Page images

would fail signally. It is quite true that the Inns of Court are not Colleges, and probably can never be converted into Colleges. It is quite true that, in the strict sense of the word, no school of law in London can afford collegiate education. It is quite true that the ordinary articled clerk of to-day, set to work in the office at seventeen, and only spending one year of his time in London, has not the same advantages of general education as the graduate who leaves the University at twenty-two to enter at the Temple; that the special professional teaching which suits the one will therefore fall short of that required by the other, and that the examination must be adjusted in each case to different standards. But if this teaching is to be afforded, and these examinations are to be held in London, if both branches of the profession are to unite for this purpose, if public opinion is to be brought to bear effectually on the whole question in Parliament and elsewhere, and existing organizations are to be pressed into the service, the Association must not listen to any suggestions for any curtailment of their scheme. That section of the governing body in each Inn which regards all change as an evil will, when they find some change inevitable, propose to compound for the minimum of change. They will offer to appoint an additional reader, or to cancel that rule recognising a year's reading, or rather attendance in chambers, as a sufficient qualification for a call, with which they paralysed the attempt made in 1852 to create something like a school of law. To all such proposals we hope the Association will reply by stating that their duty is to provide a thorough system of legal education and examination, and, by applying to the Crown for a charter, incorporating a University or School of Law.

The suggested heads of this charter have already been issued for consideration, and though, when it comes to be drawn up, modification will no doubt be found necessary, we believe that it substantially embodies the real

requirements of the profession. It proposes to vest the Government in a senate, which is to be constituted as follows. The Lord Chancellor, the Chief Justice, and the Attorney and Solicitor-General, are to be ex-officio members. The Crown is to have the power of appointing a certain number of nominees, who will no doubt be men of eminence. A similar power of nominating members is to be given to each of the three Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and London, so that the schools of law in each may be properly represented, and help, as well as share, in the reorganization of legal education. A certain number of members are to be elected by the benchers and a certain number by the barristers of each Inn. The Incorporated Law Society, the Metropolitan and Provincial Law Society, and Provincial Incorporated Law Societies, are also to appoint a certain number of nominees. In this way every vested interest affected by the proposed charter will be represented in the governing body. Of course, a senate thus elected is open to the objection that it is too mixed and too large a body to be efficient. No doubt it would be better, if it were practicable, that it were composed exclusively of efficient working men. But in order to create such a body, all the conditions must be disregarded which must be observed by the promoters, if this movement is to succeed, while, on the other hand, it will be possible by judicious arrangement to render this apparently unwieldy body thoroughly efficient. The Association is about to lay the foundation of a national law school, which will not only meet professional need, but afford to the general public opportunities for the study of jurisprudence. That these foundations should have long ago been laid by the Inns of Court is clear; but it was as judicious as it was in good taste, to offer them an opportunity of associating themselves with the movement. For, though the Association carefully disclaims the intention of in any way dealing with the funds of these Societies, and proposes to meet its expenses by students' fees alone, its

scope and usefulness would of course be largely increased if it were assisted by the large endowments of these Societies. It is notorious that the benchers of each Inn are divided into two parties, one opposing all change, the other-which is daily growing in numbers and influence-strongly in favour of applying their funds to educational purposes. As soon, then, as the Inns of Court accept the invitation of the Association, as we hope and believe they will, the obstructive party will not be able to resist much longer the combined influence of the progressive party within their respective bodies, and the outside pressure of professional and public opinion. We may, therefore, reasonably expect that when the scheme of the Association has been matured and accepted by the profession and the country, the conciliatory course it has adopted with respect to these vested interests will bring about the restoration of a great endowment to its legitimate object. That the Incorporated Law Society should be asked to become part of an organization which absorbs, in order to enlarge, the functions they have so well performed, is an act of simple justice. And it is only fair that, if the other branch of the profession is to be associated with the movement, its members, both in London and the provinces, should be properly represented. At the same time, it must be admitted that a purely professional governing body could not be expected to deal with the subject of legal education iu a way which would completely meet existing wants. Though mutual concessions would probably reconcile any differences arising from the distinction between the two branches, a certain narrowness of tone would inevitably be displayed by a senate composed exclusively of barristers and attorneys. We are glad therefore to find that this evil has been met by the introduction of an important lay and academic element into the constitution of the governing body. The Crown, in making its appointments will, no doubt, select laymen of distinction wherever they can be found, and the representatives of the Univer

sities will be men whose culture and experience as teachers will correct any tendency to make the school a mere school for practitioners. The Association has shown its wise determination to associate the law teaching of the Universities with its own, by providing in the suggested heads, that "every person who has obtained a degree in arts at any of the Universities of the United Kingdom shall be exempted from the necessity for passing any preliminary examination, and by giving the Senate power to relieve any person, who has satisfactorily passed an examination in law at any such University, from the necessity of passing the intermediate examination, and to shorten his course of study in London." Although the Association expressly states in its circular that it is not pledged to any details, it will be clear to our readers that the sketch it has drawn up has been the result of much careful consideration. We think that it contains the outline of a scheme which, with some modification, will fulfil the purpose for which the Association has been formed. Without attempting to destroy any existing institution, it proposes to bring together and unite, forces already in operation, in a harmonious and consistent organisation. That it may prosper in its mission must be the wish of every Englishman who thinks that the study and the practice of our law should not remain a reproach amongst civilised nations. For, to quote the words of their circular, "it is only by means of the establishment of some such Law College or University as is here proposed, and the succession of teachers and writers which it would ensure, that we can hope to see arise in this country a School of Jurisprudence, worthy to be placed side by side with the great schools of France and Germany."



No. 1. 25 Nov., 1868.-Murray v. Eglinton Iron Company.41 Jurist, 93.


A LEASE by the proprietor of a mansion house, whereby a mineral tenant was entitled to sink a pit in a field, and to have access to the field from the road to the mansion house. Held the tenant had use of the road only so far as not inconsistent with its use as the approach to the mansion house, and, therefore, iron rails ordered to be removed, and damages found due; but no damage allowed for injury to house or garden from smoke and vapour. Per Lord President (Inglis)"I cannot imagine that it was in the contemplation of parties that the tenants were to have the exclusive use of the road, leaving the lessor without an approach to the house."

No. 2. 27 Nov., 1868.-Hamilton v. Emslee-41 Jurist, 98.


A CREDITOR was found liable in damages for an illegal because an excessive poinding (distraint) of his debtor's effects. The excess was intended to cover the landlord's preferable claim for rent. The creditor thereon brought an action of relief against his agent, who was assoilzied. Per Lord Deas-"A law agent accepting employment does not guarantee that the advice which he gives, or the opinion he expresses, to his client shall turn out to be sound or correct. As things stand, it is no doubt necessary for a client to take care whom he consults, and it is not an unwholesome result that caution should be necessary in that matter. On considerations of that kind the law, I apprehend, is quite fixed, that in giving his advice in ordinary circumstances, the law agent sufficiently discharges his duty if he gives that advice according to the best of his judgment, subject to this qualification only, that if his opinion and advice be so grossly erroneous as to be altogether inexcusable in any man pretending to be capable of exercising the profession, he shall be held liable for the result." Lord Kinloch (the Ordinary) had held the agent liable.

No. 3. 2 Dec., 1868.-McNiven v. Charlton-41 Jurist,



A PARTNERSHIP and a lease of the company's premises terminated

« PreviousContinue »