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Court, specifying the area, population, and other special characteristics of each district; the number of judges and officers connected with each Court; the salaries of all such persons, and the funds out of which such salaries are paid ; and the general amount of business transacted in each Court: what is wanted in the first instance, being a statistical judicial survey or census, like the Industrial, Educational, or Religious Census, which should be made periodically at intervals of five or ten years.
3rd. That the second branch of inquiry should include a detailed account of the annual working of each Court; the returns of which should specify,
1. The number of suits commenced in each Court during
2. The number settled before hearing, specifying the mode
of settlement. 3. The number of trials. 4. The results of the trials, whether in favour of the
plaintiffs or defendants. 5. The nature of the causes, classified under distinct heads. 6. The value of the property in dispute, if any. 7. The duration of the suits. 8. The costs of the suits. 9. The number of appeals or proceedings in error, specifying
to what Courts. 10. The number of judgments, orders, or decrees, affirmed. 11. The number reversed. 12. The number of interlocutory proceedings in each cause. 13. The number of causes left in arrear. 14. The duration of the sittings in each Court specified in
days and hours. 4th. That all these returns should be tabulated as far as possible in a uniform manner, so as to admit of easy comparison with each other.
5th. That in addition to these general returns, which are applicable to all Courts of Justice, further special returns should be made from particular tribunals. That, for example, it would be desirable to ascertain, with respect to the Superior Courts of Common Law
1. The number of causes tried by special juries.
6. The grounds on which such new trials were granted. 6th. That until the appointment of a Minister of Justice, the collection of judicial statistics should be intrusted either to the Home Office, or to the statistical department of the Board of Trade.
III. LETTER FROM LORD BROUGHAM TO G. W. Hastings, Esq.,
ON LAW REFORM DURING THE PRECEDING SESSION.
MY DEAR HASTINGS, I cannot sufficiently express my disappointment at finding myself unable to leave home, in order to attend the yearly meeting of the Society. This, and my necessary absence from Lord Lyndhurst's committee, as well as from his motion on the Oaths Bill, has been to me the greatest vexation.
I wish I could congratulate our colleagues on the progress made of late in the amendment of the law. Let us hope, however, that the foundations have been laid of measures which another session may enable us to obtain. It really, to take a remarkable example, does seem quite impossible that this country should any longer be suffered to remain without the regular means of ascertaining how the laws are executed; that we should be the only country without the help of judicial statistics, which not only France, Sardinia, Belgium, and the German States, but even the kingdom of Naples itself, possesses, though the information there may not be turned to any very good account. On the consequences of our being thus kept in the dark as to the working of our judicial system it would be superfluous to enlarge. But I see it said in some highly respectable quarters, that one bad effect has been our carrying on law amendment empirically, and without systematic plan. Now, in one sense, we have been guided by systematic principles. The plan which I have followed for about forty years, both before and since our Society began its labours, has been the introduction in all departments) of natural Procedure, and getting rid of the innumerable and incalculable evils of technical Procedure. There can really hardly be named one of the improvements in our Jurisprudence during that long period which does not fall within this description. But if it be required that we should construct a new system upon improved principles, the answer is obvious : this plan could only be justified in the case of a community which either had previously no system at all, or a system so entirely vicious, that it must be utterly destroyed, and a new one put in its place. Now such happily is not the case in this country. There is very much of our existing law the soundness of which in its foundation, and the consistency in its superstructure, cannot be denied; and it is our duty to preserve what is good, removing by all safe and prudent measures whatever is vicious, and supplying what is deficient. It is not empirical or unsystematic to proceed experimentally, that is, to note what reflection and, above all, experience, proves to stand in need of correction or improvement. It forms exactly one of the most unanswerable reasons in favour of our excellent and able colleague Mr. Napier's proposal of a Minister of Justice, that there would at all times be a department charged with the duty of watching how our laws work in each particular, and propounding measures for curing the proved flaws in the system, and quickening the action of its healthy parts.
