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limits of this bill, can ever prove a satisfactory and a permanent one is, of course, not a thing to be dreamt of. But a great deal will be done towards the final adjustment and reconciliation of the various interests involved by first ascertaining how far parties are likely to go in the way of concession and demand.
Husband and Wife.—An exceedingly important case, falling under this head of the law, has been decided during the month by the Second Division. The Court adhering unanimously to a judgment of the Sheriff of Aberdeen, have found that a sonin-law is bound to aliment the indigent parents of his wife, even though he is not in any way lucratus by the marriage, and in the particular case held the defender liable to re-imburse a parochial board in advances made for that purpose. The ratio of the decision is that, as the wife would be liable before marriage in the obligation ex jure naturæ, it devolves upon the husband after marriage, because marriage transfers to him all the wife's debts and obligations, whether these are at the date prestable or not. The subject is of such importance that we shall take an opportunity of recurring to it.
International Law. In the case of Clements v. Macaulay, Lord Barcaple has pronounced an important judgment, refusing to give effect to an action of accounting, brought by one citizen of the State of Texas against another, in respect of a joint adventure which, along with others, they entered into during the late civil war in America, its object being to supply munitions of war to the Confederate Government. The ground of judgment is, that the action involves a recognition by the Court of the independence of the Confederate Government, which is an incompetent step, seeing there has been no recognition by the Government of the country. The action having been dismissed, the pursuer has reclaimed, and an interesting discussion may be expected to follow.
Western Bank Cases.-In these cases the Court, with the view of simplifying the questions at issue before putting to the jury the question of the defenders' negligence, have remitted to an accountant to report on the books of the bank. A motion by the pursuers for leave to appeal to the House of Lords was refused.
Bills in Parliament.—The Writs Registration Bill has been withdrawn, Mr Walpole, the new Home Secretary, undertaking to introduce a similar bill next session. The Parochial Build
ings (Scotland) Act Amendment Bill, which extends the powers granted by 25 & 26 Vict. c. 58, so as to include within the powers to borrow and grant bonds conferred by that bill the price of buildings already erected which may be purchased for parochial purposes, including the purchase of feu-duties, has passed.
The Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Bill, and the Summary Procedure Bill, have also been withdrawn.
Just as we go to press, we learn that the Law of Evidence in Civil Causes Act, introduced at the suggestion of the Faculty of Advocates in order to dispense with the present system of taking proofs by commission, substituting the system which has worked so well in consistorial causes, has narrowly escaped a similar fate. At the last moment, after the Bill had passed through the House of Commons, and had been read twice in the House of Lords, a section of the Society of Writers to the Signet made strong representations to the Lord Advocate, in regard to certain parts of the Bill, which they considered objectionable or defective. They objected especially to the provision, at the end of the first clause of the Bill, that the proof shall be taken continuously in like manner as in jury trials in civil causes, with power to the Lord Ordinary to adjourn on such grounds as justify adjournment in the case of causes set down for jury trial. It was also urged that the Lord Ordinaries' blank days should be abolished, in order that more of their time might be available for the taking of proofs, and that it should be made lawful, when a proof is begun at the end of a session, for a Lord Ordinary to sit during vacation for the purpose of concluding it.
We believe that a deputation met with the Lord Advocate and fully discussed these and other matters. The objectors finally agreed to waive the last two points, which it was represented could not fairly be introduced into the bill at this late stage. The Lord Advocate agreed to recommend that the first clause of the bill should be modified so as not to require the diets of proof to be peremptory. We sincerely trust that nothing may occur to prevent the passing of a bill which is so necessary, not only to the efficient conduct of business in the Court, but also to prevent the scandal of having a large staff of able and diligent judges spending the next winter session in comparative idleness.
Legal Appointments. In consequence of the advent to office of the Conservative Government, the following new appointments have been made :
-Mr. Patton has become Lord Advocate, and Mr. E. S. Gordon, Solicitor-General. The Advocates-Depute are
Mr. Broun, Mr. Millar, Mr. Adam, and Mr. Blackburn; and Mr. Roger Montgomerie is the Advocate-Depute in the Sheriff Courts. Besides these, the following appointments have been made :-Mr. John Marshall, Jun., Counsel to the Treasury; Mr. Scott, Counsel to the Offices of State ; Mr. Gloag, Counsel to the Admiralty ; Mr. Skelton, Counsel to the Accountant in Bankruptcy; and Mr. D. B. Hope, Counsel to the Board of Ordnance ; Mr. T. G. Murray, W.S., is Crown Agent; and Mr James Hope, D.K.S., Solicitor to the Treasury.
