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e are now, therefore, entering upon a new era in the administration of our Criminal Law; and Lord Campbell's Act, together with other statutes recently passed, create a new system of procedure, pleading, and, I may add, evidence, very different from that hitherto in practice. I have undertaken to develope this new system in the following work; and in doing so, I have encountered the usual difficulty, in engrafting the new matter on the old, so as to form of the whole one uniform, consistent system. Whether I have succeeded or not, it would not become me to assert; but I can with great sincerity say, that I have used every endeavour
limited ability to do so. Nor is this so recent an undertaking as some persons may imagine. Lord Campbell first brought in his Bill in 1850; and I then, foreseeing the immense consequences of the measure, and the new system of administering our Criminal Law which it would introduce, determined on developing it, and reducing the whole to a practical form. I then arranged the plan of my intended work, collected and arranged my materials, and actually wrote a portion of it, when Lord Campbell's Bill, owing to his Lordship being on circuit at the time, was relinquished by Ministers in the Commons. In 1851, his Lordship again brought it forward; it passed the House of Lords, and by the aid of a good select committee, with the Right Honourable the President of the Poor Law Commission as Chairman,
it passed the House of Commons, and after some slight difficulty in the Lords relating to some amendments of the Commons, the Bill was passed. I then renewed my labours, the result of which I now offer to the Profession for their approval, trusting that it will be received with the same favour and indulgence which they have shown to my former works.
This work will be found to comprise the whole of the Criminal Law in indictable cases, from the apprehension of the offender, to his conviction and sentence. The apprehension of the prisoner, without warrant, is given from the common law authorities; his apprehension by warrant, the examination of the witnesses against him, and his commitment or bail, is given from the first of Jervis's Acts, stat. 11 & 12 Vict. c. 42. The indictment has assumed a new and more concise form: no addition is given to the defendant, because it is, and has long been useless, and the indictment is now good without it; time is stated, not that it is now required, but in order to eonform to the prejudices of Grand Juries, who might possibly otherwise throw out the Bill; place or special venue in the body of the indictment is omitted, in all cases where it is not of the essence of the offence; and the statement of the offence, instead of being in that inverted style hitherto used, and seemingly borrowed from literal translations of our old Latin Entries, is according to the usual and ordinary English collocation of the words,--which has often the effect of rendering averments unnecessary, which the inverted style required. Upon this new principle, I have given a whole body of forms, comprising indictments in nearly all the cases which occur in practice; and as the new system in many cases created an alteration in the evidence, I have thought it right and convenient, after each indictment, to state the evidence necessary to support it. I have little else to add, except that I have endeavoured to be correct; I have endeavoured to use language so plain and precise, that it cannot be misunderstood or misinterpreted; I have endeavoured to arrange the matter of the work in a manner to render it easily intelligible; and I have laboured to give an index, from which any matter contained in the work may be found with great facility. I do not say that I have succeeded in all this, but if I have, I trust the reader will agree with me in thinking that the work will be useful, which is the only commendation I expect or wish for it.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.