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Thus, out of 575 pages of text, only fourteen and four respectively are allotted to the leading topics of Hearsay and Parol Evidence ; while such minor points as incompetency from defective intellect, confessions to Clergymen, and the competency of Counsel as witnesses, occupy the disproportionate space of fourteen, eight, and six. A large number of important cases are, in consequence, necessarily omitted. On the other hand, nowhere else, perhaps, can the student find such an exhaustive examination of the history and general principles of evidence.
After such recent revision Mr. Lely has apparently not seen much room for addition or excision. But one novel feature which will be welcome to many readers is the excellent summary given of the Tichborne and Beck cases.
Famous as these trials are, condensed reports of them are not readily accessible elsewhere. Mr. Lely also makes several recommendations in his preface for the amendment of the law of evidence; but as these all relate either to punishment for perjury and false confession, or to the pardon of innocent persons, they belong, of course, not to evidence, but to the criminal law, in which department, no doubt, their adoption would be salutary enough. In one or two respects, however, the present editor might, we think, have allowed himself a little freer scope. Thus, if the student is to accept the statement that Bacon's maxim and comment as to ambiguities form the recognized basis of the law" respecting parol evidence (p. 208), he will, we fear, find them a very fallacious guide; yet this is all the help that is afforded him in threading the mazes of that most difficult and complicated subject. Moreover it is not correct, in this connexion, to state that the incident of negotiability cannot be annexed to written contracts by usage (p. 210), the reverse having been twice recently decided (Bechuanaland Co. v. London Trading Bank (1898] 2 Q. B. 658; Edelstein v. Schuler  2 K. B. 144). Again, in the year 1849, the date of the first edition, it was no doubt perfectly true to say that three grounds of incompetency, i. e. from defective understanding, from want of religion, and from interest “ still exist’; but this statement should hardly be allowed to pass current in 1906. Mr. Lely writes on p. 415 that 'the inclination of the authorities is rather to the effect' that oral as well as written declarations against interest, or in course of duty, are admissible; but although one or two old cases are cited to this effect, the half-dozen more recent ones which expressly decide the point are quite ignored. Under chapter ii of Book II, which deals with the competency of witnesses, we had expected to find the Criminal Evidence Act, 1898, fully considered ; but, instead, this topic has been allotted a separate chapter at the end of the volume, where it is, on the whole, very carefully done. Mr. Lely is apparently not aware, however, that his opinion (p. 527) upon the subject of wives who are competent witnesses against their husbands under s. 4 being also compellable, has received judicial confirmation (R. v. Ellis, 34 Law Journal, 646). On the other hand, his view that comment by the prosecution upon the failure of a prisoner to give evidence invalidates a conviction has not been sustained.
S. L. P.
A Digest of the Law of Copyright, with Appendix of Statutes. By E. J.
MacoilLIVRAY. London: Butterworth & Co. 1906. 8vo. xiii piecemeal and unmethodical legislation. Copyright in books, paintings, prints and the like, sculpture and music, and performing rights in dramatic and musical work, have been dealt with by a number of separate Acts which abound with omissions, overlappings, obscurities and apparent contradictions. Outside all the Acts is the common law right to restrain the publication of unpublished work, which is still being slowly elaborated by judicial decisions. Mr. Macgillivray quite rightly says in his preface that a merely consolidating Act would be of no real use : ‘legislation on this subject, to be of permanent value, must be built on new foundations. The present law is full of so many artificial technicalities that a codification of it is a hopeless starting-point for further legislation.' Unhappily the Parliament of the United Kingdom, with its present forms of procedure, is about the worst legislative machine in the world, and measures of public utility which do not appeal to partisan interests or odium theologicum are postponed year after year, or taken up in such a half-hearted fashion as almost to ensure failure. The pitiless exposure of our barbarous copyright law in this Digest ought to stir up authors and publishers, who after all are a considerable body, to insist on more serious attention than they have hitherto received.
and 92 pp. +[index] 14 pp. MR. MACGILLIVRAY, whose excellent larger book on copyright was noticed by us four years ago, has now given us a Digest in which any intelligent reader, lawyer or layman, may see the lamentable chaos due to
We are glad that Mr. Macgillivray has seen his way to put the most reasonable construction on the judgment of Kekewich J. in Macmillan v. Dent (see pp. 5, 12, which should be read together); and we hope that his conclusion will be found to have anticipated the judgment still to come of the Court of Appeal. So far as we can tell without a very minute examination, his statement of the law as a whole is accurate, and as clear as the marvellous confusion of the material admits. There seems to be one casus omissus, that of a speech or discourse delivered extempore. No doubt can be raised, we conceive, as to the speaker having the same right to restrain publication, whether his words have been committed to writing beforehand, or are spoken with the aid of rough notes, or even without any notes at all. Without doubt, again, important literary work bas in fact been spoken to an audience before it was written. We believe this was the case with Mr. Haldane's Gifford Lectures. But the definitions of this Digest, literally read, suggest that there is no possible subject even of the common law right in question until the author's work has been 'graphically produced by some one. This, we are sure, is not Mr.
