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the reading of papers, a long and not satisfactory discussion followed. Its import was that there were four conditions to be held in view in any attempt to establish extradition treaties—(1) The punishment of crime so that it should be impossible for a criminal to escape merely by removing to another country; (2) The maintenance of the right of asylum to persons charged with political offences; (3) The establishment of a Board of Inquiry to investigate and report upon fabricated charges; (4) Provision for extradition and afterwards trial within a fixed time.
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT. A paper on this subject was read by Mr Anthony Trolloppe, pointing out that there is no law securing copyright between this country and America, although such law exists between England and some states in the Continent, such as Saxony. In the discussion which followed, an unanimous feeling of the justice and expediency of such a law was expressed, and the chairman of the section, Mr Dudley Field, of New York, stated, as regards America, that it was not a question for state legislation, but for Congress, and that the remedy was to try to get Congress to pass an Act securing the right in the same way as Acts were passed in the British Parliament.
BANKRUPTCY LAW. Several papers were read upon this subject, having immediate reference to the law of England, the special question being, “ The principle on which a Bankrupt Law should be founded.” A great preponderance of opinion was expressed, to the effect that the English system of special jurisdiction in bankruptcy was radically unsound; that the Scotch system, which vests the bankrupt state in a curator for all the incorporated creditors, was preferable, and that, upon the whole, with certain alterations in details, it might be satisfactorily adopted in England.
CODIFICATION OF THE ENGLISH LAW. A paper on this subject was read by Mr Hastings, who argued for coditication to the limited effect, that a digest of the case laid should be prepared mainly for the assistance of the county judges who do not enjoy the assistance of a law library, and whose jurisdiction is every day being enlarged. Mr Dudley Field pointed out that the great difficulty in codifying the laws of a country was the separation between law and equity, but thought that these might be readily forced in England. In the course of the discussion, opinions were expressed that nothing short of a complete code, such as the Code Napoleon, would be of any practical avail.
DISPOSAL OF PROPERTY FOR CHARITABLE PURPOSES. Three papers were read upon this subject, the general import of which was, that all restrictions should be removed from the disposition of property, except when it was left for charitable purposes that were inconsistent with public policy. Mr Hare recommended that all land devised for charitable purposes should be sold within a fixed period not exceeding ten years from the date of the conveyance, and that the proceeds of the sale should be invested under the direction of the department of charities. In the course of the discussion, an opinion was expressed in favour of the Scotch
system, where the only restriction to which the testator is liable is that which is imposed upon all real estates.
Two papers were read on this subject on the special question, “ Is it desirable to carry out life sentences to the utmost, and if so, in what cases, and under what form of discipline.” The first clause of the question was answered by comprehending in the class to which this punishment should be extended, (I.) People who have perpetrated death in a fit of passion, and those convicted of murder, who have been repreived by the Crown. (II.) Convicts whose repeated convictions after punishment for felony or grave misdemeanour, show to be incorrigible. The plan of treatment proposed in the leading paper involved the following positions :-1. Certainty of the literal execution of the sentence, the abatement of the full punisbment forming the exception, and not the rule. 2. The elimination of hope from the convict's mind, as regards the chance of his eventual liberation from prison, but not in respect of the amelioration of his position in prison. The particular plan suggested was that convicts should be placed, on their first entering prison, in as heavy irons as nature can bear, and should be permitted, by good conduct, to work themselves into milder punishment. 3. Treatment in prisons specially set aside for such convicts. A long discussion followed, in which the opinion was expressed that the proposed scheme was objectionable by reason of its cruelty and severity. "The following resolutions were carried .—1st. That the altered circumstances of this country, with regard to transportation, render it necessary that the treatment of life-sentenced convicts should be revised, and that such steps be taken for the protection of society as will cause their liberation to be the exception, and not, as heretofore, the rule. 2d. That the opinion of those qualified to judge induces the conclusion that the retention of this class of prisoners, under these circumstances, in the ordinary convict prisons, would be attended with danger to these establishments, and be detrimental to the prisoners themselves, and that it therefore appears to be absolutely necessary to institute a special prison for the purpose, if possible, on some island near our own shore, in which a special treatment could be carried on suitable to the peculiar position of the inmates.
