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under the same banner, and Secretaries of the Treasury, with the same success, calculating the strength of their force.

Personal party has gone; business party is now the problem ; and that will depend on the completeness of the organization for the getting up the business, and marshalling the matter in debate. The personal character of the forces will shift more or less, and have, as we have just said, a prevalent appearance of the same persons on the same side of the question.

Good organization would provide more positions in Parliament and in the Administration for the numerous political rivals which the equalizing tendencies of modern times have brought on the same platform; positions which, while they would not give the first places to many, would provide for them a field of direct practical usefulness, so necessary for the activeminded ambitious man, who must be doing if he would not play the fool.

How much is it to be desired that men of large views and great experience should take up the high, but indifferent, subjects of jurisprudence, and give tone, and temper too, to discussions that are seldom conducted in seemly fashion by lawyers, who are too much wedded to the specialities of the walks which they may happen to have taken.

This might be much helped by the system of submitting all matters of the same class to the same committee, say of tribunals.

Suppose that all the questions of judicial administration relative to the different courts had been submitted to the same committee, it could not have failed to happen that such a committee would have alighted upon all the proper conditions of a tribunal, and upon the grounds of exceptional conditions for particular ones; and men of affairs, accustomed to the transaction of business of various kinds, would soon have discerned what was essential as a constitutional requirement, and what might be left to the discretion of the chiefs of the court and to the growth of practice. So of procedure, so of the consolidation of the law, and so of all other matters of each special kind.

We enumerate the legal matters, being matters of most immediate concern to us; but what is true of them is not less true of others, which may not be regarded as of that character.

We are anxious that the plea of want of party should not be made a plea of justification for not proceeding with the work of law amendment, which is peculiarly fitted for a period like the present, so free from political excitement; and we desire to show that by apt arrangements of the parliamentary forces, aided by some appropriate reinforcement and organization of our administrative and executive forces, our great legal reformation may proceed with fair progress. How, without some such facilities, we are to dispose of the consolidations of the Criminal Law, and the consolidations of the Statute Law, we are at a loss to conceive. It will be a superhuman task to carry such matters through the Commons' House of Parliament, as at present ordered.

It may be thought that in the above remarks we have taken no account of the passions of the men engaged in affairs :—the fire by which all human energy is molten into the form which on each occasion it is made to take for its purpose. This is far from our position or intention. On the contrary, we regard these passions as the primary powers of practical force, which spreads in wasteful and disastrous energy, if it flow not into moulds constructed for the final form which it is to assume. Institutions should be constructed not to overrule, but to govern, human passion; that like fire, water, or any other force, it may serve, instead of mastering us. To this end we suggest the substitution of orderly arrangements for “mob-like” confusion.

Our task is done for the present, but very inadequately; yet we are not without hope that we may inspire some earnest and. energetic men in Parliament to make an effort not to sink into the slough of despond, by a trial of the aid which organization may afford. It may be, that when by this means we have got rid of the mechanical part of public questions, there will arise questions of principle that will justify men in taking, in a very positive and earnest manner, opposite sides; though we cannot but think that, with the free action of public intelligence by a free press, and the consequent amalgamation of political views,

such occasions must in future be few and occur at distant intervals.

Since writing the above, we have met with two papers which bear on the practical views urged in this paper. An article in the Spectator of October 11,"Parliamentary Inquiries,” which suggests a good method of dealing with inquiries now so laborious, so expensive, and so inconclusive; and Mr. Kennedy's letter, suggesting a plan for enabling the members for Scotland, and the members for Ireland, to act as committees for the purposes of their respective countries. Mr. Kennedy has given notice of his intention to move the House on the subject at the commencement of the next session. It may be well to give such facilities to Ireland and to Scotland; but it would not be less expedient for England and even for the colonies. But it seems to us that there should also be committees for the special subjects of Petitions and Claims, of Public Instruction, of Justice and Law, of Finance, and of Special affairs; and that the Irish and Scotch, as well as the Imperial, the English, and the Colonial matters, should go to those committees; otherwise we should be extending specialities where the exceptional circumstances of the different countries would not justify a difference. On the whole, we prefer a distribution of subjects among the committees to a distribution of localities; the one would tend to a perpetuation of differences, the other to sound generalization, and an adaptation of a common law to the three kingdoms. Perhaps a union of the two methods would most conciliate the general feeling, and, may be, yield the advantages of both.

