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withdraw the first definition and admit that the second distinction was not known in the reign of Henry II.
In the preliminary portion of his essay, Dr. Parow charges upon English students an improper neglect of the teaching of Rudolph Gneist, which he sets down to their passion for discovering continuity in history. No doubt some writers have been too ready to discover in the council of the Norman Kings a survival of the Witenagemot of pious memory. But on the other hand a catastrophic theory of the Norman conquest involves equally unthinkable assumptions. Even the Exchequer of Henry II sprang in part from pre-Norman roots; and those parts of it survived the conquest, survived the introduction of a keener and more capable administration, and only perished as late as 1834. And what of the very word Sheriff'? But there are those in Germany who preach more and other things in the name of Gneist than he ever taught.
C. G. C.
The Law of International Copyright, with special Sections on the Colonies
and the United States of America. By WILLIAM BRIGGS. London:
Stevens & Haynes. 1906. La. 8vo. xvii and 850 pp. The allegation, contained in the preface of this book, to the effect that it is 'the first work in English on the Law of International Copyright,' is somewhat misleading. If the author means that it is the first English work dealing exclusively with International Copyright, his assertion may possibly be true, but this separate treatment of one branch of copyright law is not in our opinion desirable, as the international rules are so closely connected with the other rules, that a book dealing exclusively with the former must necessarily be wanting in intelligibility; thus, for instance, the absence of a systematic exposition in the book before us of the distinction between an author's right relating to unpublished matter (common law copyright) and statutory copyright relating to published matter, or of the distinction between copyright and performing right must render certain parts of Dr. Briggs's book very puzzling to a reader whose information is not derived from other sources; we can hardly conceive how such a reader will be able to understand the following passage, which may also serve as a typical specimen of the author's mode of expression and of reasoning :
Lecturing Right.-Another question which will doubtless be dealt with by the Conference of Berlin is that of lecturing right. A lecture is not essentially a dramatic work, though sometimes the line of distinction may be hard to draw; it is clearly neither a dramatico-musical nor musical work. Hence it does not come within the scope of Art. 9, though, if it had been reduced to literary form, it gains copyright under Art. 2 either as a published or unpublished literary work, according as it has or has not been issued to the public in printed form' (p. 302).
If the assertion quoted above as to the pioneer character of Dr. Briggs's work was intended to convey that he deals more completely or more instructively with the subject of International Copyright than the previously existing English works, we cannot admit the truth of his allegation; the subject of International Copyright no doubt occupies a larger amount of space in his work than in any other English work, but this is chiefly due to the diffuseness of his style, to the frequently recurring repetitions, and to the addition of numerous aphorisms of doubtful value on quasiphilosophical, quasi-economic, and quasi-juridical matters. We are unable to discover any feature in Dr. Briggs's work wbich would make it appear more suitable for purposes of instruction or reference than the previously existing works. A reader who wishes to obtain a clear and comprehensive general view of English copyright law, including the law of international copyright as applied by English Courts, will still be best served by Mr. Scrutton's treatise; a reader looking for accurate and complete information on foreign and colonial law will find it in the last edition of Mr. Copinger's work, and a reader specially interested in the copyright law of the United States, will obtain everything that he wants from Mr. Macgillivray's book on the subject of copyright.
A Treatise on the Law relating to Sale of Real Estate and Chattels Real,
By T. CYPRIAN Williams, assisted by J. F. ISELIN. Two Vols.
xli and 1143 pp. and index (unpaged). (£2 58.) We have already (L. Q. R. xxi. 85) discussed this volume up to p. 873. The new part of this volume contains discussions of Relative disability in equity, Discharge of the contract, Remedies for breach of contract, and the Sale of registered land.
The discussion of relative disability in equity, or in other words of the cases where the sale of land may be voidable in equity, because one of the parties stands, either towards the other, or towards the beneficial owners of the land or of the purchase money, in some relation imposing on him either a conditional or an absolute disability to take under the contract, is remarkably good, and perhaps we do not err in saying that this discussion is perhaps the best that the author has ever written. The discussion of the Discharge of the contract is divided into two main headings, (1) the discharge of the contract before breach and by performance; (2) breach of the contract and discharge therefrom after breach. We should much like to place before our readers the excellent doctrine contained in this chapter, but we prefer to consider the most interesting part of the book, viz. the discussion of sale and mortgage of registered land. It cannot be denied that the results of compulsory registration have been most unsatisfactory, as the expense of dealing with land in compulsory districts has been increased. While the Land Transfer Acts offer great facilities for conveying the entirety of a landed estate, they are wholly unfit for the common ordinary commercial dealings with land, such as constantly occur on building estates. Those who are in favour of registration of title ought to be very grateful to our author, as he gives such a clear statement of the merits and demerits of the Acts as will render it comparatively easy to see what amendments ought to be made in order to render the Acts workable.