A paper on this subject was read by Dr LANKASTER, but his treatment, as also the general purport of the discussion, had rather a social than a legal bearing. One suggestion was made, and afterwards censured, intending to promote the very evils complained of—that sexual intercourse should be held as ipsum matrimonium, and if the guilty parties were previously married they should be liable to be prosecuted for bigamy.
Under this head the attention of the Association was called to those measures recently adopted by the Magistrates in Gloucestershire. The first was a return of all convictions with a description of each prisoner, and an antecedent paper, “ giving all that could be ascertained of his history, that men not known to have been previously convicted received a lighter
sentence. The second was a proposal that to secure certainty of punishment, and thus to deter from the commission of crime, it should be the practice in ordinary cases (excluding murder, highway robbery, burglary, &c.) to punish a first offence with ten days' imprisonment, a second with twelve twelve months, a third with seven years, and the fourth with as long a term as the law would allow. The third measure had respect to vagrants, and was designed, while assisting those travelling in search of work, to discourage professional tramps. Each vagrant on leaving a workhouse was furnished with a passage to a workhouse twenty miles off on his way to his alleged destination (or a less distance if necessary), but if he diverged from this route he was required to do four hours work when he next obtained relief.
UNITED DIGEST OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND. A paper was read upon this subject by Mr MACQUEEN, Q.C., so far as we have observed, the first that has boldly demanded that in any digest all the assistance should be taken derivable from the law on this side of the Tweed.
- Notwithstanding the example of Foreign States and of despotic Governments, the predominating sentiment of this country is against codes. But we have the authority of great names in favour of digest, and to this we may probably some day attain. Of such a digest the delineations and definitions would be verified by references, so that the text and the authorities might be compared and construed together. It ought not, he said, to be confined to Eng. land. It should embrace Scotland. The work must be concurrent. A contemporaneous exposition of the laws of both countries, by presenting differences and resemblances, will give rise to the most useful of all criticisms—that of contrast and comparison. As a whole, the Scotch law is escellent. So is the English law. But each has defects from which the other is free. Now, with respect to the laws of Scotland, Lord Bacon noticed
how near,' as he expressed it, “they came to our own. The jurisprudence of each continues in a great measure still the same. Personal freedom depends on the temper of the existing Government, or rather on the discretion, peradventure the caprice, of the Lord Advocate. It is a grave question whether it be fitting and consistent with the dignity of a great and intellectual people that their political rights should depend on the clemency of the Government. The marriage laws of Scotland, and of the whole empire, are now undergoing investigation by a Royal Commission. I will, therefore, say nothing of them except that when settled the digest must unfold them. Our northern neighbours have had for two centuries what we are only now trying to acquire—a satisfactory system of registration. To imitate their code of bankruptcy will next session form the study of the Legislature. They do not set law and equity in opposition to each other, but by one high tribunal administer both. Their criminal law is admirable. The impossibility of appealing against wrong convictions and wrong acquittals is a blemish not peculiar to Scotland. The Scotch have po grand juries; they don't desire to have them. They have no coroner's inquests, nor do they feel the want of them. But they have public prosecutors, which the English have not. And they have allowed always that which the Eng. lish have allowed only recently and reluctantly-counsel to prisoners. In the event, therefore, of a united digest, the borrowings will be pretty nearly balanced, and the advantages reciprocal. To digest the law of England alone, without any reference to Scotland, would be a pretty sure way to
widen the existing segregation; but to digest the two systems harmoniously together would be to realise quickly that amalgamation which was desiderated by Bacon at the union of the Crowns, and desiderated by Somers at the union of the kingdoms. Ireland cannot be overlooked in a work essentially imperial.
AN INTERNATIONAL CODE.
