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OF STATUTES AND FORMS.
JOHN CLERK, Esq.,
OF THE INNER TEMPLE, BARRISTER AT LAW.
Law Bookseller and Publisher.
UPON the passing of the “Corrupt Practices Prevention Act," in 1854, it appeared to the Author that it would be advisable to publish at once a short treatise pointing out the important changes introduced into the Law of Elections by that statute. At the time that the Chapters relating to the Practice at Elections and Corrupt Practices were published, the Author had to apologise for presenting an incomplete work upon the subject of elections. The prospect of an immediate change in the mode of trying election petitions was the excuse for the course then pursued. The measure introduced by Lord John Russell and Sir James Graham, for this purpose, in the session of 1854, has not been further proceeded with. The Author has now completed the remaining chapters on the law of elections and the practice of election committees, and has introduced all the cases and decisions both of committees and of courts of law down to the present time.
Since the earlier Chapters were published some changes have been made in the mode of holding Elections in Scotland. These have been introduced in their proper places. As the first part of this work .was already, to a considerable extent, in the hands of the public, the cases of Grant v. Guinness and Cooper v. Slade have been added, in continuation of the Chapter on “Corrupt Practices."
The Author has added a separate Chapter on “Scrutiny,” which is substantially the same as that in the work on the Practice of Election Committees, published by him in 1852. The plan then adopted by him has, he believes, met with the approbation of the Profession. The whole of this Chapter, as well as of the other portions of the work of 1852, have been carefully revised.
In citing cases, the Author has considered it advisable to omit, as far as possible, the conflicting decisions of Committees upon points of evidence,
which are to be found in the older reports and treatises on Election Law. These decisions are seldom based on any legal principle, and to quote them only serves to encumber the text and embarrass the reader. At the present day, it is not unusual for Committees to desire the counsel to confine themselves to the citation of the decisions of the Superior Courts. The Author trusts that the present work, in which he has endeavoured to comprise in one volume the whole of the law relating to Elections and the trial of Controverted Elections, may prove of service. The subject of the “Registration of Electors” has been intentionally omitted. The enactments which have made the register conclusive of the continuance of the qualification, and have limited the power of Committees to open the register, have had the effect of practically excluding from the consideration of Election Committees all questions relating to the right of any person to be upon the register.
TEMPLE, May, 1 857.