The author commences the discussion of the procedure as to registered land with an account of the rights and duties of the vendor and purchaser of registered land under an open contract. He points out that the register alone is good evidence that the vendor is registered as proprietor of the land, with such title either absolute, good leasebold, qualified, or possessory, as is stated on the register, that the mere possession of the land certificate showing that the vendor is registered is not sufficient, as the land may have been sold or foreclosed under a statutory charge created without handing over the land certificate, and that in either case a person, other than the person who appears by the land certificate to be the proprietor of the land, may have been registered as proprietor; and that, therefore, it is essential for the purchaser to ascertain the present condition of the register either by actual inspection or a fresh certified copy. This will show whether there are any estates, interests, or rights (other than those declared not to be incumbrances), which will not either be conveyed to the purchaser, or be extinguished by the effect of the registered transfer from the vendor to him. The author then discusses the manner of clearing away incumbrances of various natures.
The explanation (p. 1073) of the effect of a registered transfer where there is an unregistered assurance is both luminous and convincing. , It points out that an assurance for value completed by registration operates not as a conveyance of the vendor's own estate, but is essentially the execution of a statutory power enabling the vendor to transfer an estate which may or may not be his own. We are glad to find so high an authority as our author laying down the law on this point, as some persons, perhaps not very familiar with the distinction between property and power, think that the fact that the registered proprietor does not necessarily have the legal fee is a blot on the Acts ?.
The author discusses (p. 1077) four different methods of completion. The conclusion at which he arrives is that where the whole of the land or a title is sold to the same person, the proper manner is to complete under the protection of a priority notice, and that only part of the land is sold either to complete in that manner or by provisional registration under L. T. R. 157.
The discussion (at p. 1081) of the effect of notice to an intending purchaser of equities not protected by entries on the register is most interesting; the conclusion is that where the equity arises from an instrument not protected by an entry on the register the purchaser is safe; but where the equity arises from the fraudulent or blameworthy conduct of the registered proprietor as, for example, where a right of which the purchaser has notice exists to set aside the conveyance to the registered proprietor as obtained by fraud or undue influence; or where the purchaser has notice of facts showing that the registered proprietor is contemplating an actual fraud to the detriment of some person entitled to an unregistered interest, it is not clear that the purchaser could be advised to act in disregard of the notice.
The manner of creating or reserving easements or other rights over registered land, or imposing restrictive conditions on registered land, is explained at p. 1108. The author points out that it is generally proper in cases of this nature to take an assurance off the register, and he also points out what investigation of title ought to be made. His exposition is most valuable.
The question raised at pp. 1113 and 1115, as to the effect of the provision in the Land Transfer Act, 1897, s. 7 (2), that where a registered disposition would, if unregistered, be absolutely void . . . ., the register shall be rectified, is of great interest. The author points out that a person taking a transfer or charge from a corporation must satisfy himself that the corporation possesses powers of alienation, for if he should omit to do so, and the transfer or charge were void as being ultra vires, and the necessary restriction had not been entered on the register, he might be ejected from the land or lose his charge. The result being that even where a corporation is registered with absolute title, and in certain cases where the vendor is so registered, pp. 1116 and 1141, a purchaser taking under a registered
[Yes, but is not a vagrant and disestablished legal estate at least inelegant, and calculated to puzzle even lawyers who have not the special training of a conveyancer ?-Ed.]
transfer cannot be certain that he will retain the land, unless he makes the proper inquiries.
A case which constantly occurs in practice, namely a purchase of registered land from a mortgagee under his power of sale, is discussed at p. 1117, and the procedure, when on the sale of registered land part of the purchase money is to be advanced on mortgage, is explained at p. 1125. The preliminary discussion as to the effect of a registered charge is exhaustive and accurate; the author gives conclusive reasons for the opinion, generally held by conveyancers, that a mortgagee of registered land cannot be advised to rest satisfied with a registered charge alone, and that he must obtain such a security as will vest the mortgagor's estate in him, and he points out two methods of doing so: he then discusses the methods of making the mortgage when the money is to be advanced to the purchaser of registered land before the transfer to him is registered, or to the purchaser of unregistered land in a district where registration is compulsory, and the advance is to be made before the registration of the purchaser. In a note at p. 1135, he discusses and objects to a scheme suggested by a conveyancer whose opinion deservedly bears great weight, namely, for the purchaser to execute and deliver as an escrow before his registration a conveyance of the legal estate to the mortgagee subject to redemption, to be delivered and dated after the registration of the mortgagor as proprietor of the land, and to be supported by a registered charge.