Mr David Dudley Field of New York, delivered an address on an International Code. With regard to many subjects falling within the scope of the international regulation both during peace and during war there was great uncertainty. On the subject of re-capture at sea, there were different rules applied in America, England, France, and in other states. The case of the Alabama was viewed so differently, on different sides of the Atlantic, as to complicate the relations of England and
Expatriation and allegiance were likewise subjects fraught with dangerto the relations of nations. Extradition of Criminals, Patents, and Copyrights were also matters requiring international regulation. The right of search, the right of access by river to great inland seas, were questions of the same class; and like the diminution of the horrors of war by abolishing war on private property could only be settled by an International Code. Such a code might be drawn up by a conference of diplomatists and signed as treaties--or codes might be prepared by a committee of publicists embodying the matured judgments of the best thinkers and most accomplished jurists, and then the assistance of the different nations might be obtained. The Association might lead the way by appointing a committee to prepare the outline of such a code—and after that was approved they might invite the co-operation of Professors of Universities and publicists throughout the world, and fill up the scheme. It would be a great honour to the Association to take the initiative in such an undertaking, and add to the glory of England.
Death of Sheriff Ogilvy.—Sheriff Ogilvy, of Dundee, died on the 22d ult. We believe that, in the large and important legal district over which he presided, there will be but one feeling as to the heavy loss which has been sustained by his death. a man of rare attainments, combining in a degree not often seen, a special talent for philosophical speculation, with great practical shrewdness and sagacity. No province of literature was inaccessible to him. All who knew him professionally, knew him as a most accomplished lawyer. Always abreast of the current jurisprudence of the day, he was fond of research into the more recondite sources of legal learning, which had an attraction for him just because they were curious and unfamiliar, and because, perhaps, they might chance to throw light on some favourite historical or philosophical speculation. Those who enjoyed familiar in
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tercourse with him can best testify to his originality as a thinker, and to his acuteness and humour in colloquial controversy, into which he was always ready to enter with unaffected zest, though without any taint of acrimony, and in which a slight tinge of eccentricity added an increased relish to his discourse. They can also bear testimony to his reliableness as a friend. wards of six years since Mr Ogilvy was transferred, with the unanimous approbation of the public, from Forfar to Dundee, and his merits thoroughly justified his promotion. His recent situation was probably the most laborious judicial office in Scotland, and yet, though he put through his hands more work, perhaps, than any one of his brethren, it is doubtful whether work of a similar kind was ever better done. He will be long remembered by his fellow-townsmen in Dundee as a public-spirited and beneficent citizen, while the whole circle of his own profession will unite with them in lamenting the loss of an accomplished scholar, a learned lawyer, and a most successful and conscientious judge.
Notes on Points of Practice decided during the past year. - We have already noticed the effects of the larger changes which have been within the last year effected in the procedure of the Court of Session, either by its own wise sensitiveness to public opinion, or in consequence of the representations made by the profession to the Legislature. It may be useful now to note briefly a few of the principal decisions of the Supreme Court relating to practice. Under the Act of Sederunt July 1865, two decisions have been reported as to the provision (in section 12) that all appointments for lodging or adjusting of issues shall be peremptory-Anderson v. Glasg. and S.W. Railway Company, Dec. 20, 1865, 4 M. 259; Guardian Assurance Company v. Wallace, June 6, 1866, 4 M. 796. It has been held that the periods appointed cannot be prorogated by consent of parties, but that the Court has power to receive the issues, apparently on some special cause being shown. On the former of these occasions the Lord President, for the second time (see Burden v. Mitchell, 29th Jan. 1856, 18 D. 339), elucidated the law as to prorogations of consent; and traced the history of that doctrine in order to show that it has no reference to the giving in of an issue, which “is not a pleading in the cause; it is a mere memorandum of what the party suggests as the question to be tried.” The judgment is chiefly valuable for the remarks on the most elementary principle of our system of pleading, a principle so systematically