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sideration. A wife petitioned for a divorce from her husband nearly twenty years after he had given her cause to do so. reason for thus acting was to enable him to marry a woman with whom he was cohabiting after having deserted his wife. That lapse of time, as was said by Lord Justice Lindley, as he then was, in Beauclerk v. Beauclerk (64 L. T. Rep. 35; (1891) P. 189, at p. 200), "is primâ facie a delay which is utterly unreasonable." The statutory words have, it is true, not been applied to a delay that has lasted for that lengthy period in two cases which were cited and relied upon in the course of the argument-Davies v. Davies and Hughes (8 L. T. Rep. 703; 3 Sw. & Tr. 221) and Harrison v. Harrison (10 L. T. Rep. 138; 3 Sw. & Tr. 362). Moreover, in Newman v. Newman (22 L. T. Rep. 452; · L. Rep. 2 P. & D. 57), it was held that, although the petitioner had been guilty of unreasonable delay, it was not of such a character as to deprive her of her right to a decree. What has, however, always to be regarded is comprised in the questions that were formulated in Brougham v. Brougham (1895) P. 288). Seeing that the object of the petitioner in Pears v. Pears (ubi sup.) was to leave her husband free to marry the woman with whom he preferred to live rather than his lawful wife, it might be thought that a point in her favour should have been stretched. On the other hand, that was a collateral purpose for which she had instituted proceedings for a divorce, a purpose of the kind that was condemned in Beauclerk v. Beauclerk (ubi sup.). It was not, as was pointed out by the learned President, Sir S. T. Evans, as if she had brought "the suit to protect herself or get relief from the tie of matrimony." The case of Short v. Short and Bolwell (L. Rep. 3 P. & D. 193) shows how extremely disinclined the court is to grant a divorce where the delay in presenting a petition to obtain it has been unduly prolonged. Even such a short delay as two years necessitates that sufficient reason for the same shall be forthcoming : (Nicholson v. Nicholson, 29 L. T. Rep. 108; L. Rep. 3 P. & D. 53). Circumstances such as occurred in Johnson v., Johnson (84 L. T. Rep. 725; (1901) P. 193) are more of the nature to account satisfactorily for a delay that would otherwise be "unreasonable."

Guilty Petitioner Seeking Divorce.

THE learned President's inquiry in the second case to which we are referring, namely, Woltereck v. Woltereck and Walters (107 L. T. Rep, 27)-whether there is "any case where a petitioner, guilty of adultery and cruelty, has been granted a decree "-met with no affirmative response. The pertinence of that question

arises from the words of the section under consideration that the court shall not be bound to pronounce a decree "if it shall find that the petitioner has during the marriage been guilty of adultery." But even if no reported case exists in which, notwithstanding the petitioner's own guilt, the result of the petition for divorce has been successful, his Lordship seems to have had excellent grounds for creating a precedent in the present case. It appeared that, shortly before a husband petitioned for a divorce from his wife because of her adultery, she had completely condoned certain past offences of which he himself had been guilty, and had resumed cohabitation with him. The learned judge was of opinion that he was "acting justly and in accord with the discretion which the law has given" in pronouncing a decree nisi in favour of the petitioner. That there is no fixed rule that the judicial discretion cannot be exercised for the benefit of a guilty petitioner is demonstrated by what was said by Sir James Hannen, P. in Story v. Story and O'Connor (57 L. T. Rep. 536; 12 P. Div. 196). The decision of the court must depend in each case upon the particular circumstances of that case, as his Lordship there remarked, after having carefully examined the principles upon which his predecessors had acted. The discretion to grant or withhold a decree is conferred upon the court in order to allow of its dealing with cases in which petitioners do not come before it with clean hands. Where the adultery of the husband has contributed to a similar fault on the part of the wife, manifestly it would be wrong to give him relief against her. In a case like the present, however, the circumstances apparently sufficed to convince the learned President that no such lapse as the wife was guilty of was attributable to the husband's prior delinquencies.

THE CONVEYANCER.

Concurrent Terms.