Calls to the Bar.--The following calls to the Bar have been made during the month : Adam Gibb Ellis, Esq.; John Maitland, Esq., B.A., Oxon. : Peter Alexander Speirs, Esq., B.A., Cant. ; Alexander Gibson, Esq., M.A., Edin. ; John Alexander Reid, Esq., M.A., Glas.; and James Lutyens Mansfield, Esq., B.A., LLB., Cant. Mr J. Badenach Nicolson has been appointed Secretary to the Lord Advocate.
The sheriffship of Perth, vacated by Mr Gordon, has been conferred on Mr Tait, who is succeeded as Sheriff of Linlithgow and Clackmannan by Mr George Monro.
The last mentioned appointment cannot be allowed to pass entirely without comment, as it is one which lawyers of every shade of political opinion will hail as a tardy recognition by his party of Mr Monro's able and honourable discharge of his duties as an advocate, and of the position which he has long held at the Bar.
Extended Sittings.—An Act of Sederunt has been passed extending the next winter session of the Court of Session. The sittings of both Divisions of the Court will begin on Thursday November 1st, instead of Tuesday November 13th.
General Council of Procurators.-The Judges of the Court of Session having approved the regulations and bye-laws as to the admission of persons applying to be admitted as Procurators to practise before any Sheriff Court in Scotland, a meeting of the General Council took place in Edinburgh on July 13th. The first diet of examination of intrants was appointed to be held at Glasgow on Thursday, Sept. 13th, at eleven A.M. The following office-bearers were appointed :-President, Mr J. F. Murdoch, P. F., Ayr; Vice-President, Mr J. B. Baxter, P. F., Dundee ; Secretary and Treasurer, Mr J. W. Barty, P. F., Dunblane ; Special Councillors, Mr James Mitchell, D.F., Glasgow ; Mr A. M. Caird, P.F., Stranraer ; Mr James Watson, P.F., Linlithgow; Mr Robert Watt, Solicitor, Airdrie ; Mr T. Falconer, Solicitor. The public prosecutors are well represented in this list.
BILL-CHAMBER ROTATION OF JUDGES.
AUTUMN VACATION, 1866. Saturday, 21st July, to Saturday, 4th August 1866, LORD ORMIDALE. Monday, 6th August, to Saturday, 18th August,
BARCAPLE. Monday, 20th August, to Saturday, 1st September,
CURRIEHILL. Monday, 30 September, to Saturday, 15th September,
BENHOLME. Monday, 17th September, to Saturday, 29th September,
KINLOCH. Monday, 1st October, to Saturday, 13th October,
ORMIDALE. Monday, 15th October, to Saturday, 27th October,
BARCAPLE. Monday, 29th October, to Saturday, 10th November,
AUTUMN CIRCUITS, 1866.
Lords JUSTICE-CLERK and DEAS.
JAMES Adam, Esq., Advocate-Depute.
Lords Cowan and JERVISWOODE.
John Millar, Esq., Advocate-Depute.
Lords ARDMILLAN and NEAVES.
R. B. BLACKBURN, Esq., Advocate-Depute.
JOURNAL OF JURISPRUDENCE.
SCOTTISH RECORDS. *
It is no part of the functions of this journal to rejoice in any change of Government; but as a change has taken place, we may express a hope that a more liberal, or rather a more just, spirit may prevail at the Treasury, in regard to Scotch matters, than has been displayed by the late ministry. It would be easy to produce a long catalogue of Scottish grievances against this department of the Government, but it would be difficult to select one more unanswerable than the case of the Lord Clerk Register.
He superintends an important national department which yields to the exchequer a clear revenue of many thousands a-year. At the instigation of men of the greatest influence, position, and learning, he proposed that a certain portion of the documents under his care should be made accessible to the public, and that £2000 a-year out of the surplus revenues of the department should be devoted to that purpose. This seems at first sight a' very moderate and a very proper proposal ; but to Mr. Gladstone, through Mr Frederick Peel, it appeared a very clever thing to agree to the expenditure of only half the requisite sum, and limit the allowance to five years.
Had the proposal been a novel and purely Scotch idea, we could have understood such an economist as Mr. Gladstone being determined to crush it, quite irrespective of its merits. But the scheme is in part a continuation and completion of one long ago
* Copies of correspondence between the Right Hon. the Lord Clerk Register of Scotland and the Treasury, respecting the publication of a Series of Scottish Records. Ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 1866.
VOL. X. NO. CXVII. —SEPTEMBER 1866.