In conclusion, we consider that this volume is excellent, and we heartily recommend it to our readers. Principles of the Law of Real Property. By the late JOSHUA
WILLIAMS. The Twentieth Edition, by his son T. CYPRIAN
and 741 pp. (218.) The Modern Law of Real Property. By the late L. A. GOODEVE,
Fifth Edition, by Sir HOWARD WARBURTON ELPHINSTONE and
1906. La. 8vo. xliv and 612 pp. (218.) For the third time Mr. Cyprian Williams has retouched • Williams on Real Property’since he practically rewrote it in the seventeenth edition. We quote a neat passage from the chapter “Of Remoteness of Limitation.' • It thus appears,' says the learned editor, “ that the general principle of legal policy, forbidding all such limitations as tend to create a perpetuity, has been applied to contingent remainders as well as to executory interests, But when we inquire what limitations in particular are held to create a perpetuity, we find that the law has answered the question in one way as regards contingent remainders of legal estates, and in another as regards executory interests and contingent remainders of equitable estates; or, possibly, in a third form as regards equitable remainders. The result is that the subject ... is particularly distinguished by what the Romans termed inelegantia iuris.'
The most interesting new feature in the present edition of Goodeve is likewise the chapter on Perpetuities. Perhaps the very bare statement of the much canvassed decision of Kay J. in Re Frost may be taken as signifying that the learned editors accept it with some reluctance. They are more outspoken about the rule that all limitations depending or expectant on a prior limitation which is too remote are themselves void for remoteness,' and agree with Mr. J. C. Gray’s argument against it in his well-knowa
work of which the second edition is dealt with elsewhere in our present number', notwithstanding that Sir James Stirling felt bound to treat it as settled in Re Abbott (1893] 1 Ch. 54, 57.
Sir Howard Elphinstone's ingenious explanation of the rule in Shelley's case (p. 224) is not now published for the first time, but we shall be excused for recalling our readers' attention to it. The reason given by Sir Howard is that there is no way in which the heirs of A,' a living person, can take as purchasers, for they are an indefinite succession of persons. Therefore the only way of giving effect to such a limitation, following a freehold estate not of inheritance given to A by the same instrument, is to say that it creates no new estate, but enlarges the ancestor's estate into a fee and enables his heirs to take by descent.
One bad historical mistake has escaped correction at p. 127, note (), where it is said that'no conveyances of English lands made during the first century after the Conquest are known to exist.' See several examples from the first half of the twelfth century in Round's Ancient Charters (Pipe Roll Society, 1888), and still earlier ones in the British Museum Charters published in facsimile in 1903. Perhaps this is less material than it would be in a book intended for novices, which Goodeve, as now revised and enlarged, is not. A Digest of English Civil Law. By EDWARD JENKS (editor), W. M.
GELDART, W. S. HOLDSWORTH, R. W. LEE, J. C. Miles. Book II,
Butterworth & Co. 1906. xxii and 158 pp. (58. net per part.) THE second instalment of this digest equals, if it does not excel, the first. Here and there, as is almost inevitable, we meet with statements which may be open to doubt, or with omissions which may cause perplexity to a student. If, for example, it be admitted, as we most readily do, that some subjects which we all now know belong to the head of contract presented themselves to our forefathers · rather as social relationships regulated by law,' we may gravely doubt whether under such subjects can rightly be included, as they are by our authors, insurance and gaming contracts. Insurance belonged to the law merchant so far as it was considered at all. When again we read the statement in Art. 201, that All contracts are either :-(a) in writing under seal ("specialty" contracts) or (6) otherwise expressed (parol” or “simple” contracts),' we ask, what has become of our old friends contracts of record' which surely might claim at lowest the honour of being mentioned in a note ? Nor is this criticism met by the assertion that a contract of record is not in truth a contract at all, and will be dealt with under Part III, Obligations arising from Quasi-Contract and Tort. The allegation that a contract of record is not a true contract, is but partially sound, for such a contract does in some cases originate in agreement and is then a true contract though expressed in a very singular form. Is it, one is further inclined to ask, well to treat of a specialty contract (Articles 213-219), which seems to mean a contract by deed (Art. 215) without any statement, as far as we can discover, of the nature of a deed itself? For this omission will assuredly encourage the error, almost invariably committed by students, of confounding the characteristics of a deed as such, which need not contain a contract at all, and the characteristics of a contract by deed. Nor, though the point is a small one, can we pass over without protest the use,
1 P. 323 above. VOL. XXII.