' Macgillivray's intention,
Die Strafrechtspflege in Amerika mit Ausführungen zur Deutschen Straf
prozessreform. By ADOLF HARTMANN. Berlin: Verlag von Franz
Vahlen. 1906. 8vo. xii and 335 pp. This book does not, as its title suggests, give a complete and systematic account of the methods of criminal procedure which are applied in the United Sates, but contains a series of essays dealing with some of the leading features of those methods, and comparing them with the corresponding methods of English and of German law. The most interesting essays are those dealing respectively with the historical development of the rules as to judicial appointments, with the functions of the American jury, with appeals in criminal matters, with the probation system and 'indeterminate sentences,' and with children's Courts.' The author investigates the social, economic, and political factors which have influenced the evolution of the legal institutions of the colonies and territories which now form the United States, and his observations on
the changes in the law, imported by the original settlers, brought about by these factors are highly interesting and instructive. The book is the result of personal inspection and of a careful study of the best authorities, and is written in a very attractive and readable style. It is primarily intended to supply material for the lawyers and officials who are at present engaged in preparing a reform of Criminal Procedure in the German Empire; but its perusal will also be found useful by readers in this country---whether legal practitioners or politicians—who are interested in this subject.
A few inaccuracies as to matters connected with English law may be pointed out. Fox's Libel Act (which applies to all libels, not merely to press libels as stated on p. 72) does not, as the author alleges, 'constitute the jury judges of the law as well as of the facts.' The power of pardon in England is not, as Dr. Hartmann's observation on p. 184 seems to suggest, exercised by the Sovereign in person, but by the Secretary of State ; there is therefore no real distinction between the English and the American practice relating to this matter. The release on parole,' which the author considers a characteristically American institution (p. 186), seems to be identical in principle with the English ticket-of-leave system. The statement on p. 273, which suggests that there are no cases in English law in which the responsibility of a child for a criminal act depends on the question whether it had sufficient capacity to know that such act was wrong, is of course incorrect. The dates of the statutes referred to on p. 236 are not, as there stated, 1847 and 1854, but 1846 and 1851. We have not discovered any other inaccuracies as to English law; a general rule, the author's statements on that subject are not only correct but also prove a very clear insight into the practical working of the institutions to which he refers.
An Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents other than Court Forms. By
eminent Conveyancing and Commercial Counsel. Under the general editorship of Arthur UNDERHILL, assisted by Harold B. Bompas and HUMPHREY H. King. Vol. XI-Public Safety to Sale of Goods. London: Butterworth & Co. 1906. La. 8vo. lv and 609 pp. (278. 61. net.)
6d This volume contains the following subjects—Public Safety and Order and Town Government-Railways --Rating (notices of objection and appeal) — Registration of Deeds-Registration of Title to Land-Releases -Royal Charters-Sale of Goods. . .
The heading 'Public Safety and Order and Town Government' contains preliminary discussions and forms applicable to the matters following, that is to say, Amusements, Building Regulations, Byelaws, Cabs and other Vehicles, Drivers, Horses, &c., Petroleum and Carbide of Calcium, private improvement expenses, Streets, and Miscellaneous Forms. This part of the book will be very valuable to the advisers of local authorities. The only provisions which are of much interest to the general public are those relating to motor cars and drivers at p. 36. We need hardly say that they are most inadequate.
The heading “Railways' does not include proceedings under the Lands and Railways Clauses Consolidation Acts, which are discussed in vol. viii. The forms under the present headings are for use in connexion with the construction and utilization of the railway and works, and the development of the business of the railway company. The writer calls attention to the importance to a person entering into a contract of this nature with a company of seeing that it is not ultra vires. Forms are given relating to sidings, running powers, and working agreements. They will be found of great use, and include some which we should hardly have expected to find under this heading, such as, for example, an agreement for letting a railway arch.
The heading 'Rating' is restricted to the notices to be used in ordinary objections and appeals against assessments of property to the poor rate and to the rates that are according to law chargeable or made upon the same basis as the poor rate. The preliminary note is divided into three divisions respectively dealing with rates : (1) outside the Metropolis ; (2) within the Metropolis; and (3) both within and without the Metropolis. The forms are divided and classified in a like manner.
