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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
Teose who have attended to the details of administrative justice cannot fail to have remarked that the great mass of litigation results not more from the uncertainty of the law than the absence of the legal information which ought to be within the reach and comprehension of every member of the community. Of the ques. tions brought forward for the adjudication of a public tribunal, a large proportion are referable to clear and settled determinations of law, with which the parties themselves ought to have been apprized, without the delay, expense, and anxiety inseparable from judicial proceedings.
A principal object of the present undertaking has been to lessen the occasions for an appeal to the Courts of Law; and, secondly, to render accessible to unprofessional readers a knowledge of the institutions by which individual rights, persons, and properties are secured.
As the primary design was a Popular Digest of the Laws of Eng. land, my first object has been compression and simplicity ; the former I endeavoured to attain by strictly avoiding everything extraneous to a distinct elucidation of the immediate question : the Istter, by divesting the subject of technical obscurity, combined with an arrangement which I think will be found as natural and convenient as the English laws will admit.
The work is divided into Six Parts, and each part is subdivided into chapters and sections. The First Part comprises the chief points in the origin and jurisdiction of the laws of England, and in the institutions and government from which they have emanated. Nest follows the Administration of Justice, including a brief account of the courts of law, the mode of civil and criminal procedure, the constitution of juries, and the nature of evidence. The Third Part embraces the laws affecting Classes, comprising the laws and elations principally bearing on the social and domestic rela
e, and exclusively referring to particular descriptions of