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suggest in their respective prefaces any fear on their part that their great labours may have been in vain. Nor are we, for our own part, inclined to think that this work will be rendered even partially, far less entirely, obsolete for a long time to come. The attention of the country and of parliament seems to be taken up so entirely by one great topic that the less interesting, though possibly somewhat more useful, subjects of reform in the administration of the law-matters almost without number, which have for years called loudly for real and earnest attention—are constantly being shirked, postponed, or got rid of for a time by half-treatment. This work, therefore, which has been most carefully and fully prepared, is to be recommended, not only for its own merits, but as a high authority upon a most difficult and complicated branch of Law and Practice, which has, however, by this time been settled and fixed to a very great degree, and is not yet likely to undergo any very important changes. The labour of preparing so full and elaborate a work on such a subject must have been enormous, and has been most successfully bestowed; it has, in fact, produced a standard work. We only wish that we could have added that upon the Law and Practice of Bankruptcy the production of a standard work is as yet premature. Precedents-Pleading with Copious notes or Pleading Practices and
Evidence, by the late Joseph Chitty, Jun., Esq. Third Edition. By the late Tompson Chitty, Esq., by Leofric Temple, and R. G. Williams, Esqrs., Barristers-at-Law. In two Parts. Part I. Lon
don: Butterworths, 7, Fleet Street. 1867. THE publication of the third edition of this well-known book on Pleading has been delayed by the long illness and subsequent death of Mr. Tompson Chitty. In completing the portion of the work left unfinished by him, the editors have endeavoured to carry out his views. The value of this practical work has greatly increased in their able hands. It is not a book that gives much scope for the hand of the reviewer ; it is framed solely with the view of being a safe and ready guide for the practitioner in the art of Pleading. The notes are concise and suggestive, and almost every precedent is accompanied by a list of the cases supporting it. The precedents themselves give abundant proof of the learning and care that have been devoted to them. Part the first brings us down to the end of Pleas in Contracts. We hope that the remainder will soon be published. When it is finished, the work as a whole will, without doubt, be the best and most complete work on Pleading in our libraries. The Elements of the Law of Contracts. By Stephen Martin Leake,
of the Middle Temple, Barrister-at-Law. London: Stephens and
Sons, 26, Bell Yard, Lincoln's Inn. 1867. TAE announcement of a work on the Law of Contracts by one of the authors of Bullen & Leake’s Precedents of Pleadings naturally
created considerable interest. The deservedly high position of that admirable work, which has passed through three editions in little more than the same number of years, promised value in any work from the same hands. The expectation cannot be said to be disappointed in the appearance of a book of high excellence. Yet it does not altogether fulfil its high aim. The intention of the author is to produce a work bearing the same relation to other works on the same subject, that Best does to Taylor's Evidence, by exhibiting the elementary rules and principles of the law of contracts and exclusively of the detailed application of that law to specific matters application being kept merely subsidiary to the main object of the work” the exclusive object being that of treating of the law of contracts in its general and abstract form, apart from its specific and practical application. In studying this work, which if we are not mistaken is the product of the hands of a highly philosophic character and with great powers of logical arrangement, we see as we believe the foundation of a classical treatise on contracts. At the same time we are more than ever convinced of the immense difficulties in the way of constructing great general principles, in an abstract form, from the great concrete of cases and decisions with which our law is enriched, and at the same time encumbered. The see-saw of principles, and their exceptions so evenly balanced, has been too much even for our author, and it will require yet some careful study and revision before this book is altogether worthy either of his abilities or the high stand-point he has assumed. For he sometimes falls into the very pitfalls he shuts with the intention of avoidingdetail and repetition. Thus at page 44 he quotes a case in these words—“But where the plaintiff's goods were seized for a distress for the defendand's rent, and sold by the landlord under the distress, it was held not to be equivalent to a payment of money by the plaintiff so as to entitle him to charge the defendant with money paid to his use.' This is under the head of “ Payment under a distress for the rent of another." And at page 47, under the head of “Payment must be of money or its equivalent,” the same sentence, almost word for word, occurs. Again at page 56, under the head of “ Voluntary payment of unfounded claims,” the same principle, almost in the same language, is enunciated at the close of the paragraph. On page 59, under the head of “Money paid under a mistake,” a similar want of thorough revision and condensation is apparent. In pages 372 and 374, where more than a page is taken up with the case of Barkwith and Gay, the quotation the former page is really all that was required more than a mere reference. We will not pursue these minor blemishes, for we are sure that more time and study on the part of the author is alone wanted to ensure even a more skilful regrouping than at present adopted, which would in a more condensed form still give us the great general principles of the Law of Contracts. The whole work is arranged under six heads. The formation matter, discharge and assignment, with the parties to and damages incident to breach of contracts—these are subdivided so as to exhaust the subject. We subjoin one sentence from the intro
duction defining contracts, as a fair specimen of the great clearness and ability shewn by the author. “The classes of rights distinguished as arising ex contractu and ex delicto may respectively be represented in the English law with sufficient accuracy by the expressions -rights arising from contract and rights of action. The term contract in the English law is used with a meaning wide enough to include the sources of all the rights against the person which have been described as primary, in contrast with those described as secondary or remedial. It is also used, and perhaps more accurately, to denote the legal rights themselves which spring from those sources—in the latter sense, like the term obligatio, it is used to indicate not only the bond of law arising between and connecting the two parties to the contract, but also, as occasion requires, the right on the one side and the legal duty or liability on the other, which are comprised in the contract.
