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persons desiring to perform the functions of actuaries under the Statute some certificate of competency, such as the “ Institute of Actuaries," which he says) "comprises the majority of the profession,” could grant. In this we hardly go with him ; first, because the minority not comprised in that body is one very worthy of respect ; second, because the number of persons who act as professional ” actuaries must always be extremely limited. Every important company must continue to have, as hitherto, its own actuary within its walls, who, as he cannot be constantly employed in purely actuarial work, is also the secretary, or agent, or accountant of the company, and cannot, therefore, be a strictly professional ” actuary. We think the Act makes sufficient invasion on the abstract right of a company to manage its own affairs, without requiring that the officer they select to perform a particular function should have the certificate of a merely voluntary association as to his ability to do it.
Mr. Bunyon thinks, and we concur with him, that the sections of the Act which enforce compliance by penalties will probably be efficient, and that not so much by the money value of the penalties, as by the exposure which the Board of Trade is authorised to make of any Company disobeying the Act. Their stringency has been greatly increased since the measure was first introduced into Parliament by Mr. Stephen Cave in 1869, and we then thought it would be effective as mere legislation can be.” It is quite possible, however (though we hope, under the circumstances, hardly probable), that the only effect of the Act may be to fill the pigeon-holes of the Joint Stock Registry, as they have been filled before, with documents from which no one, however deeply it may concern him, will care to extract the truth.
A notice of s. 10 of the Married Women's Property Act of last Session also comes within the scope of Mr. Bunyon's pamphlet, and he comments upon it with unqualified approval, and not without some quite justifiable self-satisfaction in having to some extent forestalled it by the issue of “ Settlement Policies” from the company with which he is connected. We have already heartily endorsed his views (Law Mag. XXIX. 205-207), and we share his satisfaction in their realisation.
Report of the Case of The Queen v. Nicholson, for removing
Shingle from the Foreshore at Withernsea. London: Butterworths. 1870.
This is a little publication of considerable interest with reference to seashore rights. It appears that in many parts of England the sea is making great encroachments in consequence of the removal of shingle—the natural protection of the coast—the result of which is that the sea makes breaches or gaps, and covers by degrees large tracts of land. Thus, in 1850, a report was made to the Admiralty of a breach made by the sea at the entrance of the Humber ; and on the Holderness coast the actual waste has been computed at the rate
of several yards a year. At Hornsea 1000 tons of beach shingle had been taken away in a week; and it appears that the roads are commonly made with it in those parts of the country. The consequences threatened to be so serious that the Board of Trade resolved to put a stop to the practice, by asserting the rights of the Crown to the foreshore, and hence an information was laid before the magistrate at Hull which resulted in a conviction. Mr. Kemplay appeared for the defendant and suggested a case for the Court of King's Bench, which was agreed to, and the case in due course will be stated and argued. In the meantime this is a correct and authentic report of the hearing before the magistrate, with the information and depositions, and the documentary evidence, including the enactments and the order of the Board of Trade on the subject; in short, all the inaterials of the case, with the judgment of the magistrate, all within the compass of fifty pages. It is a complete statement of the law and facts of the subject, and is of great interest to all who are in any way interested in the rights of the seashore.
A Treatise upon the Law applicable to Negligence. By THOMAS
WILLIAM SAUNDERS, Esq., of the Middle Temple, Barrister-atLaw, Recorder of Bath. London : Butterworths. Dublin :
Hodges, Foster & Co. 1871. ALTHOUGH we by no means admit the accuracy of the author's statement, namely, that the law relating to the subject of negligence is in a somewhat obscur state, nevertheless, a moment's sideration will show that the statement has something of truth in it. The real difficulty lies in the fact, that the law applicable to cases arising from negligence is difficult to apply by reason of the infinite diversity of circumstances out of which legal responsibilities flow, and the varying and diverse views of particular circumstances that must necessarily be held by different people ; hence it is impossible that the law can be administered with absolute certainty or uniformity, where there is such ample room for divergence in judicial opinion. Take that class of case for instance to which public attention has recently been called, in which passengers upon a railway have been injured whilst alighting at stations, (Siner v. Great Western, 37 L.J. Ex., 98; Foy v. London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway Company, 18 C.B., N.S., 225; Bridges v. North London Railway Company, L.R.; 5 C.P., 439 N. ; Cockle v. London and South Eastern Railway Company, L.R. ; 5 C.B., 437); it is no doubt “ to be regretted that the law upon so important and constantly recurring a question” should be in an unsettled condition, but it is impossible for it to be otherwise, whilst men continue to possess separate judgments, and attach different values to facts.