THIS abstruse and rarely occurring subject was dealt with in a former article in this journal of the 12th Nov. 1910, p. 28, and the recent decision of Mr. Justice Joyce in Re Moore and Hulme's Contract (106 L. T. Rep. 330; (1912) 2 Ch. 105) again calls attention to it. In that case leaseholds were mortgaged by sub-demise for the residue of the original term of ninety-nine years except the last day. The following day by another mortgage they were sub-demised to a second mortgagee for the residue of the original term except the last day, subject to the first mortgage. The second mortgage was paid off during the continuance of the first mortgage, and the second mortgage deed was handed back to the mortgagor, and subsequently a receipt was indorsed thereon for all principal money and interest secured thereby. A purchaser of the leasehold property from the mortgagor declined to complete without a formal surrender of the term created by the second mortgage; and it was held that he was entitled to such a surrender. There were two points involved—namely, (1) whether the second mortgage created a legal term, and (2) whether the Satisfied Terms Act 1845 applies to terms created out of leasehold interests; and the court decided that the second mortgage did create a legal term, and that the Satisfied Terms Act did not apply, and though the points may be technical, and may give rise to some seeming anomalies, the decision seems to be quite justified by authority. If the second mortgage had been merely an equitable one, it is generally considered that a receipt alone would have been sufficient to discharge it. If a concurrent lease is granted by deed to any person other than the original lessee, it passes an actual reversion and consequently an estate: (see Sheppard's Touchstone, vol. 2, p. 305, 7th edit.; and Neale v. Mackenzie, 1 M. & W. 747). In that .case the prior lease was for a term extending beyond the duration of the latter or concurrent lease, and as the latter was by parol, it was wholly void as to so much of the land as was comprised in the former lease, but if the concurrent lease had been by deed it would not have been void. In Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland v. O'Connor (9 Ir. C. L. 242) a lease was granted under seal for three lives, and a concurrent term of 999 years, at a yearly rent of £400, and two roods of the land comprised in such lease were subject to a prior land of which the lessors had the possession at the time of the demise; and it was held that it was a lease in possession of all the demise, and that in point of law it was a lease of the reversion of that part of the land of which the lessors had not the possession. The court said: "When a person has only a reversion expectant on a lease with a rent incident thereto, he may make a lease by deed of that reversion for any term and reserve rent thereout; he may deal with it as if it were an interest in possession, and he cannot be said not to have a title to such rent. He cannot, it is true, recover it by ejectment, and there may be a difficulty in his distraining for it." It is this latter point-namely, the inability to bring ejectment-which seems to create the greatest difficulty in holding that the term created by the second mortgage is a legal one. It depends upon the meaning of that expression. In Moore and Hulme's Contract it was not necessary to decide that the concurrent term was a legal term with all the attributes of the original term, but only that the concurrent term did not create a mere equitable mortgage, which could be discharged by a simple receipt. It would be difficult to define precisely the nature of the estate which the second [mortgagee took in that case. The language of Mr. Justice Joyce in the course of his judgment appears to describe it as accurately as may be. He said. "I think that a legal estate or interest did pass to the second mortgagee. I think that Worrell acquired a legal reversion upon the term created by the first mortgage. I think that he got a legal term under his mortgage. If the money secured by the earlier mortgage had been paid to the first mortgagee on the date fixed for payment, I think that the second mortgagee would have had a right to the actual possession of the leasehold premises, and if the lease granted by the first mortgage had been terminated in any manner during the continuance of the second mortgage, the second mortgagee would have been entitled to possession for the rest of

:

the term created by the mortgage" (see, further, Mr. Redman's Work on Landlord and Tenant, 6th edit., p. 31; and Woodfall on the same subject, 18th edit., p. 241). With regard to the second point, it has generally been considered that the Satisfied Terms Act (8 & 9 Vict. c. 12) does not extend to leaseholds, where a term is created by underlease. The subject is discussed in the earlier editions of Davidson's Concise Precedents. The decision in Re Moore and Hulme's Contract is of considerable practical importance as second mortgages of leaseholds by demise are of frequent

Occurrence.

