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POSTSCRIPT.-THE SAVIGNY FOUNDATION. WE
E have been requested to make known to the legal
profession of the United Kingdom that an effort is now being made in Germany, having its centre at Berlin, to found an institution in memory of the illustrious Savigny. The contemplated foundation is intended to encourage the study of Comparative Jurisprudence, by giving prizes for essays on the subject, and establishing scholarships, both of which, as we understand, will be open to all countries. The object, therefore, not only commends itself to all the admirers of the great jurist in whose honour the institution is to be erected, all readers of his profound and varied works, but also to those who are interested in the prosecution of that comparative study of the different systems of jurisprudence existing in the world, on which the true science of law must be built. We understand that the Crown Princess of Prussia, our own Princess Royal, with that intelligent sympathy in all objects of public utility which may be expected from any child of Her gracious Majesty and the Prince Consort, has shown a warm interest in the undertaking, and that it is at the suggestion of Her Royal Highness that an appeal is likely to be made to the Bars of the United Kingdom, and other members of the legal profession, in aid of the Savigny Foundation. Among the contributors to the fund, in addition to the Princess Royal, we observe the names of the Kings of Prussia, Portugal, and Wurtemburg, of the Chamber of Advocates at Paris, the University of Giessen, and many others. The sum already subscribed amounts to nearly £800. We understand that Sir Erskine Perry, the learned translator of Savigny's Treatise on Possession, and other students of his works, are desirous of uniting in an effort to form a corresponding committee in this country in aid of the Savigny Foundation. We heartily commend the undertaking to the liberal consideration of our readers; and we may add, that any inquiry on the subject addressed to the Editor of this Magazine, at our publishers, will receive immediate attention.
Notices of New Books.
** It should be understood that the notices of new works fowarded to as for review, and which appear in this part of the Magazine, do not preclude our recurring to them at greater length, and in a more elaborate form, in a subsequent Number, when their character and importa nce require it.]
The Magisterial Synopsis. A Practical Guide for Magistrates,
Clerks, Attorneys, and Constables : Summary Convictions, Indictable Offences, with their Penalties, Punishments, Procedure, &c., being Alphabetically and Tabularly, arranged. By G. C. Oke, Assistant Clerk to the Lord Mayor, Author of “Magisterial Formulist," "A Handybook of the Game and Fishery Laws." Eighth Edition. London: Butterworths.
This Book is not a manual, but a comprehensive and exhaustive synopsis of the Statute and Common Law administered by the magistracy; forming a large volume of upwards of twelve hundred pages. Justices of the Peace will find in this work, taken with its companion the “Formulist,” by the same author, every necessary information for the discharge of their ministerial and judicial offices. Having officiated as Assistant Clerk to the Magistrates' Bench for a long period, and latterly at the principal Metropolitan Court, Mr. Oke has brought to the exposition of this department of law, & practical familiarity 'with the course of procedure, and a special, it may be said, esoteric knowledge of the magistrate's official difficulties. Each edition has gone on increasing in popularity as well as in bulk : the new statutes and more recent learning being grafted on from time to time, and in harmonious order incorporated with the original. The author has not been guilty of the common indiscretion which affects recondite learning in the attempt to compile a useful work of practice. Following a natural method, he never allows himself to forget that the Synopsis is intended to lie on the magistrate's table for reference and consultation. The design of the work was first suggested to the author “by the inconvenience which justices and their clerks experience generally, but more especially when called upon suddenly to act, and in the bustle of a Petty Sessions, from the want of some book of reference in which may be found, succinctly and at a glance, the legal requirements of the numerous enactments respecting each offence punishable summarily.” The division of the work into three parts, with the subdivisional chapters of each, very much facilitate the process of reference. The first part relates to summary convictions, the second to indictable offences, and the third to special and petty sessions matters. It is impossible to speak in terms too laudatory of the patience and discrimination bestowed on the syllabus of these offences under each section which are arranged alphabetically. At one view information is given in contiguous columns as to the offence, the statute under which it is made punishable, the time of laying the information, the number of justices necessary to constitute a court of competent jurisdiction, the penalty to be inflicted and the mode of enforcing it, to whom the penalty is payable, and in what cases and during what time it is competent to appeal. The accuracy and completeness of the information compiled, as well as the perspicuous method happily conceived, and scrupulously observed, in the arrangement of that information, are recommendations sufficiently powerful to sustain, and probably to augment, its popularity.