If we must come from such general topics to particulars, I would mention with satisfaction the progress which has been made in removing the anomaly brought practically to our notice by recent judicial proceedings, the anomaly of criminal breaches of trust not being visited with punishment unless in one class of excepted cases. I know not if your attention has ever been fully directed by late proceedings to another great vice in our system, the vice which we had vainly hoped would be eradicated by our grand improvement of allowing parties to be examined as witnesses in all cases; I refer to the corruption prevailing at Parliamentary elections. Living at so great a distance from the world of politics, I am ignorant of what is passing; yet I think I can perceive indications of such a general dislike of election risks and election expenses as may very probably postpone any dissolution in fact, though not perhaps in words ; so that for some time men may "speak daggers, but use none." This, however, only renders it easier and safer to devise betimes the means of extirpating the enormous evil of bribery, which, bad in itself, includes in reality the worser crime of perjury, at least its moral guilt, inasmuch as no one takes a bribe without making up his mind to forswear himself, if the oath is tendered to him. With our distinguished colleague Sir J. Pakington I have long been in co-operation upon this important subject; and I retain, as I believe he does, my confidence in the beneficial tendency of a stringent declaratica exacted from members on taking their seats. But I conceive that we should also go to the root of the evil as regards the agents of corruption. Why may we not deal with this as five-and-forty years ago I dealt with the execrable slave-trade ? For the gains of that infernal traffic we found that men would run the risk of heavy pecuniary penalties, but they shrunk from the risk of being transported as felons ; and the traffic ceased. So the prize of a seat in Parliament will tempt some men to run the risk of being unseated on petition, and even of being exposed as having furnished the means of corruption to their agents; and the guilty profits will induce those agents to accept the employment with the comparatively trifling hazards that now attend it. But neither the candidate nor his supporters will encounter the danger of the treadmill or transportation ; and we may see bribery, as we have seen slavetrading, cease to bring disgrace upon the people of this country. Having troubled you with a reference to general principles sanctioning what may in one sense be termed occasional legislation, but only in its right sense, I have given examples of this application of those principles; and I am sure of their being important as well as seasonable.
Short Notes of Cases ;
BEING A SELECTION
A DJ U D G E D POINTS
REPORTED SINCE 1st May, 1856.
Points DETERMINED IN THE COURT OF CHANCERY.
By O. D. Tudor, Esq., Barrister.
REPORTERS. House of Lords
2 Macqueen, Parts 2, 3. Lord Chancellor and Courts of Appeal } 5 De Gex, Mac. & G. Part 3.
in Chancery The Master of the Rolls
20 Beav. Parts 2, 3. Vice-Chancellor Wood
2 Kay & Johns. Part 3. Lord Chancellor and Master of the 4 Ir. Ch. Rep. Part 11. Rolls of Ireland
5 Ir. Ch. Rep. Part 1.
1.-POINTS DETERMINED IN THE COURT OF
1. Election. 2. Husband and Wife-Freebench or Dower not Assets for Payment of Debts. 3. Husband and Wife-Dower-Conveyance to Uses to Bar Dower, and Declaration against Dower before Dower ActNot Binding on Woman Married since Act. 4. Husband and WifeReversionary Interest of Wife in Lands directed to be Sold-Fines and Recoveries Act. 5. Legacy for Life-Farming Stock---Profits Distinguishable. 6. Marriage Articles-Rectification of Settlement-Mistake. 7. Policy-Insurance by Creditor of Debtor's Life-Right to Surplus after Payment of the Debt. 8. Power of Sale by Implication-Charge of Real Estate with Payment of Sum of Money. 9. Principal and Agent-Destruction of Vouchers-Spoliation-Presumption against Spoliator. 10. Railway Company-Contract by Promoters before Incorporation, whether Binding on Company. 11. Specific Legacy of Shares— Whether Legatee or general Personal Estate liable for future Calls. 12. Tenant for Life Discharging Bond Debts Presumption --- Statute of Limitations. 13.