Our view is, that the law is rather difficult to apply, than that it is itself obscure; and we think Mr. Saunders has earned the thanks of the profession by the way in which he has dealt with the subject. The book is admirable ; while small in bulk, it contains everything that is necessary, and its arrangement is such that one can readily refer to it. A knowledge of the law may be, perhaps, in the widest sense unattainable, but a knowledge of the places where the law may be found is in these days attainable very readily, so many have entered upon the wide field of legal authorship, and mapped and planned it out for others, and amongst those who have done good service, Mr. Saunders will find a place.
A Treatise on the Law and Practice relating to Vendors' and Pur
chaser of Real Estate. By J. Henry Dart, of Lincoln's Inn, Esq., Barrister-at-Law. The Fourth Edition by the Author and William Barber, of Lincoln's Inn, Esq., Barrister-at-Law.
London : Stevens & Sons. The single volume of which this work formerly consisted has been made to expand and divide itself into two volumnes, each of them larger than the original single volume; and the simple dedication of friendship has had to give place to the ostentatious dedication of ambition, the name of Mr. Christie having been replaced with that of the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain. The third edition having appeared in the year 1856, a period of fourteen years separates that edition from the present one, which may be roughly described as a reproduction of the third, incorporating all the enactments and decisions which have been passed and entered up within the interval. Now it is both useful and satisfactory to obtain from the accụrate and experienced mind of Mr. Dart a harmonised statement of the old aud new law; and we therefore not a little regret that from whatever cause the important Statutes of the year 1870 regarding the property of married women, apportionment, naturalisation, stamps, and the abandonment of railways, should have received only the most cursory notice in the list of the addenda. But this unhappy feature or defect in the work was doubtless not within the power either of the author or of his co-editor to avoid.
The general plan of the original work is preserved. There are, however, two chapters interjected upon subjects which are entirely new, namely, “Registration of Title," and "Powers of the Court of Chancery to sell under Recent Statutes." The author proceeds at once to the great subject matters of his treatise, which are the various duties mutually incumbent upon vendors and purchasers of real estate, and the various modes in which those duties respectively are incurred, are modified, are perfected, and are ultimately discharged or else receded from. And in the execution of that his purpose, he discusses the particulars and conditions of the intended sale, the sale itself, and its accompanying agreement, or (as it is thenceforti called) contract of sale upon the rights of the parties to it, the abstract which in due course follows upon the contract, the production and examination of deeds for the purpose of verifying the abstract, the customary requisitions regarding title, the search for incumbrances,
the preparation of the conveyance, and the completion of the purchase. At this stage it might have been supposed that the author's task was ended, and certainly the positive part of his work is here complete ; but the treatise is extended further, for the purpose of discussing which may be called the negative or remedial portion of it, the mutual rights which arise to vendors and purchasers of real estate upon the happening of anything untoward after the completion of the purchase, together with the various remedies provided and made available for the purpose of establishing those rights.
We have been strongly tempted to present the reader with a summary or analysis of the chapter in which the author treats of the Specific Performance of the Contract of Sale; but
forbids us to do more than mention that in that one chapter the author conducts us with the most painstaking clearness through all the stages of the suit (from the beginning to the end of it) which it is necessary to institute in order to make this remedy available, and the merest noviciate in the profession could not fail of conducting the suit to a successful issue if he but scrupulously followed this statement of Mr. Dart.