MISCELLANEOUS PRECEDENTS (continued). Agreement for the Supply of Water.

day of

BETWEEN

19

first part the called the in the county

66

AN AGREEMENT made the A. B. of in the county of of the Rural District Council of (hereinafter council") of the second part and C. D. of of (hereinafter called "the consumer") of the third part. WHEREAS the consumer is the owner or tenant of certain premises being Now THEREFORE THESE PRESENTS WITNESS that the said A. B. (in pursuance of an agreement in that behalf entered into by him with the council as water authority for their district) doth hereby so far as this agreement is to be performed by him agree with the consumer and the consumer doth hereby so far as this agreement is to be performed by him agree with the said A. B. and also as a separate agreement with the council as follows namely:

1. The said A. B. shall during the continuance of this agreement provide a constant supply of good and wholesome water to the consumer's premises for the purposes hereinafter mentioned at a uniform pressure sufficient to carry the same to the highest part of the consumer's present buildings.

2. The said A. B. shall make the necessary connection between the consumer's premises and the main and provide fit and maintain a meter for measuring the water supplied under this agreement and provide and fit all such other pipes cisterns taps and fittings (if any) as have been agreed between the said A. B.'s agent and the consumer to be provided and fitted by the said

A. B.

3. The consumer shall repay to the said A. B. on demand the amount of all moneys expended and all cost incurred by the said A. B. in pursuance of the last preceding clause of these presents except the cost of providing and maintaining the said meter.

4. The consumer shall be at liberty forthwith at his own cost to connect his said premises with the main but such connection shall be made under the supervision of the said A. B.'s agent and shall be made according to the same specification as shall be adopted by the said A. B. in case of connections made by him or according to such other specification (if any) as shall have been previously approved in writing by the said agent.

5. The consumer shall pay to the said 4. B. a fixed rent of per annum in respect of the meter to be so provided as aforesaid and the water rent of for every one thousand gallons of water supplied under this agreement and the said rents shall be payable quarterly on the four usual quarter days and each instalment of water rent shall include all water supplied during the quarterly period next preceding the quarter day upon which such instalment shall become payable.

6. The said meter shall (except to the extent of any proved error) be conclusive between the parties as to the quantity of water supplied under this agreement.

7. The water to be supplied under this agreement shall be used for household and domestic purposes only and not for watering gardens or agricultural or trade or business purposes.

8. The consumer shall not give away or sell or permit to be given away or sold any water supplied under this agreement and shall not waste or permit any waste of the said water.

9. The consumer shall keep the connections with the mains and all the internal pipes cisterns taps and fittings in good repair and condition and the same shall be of such kind as shall be reasonably required by the said A. B. for the purpose of preventing waste or pollution of water and in case of any breach of this clause it shall be lawful for the said A. B. to do any work or provide any fittings that may be necessary and to recover the cost from the consumer as a debt.

10. It shall be lawful for the agents of the said A B. at all reasonable times to enter upon the consumer's premises for the purpose of inspecting the said meter pipes cisterns taps and fittings and preventing waste of water and doing any work authorised by this agreement.

11. The said A. B. shall not be held liable for any deficiency interruption or defect in the water supply due to frost unusual drought storms or other accidents not arising from the default of the said A. B. or his agents.

12. If at any time the rents payable under these presents or any part thereof shall be unpaid for twenty-one days after the same shall have become payable under these presents it shall be lawful for the said A. B. to cut off the supply of water under these presents (without prejudice to the consumer's liability for the meter rent payable under these presents during the continuance of such severance) until all arrears of the rents payable under these presents shall have been fully paid.

13. In addition to the rights and remedies expressly given to the said A. B. by these presents the said A. B. and the council shall have respectively all such rights and remedies in respect of the said rents and water supply and generally as are by virtue of the Waterworks Clauses Acts 1847 and the Public Health Act 1875 respectively vested in undertakers and local sanitary authorities respectively in respect of the supply of water under the said Acts respectively.

14. The said A. B. shall be at liberty to terminate this agreement on three calendar months' notice but only in case of permanent failure of his water supply or in case he shall lose control of the sources thereof or in case of the expiration or determination of his said agreement with the council.

