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if it were shown that according to that law the imposition of such disabilities did in effect create a change of status, and that such status was not of a penal character. Moreover Prof. Westlake's powerful criticism of the cases referred to above (Priv. Int. Law, p. 50) may not improbably induce a higher Court to reconsider the same on the next opportunity. In any event Professor Meili's assertion, which ascribes the non-recognition of the status of prodigality to 'feudal doctrine,' is not borne out by the facts.
It is much to be regretted that the translator has not brought the English authorities up to date, and that many recent decisions and their results are completely ignored : among the most important cases which are passed over in silence the following are specially noticeable : Hamlyn v. Talisker Distillery (1894] A. C. 204; De Nicols v. Curlier (No. 1)  A. C. 21; S. C. (No. 2)  2 Ch. 410; Didisheim v. London & Westminster Bank  2 Ch. 15; Viditz v. O'Hagan (1900] 2 Ch. 87; Carr v. Fracis (1902] A. C. 176; Husey-Hunt v. Bozzelli (1902] 1 Ch. 751 ; re Selot's Trust (1902] 1 Ch. 488; Janson v. Driefontein Consolidated Mines (1902] A. C. 484; re Johnson (1903] 1 Ch. 821 ; Pouy v. Hordern  1 Ch. 492 ; re D'Este's Settlement Trusts (1903] 1 Ch. 898; Embericos v. Anglo-Austrian Bank (1904) 2 K. B. 870; re Fitzgerald (1904] 1 Ch. 573 ; Winans v. Att.-General (1904] A. C. 287; Risdon Iron Works v. Furness (1905) 1 K. B. 304. In several places authorities are referred to as supporting propositions with which they are entirely unconnected. (See for instance the references to Jacobs v. Crédit Lyonnais, 12 Q. B. D. 589, on P. 356 and the reference to Atkinson v. Anderson, 21 Ch. D. 100, on p. 190.)
It is very much to be hoped that, whenever a second edition of the English translation of Prof. Meili's work is published, the comparisons with English and American law may be thoroughly revised. As it is, the book, notwithstanding its many defects, will be a valuable assistance to the comparative study of the rules as to conflict of laws. The reproduction and translation of the Hague Conventions as to Marriage, Divorce and the guardianship of infants form a useful appendix, and the alphabetical index is conveniently arranged.
The Principles of Mahomedan Law. By DINSHAH FARDUNI MULLA.
Bombay: Thacker & Co. 1905. 8vo. xiii and 195 pp. (Rs. 3.) This is a work by Mr. Mulla, a distinguished Bombay lawyer, and, as far as I am able to judge, it is an accurate statement of the Mahomedan law as applied in India. The law is set out in a series of succinct propositions with illustrations which contain the authorities for the proposition which they illustrate, and sometimes a good deal more in the way of comment.
That the book will be useful to many persons desirous to ascertain the Mahomedan law I have no doubt. The doubt that has occurred to me is whether the form chosen by Mr. Mulla, which is that of a Digest, is one which is altogether the most suitable for students. No doubt Mr. Mulla, as a Professor of Law in India, knows the capacity and the wants of Indian students, but for an English student I should prefer, at any rate as a first step, a statement of the generally admitted principles of Mahomedan Law in matters to which they are applicable, with a very sparing reference to cases, wbich are, I think, apt to confuse a student, and with a fuller reference to the relation in which they stand to analogous institu-, tions in other systems.
I notice that Mr. Mulla has not altogether avoided what I venture to call the objectionable practice of Indian lawyers using highly technical terms of English law in a nou-technical sense, as, for example, using the term 'seisin 'to express simple possession of either movable or immovable property, which has not been admissible here for some centuries. I am aware that there are some cases in which it is very difficult to avoid doing this : as when we speak of the estate of a Mitakshara family in the Hindu law as a joint estate : but this can only be justified by absolute necessity. A case in which there is certainly some danger in an incorrect use of English technical terms is when, as I have not unfrequently noticed, Indian lawyers speak of the estate of a Hindu widow as a life estate.
A Digest of English Civil Law. By EDWARD JENKS (editor), W. M.
