accumulate. In the preface to this fourth edition of the Magistrate's Annual Practice it is stated that, ` During the current year (1898) there has been an unusually large number of decisions of the High Court bearing directly upon questions connected with magisterial law. It has been necessary to refer to nearly seventy such decisions in the body of this work.'
Both works treat of such Acts of Parliament as the Criminal Evidence Act, the Vaccination Act, the Inebriates Act, the Prisons Act, and the Locomotive Act (all 1898). The Criminal Evidence Act has naturally been the subject of a great deal of comment both from the bench and the outside public. Some few of the judges, holding strong views hostile to such an innovation, have expressed themselves accordingly, and there have been doubts as to the interpretation of the expression at every stage of the proceedings' in the Act. It has been, however, pretty well decided that the expression shall apply to proceedings before magistrates, and of course at the trial, but not when the case is before the grand jury. Before magistrates it is usual in indictable offences, if the case is at all likely to be committed for trial, for the accused to be advised to reserve his defence.
The Vaccination Act has called forth comments and criticisms from all quarters. But as it is difficult to anticipate the effects of an Act of Parliament, time alone can show the effects of this particular Act.
The Prisons Act, and the Inebriates Act, are both important in their way, but have not as yet come into operation for reasons explained in these books. The Locomotive Act is an additional protection to the public.
As before said, these works can be confidently recommended to justices of
and their clerks. The clerks usually have the manual at hand to refer to, and it would be as well if the justices had one or the other at their fingers' ends.
The Yearly Supreme Court Practice for 1899. By M. MUIR MACKENZIE,
S. G. LUSHINGTON, and John CHARLES Fox; assisted by C. G. S.
London : Butterworth & Co. 8vo. cxxxi and 974 pp. (208. net.) The present work is a bold undertaking. Its sole claim to recognition is as a rival to the Annual Practice. This claim rests substantially on cheapness and a reduction in bulk. The practitioner here finds in one volume of some 1,100 pages (inclusive of the index) the substance of what is contained in the two volumes of the older publication. The reduction in bulk has been attained in a large measure by the exclusion of the earlier authorities, where that course could safely be adopted. So long as Archbold and Daniell are accepted as the leading text-books on the practice of the two Divisions of the High Court, this is a judicious principle. It may well be doubted, however, whether further space might not be gained, without in any way detracting from the utility of the work as a handy book of reference on the practice, by omitting many of the forms. The bulk of pleadings are settled by a reference to Daniell's Chancery forms, or Bullen and Leake, or the pleader's notes of precedents, and originating summonses by a reference to Marcy; and it may safely be assumed that solicitors avail themselves of the printed forms which may be purchased at the Courts and elsewhere. It is difficult to understand, under these circumstances, why an annual publication should continue to be encumbered with what is, in that place, of little practical utility. The editors and their assistants must, however, be congratulated on the production of a work which deserves to succeed as a step in the right direction. In the earlier portion the Judicature Acts are printed in the form of a Consolidating Statute, and the notes follow the sections to which they refer. In the portion relating to the rules the notes are printed as footnotes, a very convenient course. The date of the decision is inserted between the name of the case and the reference, but in view of the fact that the table of cases gives the references to contemporaneous reports, the necessity for this course may be disputed. The index, it appears, has occupied two members of the Bar for three months, and it cannot be said that the time has been wasted. For the benefit of those practitioners who desire a less bulky work, the publishers supply a copy printed on thinner paper. Perhaps it might be advisable in subsequent years to make the title on the cover agree with that on the title-page, the latter being the more concise.
A Memoir of Lord Bramwell, with a Portrait. By Charles FAIRFIELD.
London : Macmillan & Co., Lim. 1898. 8vo. 373 pp. LORD BRAMWELL was a great lawyer and a great judge, but he had too original a mind and too independent a judgment to be kept confined within the ring-fence of positive law. He realized, as every true lawyer must, that the law is inextricably interwoven with morality, with politics, with political economy, with sociology generally; and with his vigorous intellect and shrewd commonsense it was an irresistible temptation to make raids into the demesnes adjoining the law's bailiwick and try his cut and thrust
logic on the passing problems of the day. It would have been a great pity if these excursuses of Lord Bramwell—the Sibylline leaves of pamphlets, addresses and letters to the Times—had wanted an historian : for whatever it was which was the theme, whether Nationalization of the Land, or Drink, or Liberty and Property Defence, or Bargains and sticking to them, or the sale of Serjeants' Inn, or Marriage with a Deceased Wife's Sister, Lord Bramwell had always something interesting to say about it, and said it in such a striking way as compelled attention. There was always an admirable sanity too about his views : witness for instance his criticism of the apologists of kleptomania and weak-minded criminals (at p. 44). Hence, though his durable reputation must always rest on his performances as a judge, we cordially welcome this record of his frápepya or extra-judicial utterances, given us by Mr. Fairfield with a running accompaniment of brilliant and sometimes oracular comment in the Carlylean vein: but alas ! we cannot welcome the portrait. How inadequate it is to express that face of the old judge—what a study it was !-- with its blended gravity, shrewdness, humour, and bonhomie. Incidentally too, we learn a good deal that is fresh about the personality of the judge as well as his views-his country rambles after the day's work was done on circuit, his talks about judicial duty with Chief Baron Pollock, his love for his fireside and a book or a game of billiards in preference to the club or society,' his early confidence in his future.
'I have it in me, and by G- it shall come out,' exclaimed Sheridan, as he declared for a political career. Lord Bramwell had the same confidence in himself, and before he had got a brief at the bar he was telling his intimates that he had got it in him and meant to rise to a seat on the Bench. In some men such confidence would be mere bumptiousness, but in men like Lord Campbell, Lord Westbury, Lord Beaconsfield or Lord Bramwell, it sprang from the conscious possession of great powers. An anecdote told by Mr. Fairfield shows how strongly his acuteness impressed his contemporaries. A schoolfellow of his, Channell--afterwards the Baron -held a brief at Maidstone Assizes. Consultation with the solicitors revealed a technical flaw in the pleadings drawn by them which in those days would have proved absolutely fatal. The solicitors could only hope that it would not be discovered. Who's against us?' asked Channell. Oh!' was the reply, “a Mr. Bramwell. Nobody ever heard of him before.' * Then, gentlemen, we're done,' was the advocate's remark. 'I was at school with that gentleman.' And done they were.
Here is another anecdote for which we are grateful to Mr. Fairfield. One spring day in the year 1889 the local constable at Edenbridge noticed Lord Bramwell intently watching a noisy group of village boys apparently much excited about something. It was the first day of the cricket season, and they were in fact drawing up rules for their cricket club. Fancying they might have annoyed the old lord in some way, the constable approached and asked whether such was the case. No, no,' said Lord Bramwell; those lads have been teaching me something—how the Common Law was invented. The constable considered this a remarkable proof of juvenile precocity, and observed : It is wonderful what they do learn at school nowadays, my lord, -over-education, I call it.'
How true it is that the mind sees what it brings ! The constable saw nothing but a pack of noisy boys. Before the eyes of the old judge-the master of the Common Law—there was unrolling itself on that village green the long pageant of our legal history.