The unwieldy size of this volume is perhaps its greatest fault, and for that the Legislature, and not the author, is responsible. There is a point in the condensation of law beyond which the severest and most judicious pressure can effect no diminution without mutilating the substance itself. Mr. Oke has, with considerable success, extracted the pith of judicial decisions and Acts of Parliament, but with all the author's ingenuity, the work has grown under his hands from the 410 pages of the first edition in 1848, to the present awkward bulk of 1,206 pages. Year after year new statutes are passed, conferring new jurisdiction, or enlarging the powers already wielded under the old. The author feels a natural solicitude regarding the ultimate results of this system of legislation, a system which has already produced a vast number of enactments“ tam immensus aliarum super alias acervatarum legum cumulus.” Mr. Oke maintains the "urgent necessity for a uniform and comprehensive code of magisterial procedure being provided by Parliament before further matters of jurisdiction are conferred on the Petty Sessions." “ When such a measure becomes law, this work would probably be reduced in size ; for it is now encumbered by needless repetitions and a variety of procedure provisions in the present statute law, which a general Act could remove, and at the same time materially facilitate the duties of those who, for the most part, gratuitously have to administer this extensive branch of the law.” A Manual of Practice in the Office of Land Registry. By Henry
Gough. London : V. & R. Stevens, Sons, & Haynes. This Manual includes the Acts to facilitate the proof of title to, and the conveyance of, real estates, and for obtaining a declaration of title (25 & 26 Vict., cc. 53, 67); and also the general rules and orders of the registry, forms of proceedings, and tables of fees. It is intended for a practical guide to those whose professional duties may require them to take part in any proceedings under the new statute “For the Proof of Title to, and the Conveyance of, Real Estates." The author has spared no pains to render it as complete as possible, but he observes in his preface that faults must be incidental to the first draft of a treatise on an extensive legislative scheme which has yet to be reduced to practice. “ When this shall have been so far effected as to supply the means of enlargement and correction, the author hopes to offer to the profession an enlarged and improved edition.” He further observes, “It cannot be expected that all the details of a system so new and so untried will be completely settled from the very first. But with the hearty good-will and co-operation of all who may be called to participate in working out this great experiment, there can be no doubt that the practice may very soon become simple, certain, and harmonious.” A short introduction gives a review of the Irish system in the Landed Estates Court, and of the leading features in the Acts of Lord Westbury and Lord Cranworth.
A Manual of Common Law and Bankruptcy, founded on various
Text-Books and recent Statutes, and designed as a Companion to Smith's Manual of Equity. By Josiah W. Smith, B.C.L. London : V. & R. Stevens, Sons, & Haynes, Bell Yard, Lincoln's Inn.
This book is written on the same plan as the Manual of Equity by the same author, and is founded, he tells us in the preface, on about sixty text-books, to which references are duly made. It is intended to serve the purpose of a first book for students in Common Law and Bankruptcy, and the author advises his readers to pass on from his pages to those of Brown's Commentaries, Addison's Contracts and Torts, John William Smith on Leading Cases and Contracts, Stephen's Commentaries, and Best on Evidence. As an introduction to these standard works, we think that Mr. Smith's Manual may prove useful, and we would even go further, and believe that the practitioner and the legislator may occasionally find instruction in its pages. The great difficulty in all such works is that they have an inevitable tendency either to run into a dry recital of points, or to degenerate into a loose, superficial statement. As far as we are able to judge, Mr. Smith has to a great degree avoided both these errors, and we quite believe him when he says that “great has been the expenditure of time and thought in selecting, arranging, digesting, compressing, defining, distinguishing, and qualifying, which the preparation of it has involved.” The least satisfactory part of the work is that relating to Bankruptcy, which is really nothing more than 3 brief (but we are bound to say very careful) compendium of the statute law on the subject. This is hardly a chapter for a strictly elementary manual; the first days of a student are not to be occupied with the details of registrar's duties, and County Court jurisdiction; it should rather be the object of an instructor at this stage to give a just survey of the principles and objects of law, and in this respect the work, as a whole, is not deficient.
Papers read before the Juridical Society. Vol. II., Part V. Lon.
don: Wm. Maxwell. 1862.
The Fifth number of the Juridical Society Papers consists of half a dozen articles, written with the care, originality, and learning, which usually distinguish the contributions of that learned society to the Science of Jurisprudence. Some of them are speculative in their character, but the majority are directed towards immediate practical results. The dissertation by Mr. Edward Webster, which has also been published in a separate pamphlet, on Promotion at the English Bar, will probably attract more attention than it has hitherto done. Unfortunately, the author conceives himself to be the victim of the system which he undertakes to denounce, and by the injudicious intrusion of personal matters, provokes the suspicion that the wellpointed shafts hurled against the existing evil have been deeply dipped in the gall of bitterness. There is no valid reason, however, why those who in actual experience have been forced to suffer a wrong, may not be the best qualified expounders of its cause. This, like every other question deserving of serious thought, should be considered dispassionately, and without reference to individual circumstances. Mr. Webster, after tracing to its origin the division of the Bar into the Inner and Outer Bar, contends that the power now vested in the Lord Chancellor of conferring the rank of Queen's Counsel and Serjeants-at-Law, operates unjustly towards the Bar, is prejudicial to the interests of suitors, and encourages political corruption. He proposes that “standing” alone should be a sufficient qualification to entitle counsel to take leading business and to obtain a seat within the bar. For the encouragement of healthy emulation, it is suggested that a new order be established of a purely honorary character, and giving no monopoly of business, to be called “The Crown's Order of Learning.” Men distinguished for their professional ability are to be invested with this order, and shall have the privilege of wearing a distinguishing robe in court. The whole reasoning is grounded upon the supposition that forensic honours are now unwisely, if not unjustly, bestowed. It is evident that if merit be duly rewarded, the public good will not suffer by consigning mediocrity to the back benches.
There are two papers in the number upon kindred subjects, viz., on Codification. Mr. Marshall's paper is confined to the written law, while in the other, the author, Mr. Sweet, discusses the expediency of digesting the precedents of the common law, and regulating the publication of Reports. The two papers on International Law are very different in character : both highly meritorious. Professor Katchenowsky has visited many countries of Europe with the sole purpose of studying the great questions of International Jurisprudence. The substance of the paper, read in the author's absence before the Juridical Society, consists of the facts collected during those travels, with the conclusions deduced from them, and is a highly valuable contribution towards rightly understanding the present state of international jurisprudence. Mr. Clarke composed