GELDART, W. S. HOLDSWORTH, R. W. LEE, J. C. MILES. Book I.
xxvii and 101 pp. (58. net per part.) Tuis attempt to digest the principles of English private law into a series of rules, which while comparatively few in number, shall be so clear as to be intelligible even to laymen deserves high praise. The endeavour is remarkable for its boldness. The legal literature of England has many merits, but it is singularly deficient in orderly statements of broad principles. Caution and precision are the characteristics of our most authoritative writers. Their legal textbooks contain so much about the limitations and exceptions to every rule, that students come to think that the law is made up of exceptions and anomalies, and fail to perceive the existence of those fundamental principles in the light of which alone anomalies themselves can be intelligibly explained or rightly understood. Any one then interested in legal study must feel sincere gratitude for the boldness with which at the risk, or rather the certainty of making occasional mistakes, the present authors have tried to bring to the knowledge of every intelligent reader the principles, in the main most rational, which lie at the foundation of the modern law of England. To this must be added that a critic who judges the capacity of our authors from the first instalment of their work, may entertain reasonable hopes that in the performance of the difficult task they have set before themselves they will attain a fair measure of success. From the eighty-four pages of Book I of this new Digest a student may gain more knowledge of the general principles of English law than he could acquire from a perusal of many heavy volumes.
While, however, any one who has ever tried to reduce even a limited portion of English law to a systematic body of clear rules, must feel genuine admiration for the skill with which our new codifiers, as represented by Mr. Jenks, have carried out a bold and well-conceived design, he is bound to no that they display, as do all men, some of the veaknesses which are the natural accompaniments of their merits. It is extremely difficult for even the most learned of lawyers and the most skilful of draftsmen to state the law of England at once with clearness, brevity and precision; it is not every day that one comes across a writer such as was the late Mr. Leake, who from a rare natural gift, which had been improved to the utmost by the severe training of a special pleader, could make statements of law, which to lawyers, at any rate, were perfectly intelligible, but at the same time never went an inch beyond the authorities on which these statements rested. But this combination of clearness and precision is the
rarest of endowments. The authors of our Digest write clearly and express their meaning with terseness : but their work occasionally shows a lack of precision. Take sections 8 and 9, for example, which treat of the domicile of a minor; they convey to a reader information which is generally correct about a thorny topic, but any one, who has tried to work that topic out, knows that it involves more of doubt and difficulty than would be apparent to a reader of the Digest. Thus it is true that generally speaking *the domicile of an illegitimate minor is that of his mother, if living.' But no lawyer will confidently assert that if the mother being an Englishwoman marries in England a Russian (not the father of her child) who though resident in London, is domiciled in Russia, and thus herself becomes domiciled in Russia, her child born before her marriage at orce acquires a Russian domicile.
Section 77 again states that “if a person uses means of declaration which, in the circumstances, would reasonably be taken to indicate a particular intention, he cannot be allowed to deny the existence of such intention as against any party who has, in good faith, acted upon it.'
This statement no doubt is meant to be read together with sect. 80 which informs us that : 'A declaration of intention not meant to produce legal consequences, cannot be enforced by any person who, when he acted upon it, was aware of its real character.' But these sections even when blended, are open to criticism. They tend to revive the fallacious idea, at one time entertained by judges of eminence, but completely exploded at this day, that a representation which is not operative as part of a contract or by way of estoppel or as an actionable wrong, may still be binding on the person making it.
Turn to sect. 87 where we are told that'a bona fide mistake of fact, made without negligence, by one party to a transaction, as to the identity of the other party .. . renders the transaction void. A statement of this kind may undoubtedly be found in books of authority, it is supposed to be supported by such a case as Boulton v. Jones (1857) 2 H. & N. 564, but it is nevertheless in our judgment erroneous. X goes into a shop and orders goods of the tradesman whom he believes to be B. As a matter of fact the tradesman is A. A does not know of X's mistake, or if he does know of it, has not the least reason to suppose that X is ordering the goods because the seller is B. He thinks, as every shopkeeper has prima facie a right to think, that the customer orders the goods from him as the keeper of a particular shop without caring for a moment whether his name be Jones, Brown, or Robinson. We assert with some confidence that, in the circumstances supposed, though X has made a bona fide mistake as to the identity of A the transaction is not void, and A, the goods having been ordered, has a right to deliver the goods and to sue X for refusing to accept them, or if he has accepted for declining to pay for them. Boulton v. Jones, when properly considered, is absolutely consistent with our contention. That case does nothing more than illustrate the elementary principle, that an offer, can be accepted only by a person to whom it is made. The fact that X writes an order for goods to B does not entitle A, who knows that the offer has been made to B, to supply X with the goods, and sue him for the price.
The statement, lastly, in a note on article 138, that the doctrine of 'common employment' is probably a survival from the days of gild contracts and statute labour, appears to us to be an excess of historic zeal. Not only the doctrine of common employment,' but the rule of respondeat superior, from which it is an exception, is believed to be of modern origin;
and it is most unlikely that either the Court of Exchequer or Chief Justice Shaw of Massachusetts, who between them started the doctrine, about two generations ago, knew or cared anything about the trade customs of the Middle Ages.