The suggestions of the Spectator are very valuable, but unfortunately our space is exhausted; they deserve grave consideration, and we see no objection but the jealousy of members, desirous perhaps to be of use, but to have all the glory of the well-doing--the sin of vanity that much obstructs the progress of public affairs.




10 be sure, when last autumn I was proving that the short

comings justly ascribed to the War had been overstated, that at any rate the complaints would cease with their cause, and that as the lawgiver like the law is silent, amidst the din of arms, both would recover their voice, I little thought how much louder than ever the cries of Law Reformers would arise to break the stillness of peace. But so it is; and I fear these complaints can no longer be deemed groundless. Since 1828, when we in good earnest set about removing the grievous, and, indeed, disgraceful defects of our system, I really can name no session in which so little has been effected for the amendment of the law I cannot even except the two years of the Reform Bill; since, notwithstanding the ample excuse which the agitation of that great measure afforded for inaction on other subjects, most valuable improvements in our jurisprudence were made in those two sessions. It is only necessary to specify, among others, the establishment of the Court of Bankruptcy, the commencement of the new Appellate Jurisdiction in the Privy Council, the mitigation of the criminal code, including the abolition of capital punishment for forgery, and the foundation laid of the great measure of Local Judicature. The unceasing contest on Parliamentary Reform, the almost unmeasured violence with which it was carried on, and the unprecedented fatigues of an attendance, with hardly any intermission during above twenty months, was accounted no excuse for neglecting or postponing the relief to which the suitors were entitled, the removal of manifest obstructions to the administration of justice. We look in vain for any such excuses last session; and yet how much less was done!

“It must, however, be at once admitted that some progress was made; and we are very possibly led to underrate the few improvements that were effected, by reflecting on the far greater value of the measures which were either defeated or postponed, and some of which, perhaps the most important, might have been carried by a little activity, and the announcement of a determined purpose of preferring the amendment of the law to the prorogation of Parliament. It is equally undeniable that the hills which were passed, though of considerable value, are defective in very material particulars, from the same causes which occasioned the loss of others.

“Passing over some bills which passed, of a minor kind, but of considerable value (especially the one for facilitating leases and sales of settled estates, and thus dispensing with private Acts of Parliament in many cases), there were several material amendments of the law obtained for the country. The County Courts Act is the most important of those which I am about to observe upon. The Limited Liability Act is still a subject of controversy, and it is better that we should first advert to the measures on which there is now no dispute at all, The improvement, it may be added the extension, of Local Judicature, is eminently of this description ; and the late Act certainly both improves the procedure, and in an almost imperceptibly small degree extends the jurisdiction of the County Courts ;-indirectly, and consequentially, indeed, it increases very materially the amount of business which they transact; but it leaves the same defects in jurisdiction, of which such universal complaint is made. For all equitable claims parties must still resort to the Court of Chancery; in other words, for all such claims below a considerable amount, there is no Court to which any one in his senses would ever think of resorting.

“But an excellent opportunity was afforded of extending the jurisdiction, and of making those Courts incalculably more beneficial than they now are. The optional clause might with a very slight amendment, but one of great importance in its results, have been productive of this happy consequence. That clause has been in all the Local Court Bills, beginning with the one which I first introduced in the year 1830. It enables the Court to try any cause whatever by the consent of both parties; but that consent must be given before action is brought. The consequence has been, that very little use has in practice been made

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