On Parliamentary Government in England. By Alpheus Todd.
Vol. I. Longmans, Green, and Co. 1867. The Metropolitan Poor Act, 1867. By R. Cecil Austin. London :
Butterworths. 1867. Explanation of his design for the proposed new Courts of Justice.
By George Edmund Street, A.R.A. 1867.
Events of the Quarter, &c.
THE JAMAICA PROSECUTION.-MARTIAL LAW.
THE Lord Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench sat on Wednesday, April 10th, at the Old Bailey Sessions House, to charge the Grand Jury in the matter of the indictment for murder arising out of the Jamaica riots, against Colonel Nelson and Lieutenant Brand. The learned judge in commencing his charge referred specifically to the terms of the indictment, and gave an historical account of the colony of Jamaica from the time of its conquest in 1655. His lordship then proceeded to consider of what class the colony was, whether a Crown colony as distinguished from a settled colony, and having disposed of that part of his charge, spoke as follows on the subject of martial law :
“ And more especially is it important that we should ascertain, if we can, whether the Crown has power, and whether a representative of the Crown in our colonies has power to establish martial law, and all-important it is to ascertain what this martial law is. Of late, doctrines have been put forward which are to my inind of the wildest and most startling character-doctrines which, if true, would establish this : that British subjects, not ordinarily subject to martial law, may be brought before tribunals armed with the most arbitrary and despotic powers-tribunals which are to create the law which they ought to administer, and are to decide upon the guilt or innocence of persons brought before them, with a total abandonment of all those rules and principles which are the very essence of justice. We find such doctrines as these. It is said-martial law is arbitrary and uncertain in its nature, so much so that the term “law cannot be properly applied to it. Again, it is said—when martial law is proclaimed, the law is the will of the ruler, or rather the will of the ruler is law. Again--'martial law is suspension of all law, and is the will of the military commanders entrusted with it, to be exercised according to their judgment, and the exigencies of the moment and the uses of the service, that no fixed or settled rules, no definite practice can bind it.' And lastly, we find in print this startling proposition, that when martial law is proclaimed there is no rule of
on which the officers executing martial law are bound to carıy on their proceedings. It is far more extensive than ordinary military law; it overrides all military law. These being the doctrines propounded by persons of some authority and some education, I think it high time that they should be brought to the test of judicial examination. At all events, of this I am sure, if that be the system under which British subjects can be treated as to their liberties and their lives, it is time Parliament should interpose and put some check upon a jurisdiction so purely arbitrary and despotic as that pointed out by those writers and authorities to which I have referred. The difficulty we have to deal with in this case is that for the explanation of these statements, and of such law as this I can find no authority. They seem to me, I must say, as unfounded and as untenable as, in my judgment, they are mischievous—I will almost say detestable. We should see whether they rest upon any solid or firm foundation; and I confess that I am unable to find that such doctrines are to be considered part and parcel of the law of England. And we ought to see that there is sufficient authority for the assertion that British subjects can be subjected to treatment in this way. Never forget that whatever may be the charge of which a man is accused, although he may be a rebel, although he may be the worst of traitors ever brought to the block, yet until he is convicted, until his life is taken, he is still a subject, and is entitled when brought to justice to all those safeguards which are of the essence of justice, and which have been found by experience to be necessary to prevent rash and hasty judgments, which even men experienced in the administration of justice are at times too apt to pronounce, and to prevent sometimes that innocence which has the appearance of guilt from being treated as although the guilt were actually established ; to prevent innocence from being confounded with guilt, and an innocent man from being destroyed, more especially in times of excitement and passion. In the first place, let us consider whether there is such a thing as martial law in the sense in which it is generally used. Following this difficult and important subject, I think it is impossible to do justice to it without endeavouring to trace it back to its foundation, to see when it originated in its application to civilians, and when, and where, and how it has been exercised. · I cannot but think that the case is only capable of solution in this way ; and in order to get to the bottom of the subject, it is necessary carefully to trace in all its phases the history of the military law of this country, and I do this, partly to satisfy my own mind, partly to do my duty to you, and partly from a belief that it is of the last importance that we should thoroughly understand the history of the matter. I have taken some pains to ascertain these facts. Let us see when martial law was first applied, and in entering upon this investigation, we must carefully eliminate from it all that does not properly belong to it. A rebel in arms stands in the position of a public enemy, therefore you may kill him ; standing in the position of a public enemy, you may refuse him quarter ; you may, in fact, deal with him in all respects as a public enemy. We must not confound with martial law, as applied to civilians as we are dealing with it to day, that which has been so commonly done in many epochs of our history in the treatment of rebels. We are dealing with martial law proclaimed by executive authority, and exercised for the purpose of suppressing