In conclusion, we have to add that the treatise is furnished with a very full and valuable table of contents, with a list of the cases cited and of the Statutes referred to in the work, and with an index which itself extends to the large number of 180 pages. We have moreover examined the index somewhat critically, and we have also compared it with the index to the third edition ; and as the result of such an examination and comparison, we have not only found the references correct, but have also detected more particularly under the words Abstract, Argument, Conditions of Sale, Contract, Conveyance, Covenants, Incumbrances, Mortgage, Mortgagee and Mortgagor, Notice, Purchase Money, and Specific Performance, a large number of insertions which were not included in any of the indexes to the previous editions. The work is therefore a most excellent one in every way and at every part of it; and but for the apparent inclination of the author or his co-editor, or of both, to sacrifice the body to the head of the profession, our praise of it should have been unqualified and entire.
A Treatise on the Validity of Verbal Agreements, as affected by
the Legislative Enactments in England, and the United States, commonly called the Statute of Frauds. By Montgomery H. Throop. London: Stevens & Haynes. 1870.
This is the first of two volumes of a work which promises to be the most valuable explanation we have yet possessed of the Statute of Frauds. Mr. Throop is an American, and the work is primarily intended for the use of members of the American Bar, but the law, in most of the States of the Union, is either borrowed directly from the English Statute, or without alteration, or is borrowed in part, or is in some cases borrowed with slight alterations. The first volume
begins with setting out at length the text of the original Statute. Then follow naturally Lord Tenterden's Act (9 Geo. IV. c. 14), and those sections of the Mercantile Law Amendment Act (19 & 20 Vict. c. 97), which provide that in the cases within the Statute of Frauds po special promise shall be held invalid to support an action, suit, or other proceeding, by reason only that the consideration does not appear in writing, or by necessary inference from written document. The several American Statutes come next. We have, then, a general survey of the Statute, containing its history and general purpose. Part first treats of special promises of executors and administrators to answer damages out of their own estates. Part second of special promises to answer for the debts, defaults, and miscarriages of another person. This brings us to page 670. Part third is of agreements made upon consideration of marriage. This, with a very copious index, concludes Vol. I., which contains 800 pages. When we have the second volume before us we shall be better able to judge of the work as a whole, and shall so speak of it. At present it is sufficient to say that the work displays great industry, is a credit to American typography, and, so far as we can judge from the volume before us, is written by one who is not a mere compiler of cases, but who has something of the spirit of Kent and other American jurists. If the second volume bears out the promise of the first it will form by far the most comprehensive work which we yet possess on a subject of prime importance to lawyers. It is only right to mention that, though an American work, there can scarcely be an English case which is not brought in by way of illustration, and that the American cases themselves will often be as much to the point as those backed by judicial authority in this country. The edition before us is published in England by Messrs. Stevens & Haynes.
The Married Women's Property Act, 1870: Its relations to the
Doctrine of Separate Use; with Notes. By J. R. Griffith, B.A., Oxon., of Lincoln's Inn, Barrister-at-Law. London : Stevens & Haynes. 1870.
The object of this little work, as stated in the preface, is to give a summary of the cases decided in Courts of Equity on the rights and liabilities of married women in relation to their separate estate, and to suggest some changes, which may probably arise in the practice of the courts from the new status given to them by the Act. The introduction consists of a review of the principal decisions in Equity during the last thirty years upon the rights and liabilities of married
We think the statement that “in courts of law a married woman had, until the passing of the Act of the last Session, no recognised status, her position was one of disability and immunity open to exception as somewhat too sweeping. Of course it is correct, provided it be understood with proper reservations; and, addressed as it is to lawyers, is not likely to mislead. What is meant is that a married woman had not any independent position, as a party in an