The preliminary note to the heading Registration of Title of Deeds in Middlesex, Yorkshire, and the Bedford Level' contains much useful information.
We observe that the editors doubt (see note, p. 279) the accuracy of the decision that an unregistered conveyance of land within the Bedford Level is valid for all purposes, except for the purpose of entitling the grantor to the privileges conferred by the Act on the owners of land within the Level and for the other purposes of the Act. But it is submitted that the decision is perfectly correct; it is not, as stated in the note, an opinion expressed by a judge at Nisi Prius; it is a decision of Shadwell V.-C. No notice is taken of the North Level Act, 1857 (20 & 21 Vict. c. cix, Local and Personal), exempting the North Level Act from the jurisdiction of the Bedford Level Corporation.
The collection of forms for use in the Middlesex and Yorkshire Registers will be very useful.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the volume is the heading Registration of Title to Land. The preliminary note explains the distinction between registration of title and registration of deeds, and contains a concise account of the successive enactments as to registration of title.
The statement of the law as to the existing Acts is lucid, and leaves little to be desired. There is a valuable remark at p. 332 in the discussion of unregistered dealings with registered land. The editors point out that if after first registration the register were neglected an owner, who ultimately agreed to sell the land, might find under certain circum. stances that it was almost impossible to comply with the provisions of s. 16 (2) of the Act of 1897, under which, if the vendor of registered land is not himself registered as proprietor, he shall at the request of the purchaser and at his own expense, and notwithstanding any stipulations to the contrary, either procure himself to be registered as the owner, or procure a transfer from the registered proprietor to the purchaser.
We should have been glad to have learnt the opinion of the editors on a few moot points.
First, as to the effect of notice to an intended purchaser of equities not protected by entries on the register.
Second, what investigation ought to be made of the title to easements over registered land dealt with after first registration ?
Third; what investigation ought to be made of the title to restrictive covenants or conditions imposed on registered land after first registration ?
Fourth, whether a mortgagee selling by virtue of a mortgage prior to
first registration is bound to be registered or to procure a transfer from the registered proprietor ?
Fifth, in what cases it is prudent to take an unregistered assurance as well as a transfer ? The importance of taking an unregistered mortgage as well as a registered charge is pointed out at p. 328, note 1.
The collection of forms contains all that will be required for the ordinary purposes of conveyancing.
The heading 'Releases' contains a preliminary note and precedents of (1) releases of persons, (2) releases in respect of property, and (3) miscellaneous releases. The preliminary note contains much useful information, and appears to be accurate; the collection of precedents contains those in common use, and some which, so far as we know, are not to be found in any book of precedents.
. The heading 'Royal Charters' contains directions for obtaining municipal charters, charters for trading companies, and charters for incorporations, charitable or other institutions, and the appropriate forms.
The heading ‘Sale of Goods' contains a very useful epitome of the law applicable thereto, including the law of absolute Bills of Sale. The precedents contain a general form of conditions on a sale by auction of goods, and special conditions on sales of books, pictures, and horses. They also contain a number of miscellaneous contracts and other instruments relating to the sale of goods. Many of the forms are not to be found in any of the collections of Forms and Precedents in general use.
In conclusion, we can say that this volume is worthy of being classed with its predecessors.
The Customs Laws. By NATHANIEL J. HIGHMORE. London :
Stevens & Sons, Lim. 1906. xli and 383 pp. (68.) This little volume is a striking commentary on the smoothness with which our Customs laws are worked.
Customs duties, as their name imports, are as ancient as almost any institution in this country. Even in Magna Charta they are spoken of as ' antiquas et rectas consuetudines,' and they have been in some degree regulated by Parliament as long as Parliament itself has existed, the first grant of new Customs having been made by the first Parliament of Edward I (see Dowell's History of Taxation, vol. i, ch. 5).
How much money has been raised by Customs duties since that time it would probably be impossible to estimate with any reasonable approach to exactitude; but in the year ending March 31, 1905, the amount exceeded £35,000,000.
Yet so little litigation has there been that Mr. Highmore finds only eighty reported cases worthy of citation, a number which contrasts strikingly with the number of cases on Income Tax and Stamp Duties; and we have no reason for thinking that any case of practical value has been omitted from his book.
Questions upon the law relating to Customs duties seldom come before ordinary practitioners, and Mr. Highmore, as Solicitor to His Majesty's Customs, may fairly lay claim to be above all others a specialist in the subject upon which he writes. His book contains all the effective statutes relating to Customs, some forty or fifty in number, admirably arranged and well annotated and indexed. He has adopted the excellent, if somewhat unusual, plan of arranging the statutes according to their subjectmatter, regardless of their date. Thus Part I, dealing with the existing