Let our criticism, however, not be misunderstood. The compilers of this new Digest are well up to their work. The severest charge wbich can with fairness be brought against them, is that in the attempt to perform a most difficult feat of draftsmanship, they have sometimes shown a lack of complete accuracy of expression. But the existence of blemishes, which can easily be corrected and with care avoided, must not conceal from any one the great merit of this Digest of English Civil Law. In England it is almost always the case that the efforts of individuals, and in modern times of individuals acting in combination, must carry out works which in other countries are taken in hand by Government. If English law is ever to be codified it is quite certain that individual lawyers or bodies of lawyers must do much to codify it, before any Government attempts to give us a Code. This new Digest does attempt to express in an intelligible form the main principles of a large department of the law of England. From the nature of things the object of its authors cannot be at once attained, but they have made a long step in the right direction. The part of the Digest already published will be of untold value to two classes of persons. It will benefit students who wish to obtain a clear outline of the law; it will be even more valuable to teachers who wish to master English law scientifically. Even statements which admit of controversy are of great use. Any one of the 175 sections in this first Book of the Digest stimulates thought. In most cases the reader is made to see clearly some principles which he before had only vaguely grasped; even when he doubts, he is driven to think. We may be wrong, or our author may be wrong, as to the exact effect (for example) of mistake; but in any case a bold statement of the law challenges discussion, and rational discussion is the best means for attainment of truth.
The American Judiciarij. By SIMEON E. BALDWIN. New York: The
Century Co. 1905. 8vo. xiii and 403 pp. This book will be indispensable to every one who desires a comprehensive and accurate general view of the judicial practice of the Common Law as it exists in the United States. We shall not attempt a specific account of the contents, but only mention a few of the interesting points touched on by Judge Baldwin. He tells us of the New England preference of Mosaic to English law, which lasted almost till the War of Independence in his own State of Connecticut; and of the amateur paternal justice dispensed by justices of the peace in Virginia down to recent times, of which we have had first-hand confirmation from a learned Virginian friend. Counsel coming from a distance to conduct a case have been told by one of these rustic patriarchs that the Court had already decided the case, but would be pleased to hear their arguments. In the main the causes were simple and the judgments gave satisfaction. It will be curious news to some of our readers that the War Department of the United States has found it necessary to set up a kind of administrative jurisdiction in the Philippines.
Some particulars are given of the variations in judicial costume. "The members of the Supreme Court and of the Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States have always worn black silk gowns. The members of the Supreme Court of South Carolina have worn them from a time antedating the Revolution. The New York Court of Appeals in 1877, at the request of the Bar, preferred through David Dudley Field, adopted the practice, and the same thing has since been done by appellate courts in several other States.' At Ottawa the Supreme Court of the Dominion has adopted the winter habit of English Common Law judges, black and ermine, though some members of the Bench and Bar, as we have heard, think the simplicity of the Supreme Court at Washington better suited to that side of the Atlantic. Anatole France, who knows England very well, has prophesied that our judges will still be wearing their wigs after England has become a Socialist commonwealth. As to the tenure of judicial office in American States, Judge Baldwin reports of it that popular election (which is the rule, though not without illustrious exceptions) is practically under the control of the Bar to a great extent, and therefore works better than might be expected: but 'the general sentiment of thinking men in the United States is that judges should never be chosen by popular vote.' Canada has escaped this false application of democracy, for which Jefferson seems to have been answerable.
We learn with mixed feelings that more than fifty sets of federal and State reports produce about four hundred volumes of reports a year.
The English Law Reports make six, or seven including the Indian Appeals. Incidental references to English practice are for the most part laudably
We think, however, it is misleading to represent written judgments as being exceptional in our higher courts, and we doubt whether any trustworthy statistics are available to determine the number of practising as distinct from qualified lawyers in this country. Certainly the Law List alone would not suffice.
An Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents other than Court Forms.
By eminent Conveyancing and Commercial Counsel. Under the
La. 8vo. xlii and 607 pp. (258.) The preliminary note on ‘Naturalization contains a discussion of the law as to aliens, instructions for aliens applying for certificates of naturalization, and a statement of the effects of naturalization. The explanation of the cases where a special certificate of naturalization is desirable is not, so far as we are aware, contained in any of the books commonly found in the library of the practitioner, and will be found useful. The distinction between naturalization under the Acts of 1844 and 1870, the status of persons naturalized under a Colonial Act or Ordinance, the methods of renouncing and resumption of British Nationality and the procedure of naturalization by special Act of Parliament are explained. There is a full collection of the forms to be used on application for naturalization or denization,
Under “Novation' only povation caused by a new contract being substituted for an old contract between different parties is discussed. There is a collection of precedents adapted to the cases of common occurrence.
The preliminary note on Open Spaces' contains a very useful account of the Statutes under which land may be given or acquired by Local