15. The liability of the consumer to pay the rents reserved by these presents shall continue either until the said A. B. shall have terminated this agreement under the last preceding clause or the consumer shall have ceased to be tenant or owner of the said premises and the obligations of the consumer under this agreement shall have been validly assumed by the succeeding tenant or owner thereof or the consumer shall have given to the said A. B. three calendar months' notice to terminate this agreement and shall have paid all rents down to the expiration of such notice and shall have delivered up the meter and all other materials and fittings (if any) belonging to the said A. B. and shall have repaid to the said A. B. the cost incurred by him under these presents of and incidental to connecting the consumer's premises with the main.

16. This agreement shall extend to the successors in title and assigns of the said A. B. and the heirs executors administrators and assigns of the consumer respectively. IN WITNESS &C.

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11

Bakewell, Tuesday, at 10

Barnard Castle Monday, at 9.30
Barnstaple, Tuesday, at 10
Barton-on-Humber, Saturday, at 10
Bedford, Thursday, at 10
Bideford, Thursday, at 10.30
Birkenhead, Tuesday and Friday
Birmingham, Monday, Wednesday,
Thursday (B. & W.C.A.), and
Friday, at 10
Bishop Auckland,
Wednesday, at 10
Blandford Friday, at 10
Bodmin, Monday, at 10
Bolton, Wednesday, at 9.30
Bow, Monday, Tuesday, Wednes-
day, Thursday, and Friday
Brentford, Wednesday, at 10; Fri-
day, at 10.30

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Tuesday and

Brighton, Thursday (R. By & J.S. at 11) and Friday, at 10 Bristol, Monday, Tuesday, Wednes

day, and Thursday, at 10; Friday (By), at 11 Burnley, Thursday and Friday, at 10

Burton, Wednesday, at 9; Thurs. day, at 11

Bury St. Edmunds, Tuesday
Camelford, Thursday, at 11.30

Carlisle, Tuesday, at 9.30

Cheltenham. Thursday and Friday
Chepstow, Monday, at 10.30
Chester, Thursday

Chesterfield, Friday (R. By at 2.30), at 9.30

Thursday,

Clerkenwell, Monday, Tuesday
(J.S.). Wednesday,
and Friday, at 10.30
Cockermouth, Thursday at 9.30
Colne, Tuesday, at 9.45

Congleton, Tuesday, at 10
Crediton, Tuesday, at 10.30

Darlington, Wednesday, at 9

Denbigh, Tuesday

Dereham, Thursday, at 12
Dewsbury, Monday and Tuesday
Durham, Tuesday (R. By)
East Grinstead, Wednesday
Exeter, Monday, Wednesday, and
Thursday, at 10
Faversham, Friday, at 10.30
Fordingbridge, Tuesday, at 10
Glossop, Wednesday, at 10
Grays Thurrock, Tuesday, at 11
Great Malvern, Friday, at 10
Greenwich, Friday, at 10.30
Guisborough, Friday, at 10

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Macclesfield, Thursday, at 10
Machynlleth, Tuesday, at 10
Maidenhead, Tuesday, at 10
Malmesbury, Tuesday

Manchester, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 10

Mansfield, Monday, at 10

March, Tuesday, at 10

Marylebone,

Monday.

Tuesday,

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, at 10.30

Millom, Friday, at 11.45

Newbury, Wednesday (R. By at 2). at 10

Newcastle-on-Tyne, Thursday (R. By), at 10

New Malton, Friday

New Mills, Monday, at 10.30
Newnham, Wednesday

Newport (Mon.), Thursday and
Friday, at 10.30

Newton Abbot, Friday, at 10.30
Northallerton, Saturday, at 11
North Shields, Thursday, at 10
Nottingham, Wednesday, Thursday
(J.S.), and Friday (E.L.). at 10
Oldham, Thursday, at 9.30; Fri-
day (By), at 11
Oswestry, Friday at 10

Peterborough, Tuesday, at 9.30
Petersfield, Monday, at 10.15
Pontypool, Wednesday, at 10.30
Poole, Monday, at 10
Portsmouth, Thursday, at 10.30
Reading, Thursday and Friday
Rhayader, Monday, at 10
Richmond Yorks), Thursday, at 10
Rochdale, Monday. at 9.30
Rochester, Tuesday, Wednesday,
and Thursday, at 9.30
Rotherham, Tuesday and Friday,
at 10

St. Albans, Monday, at 10
St. Helens Wednesday
Salford, Monday, Wednesday, and
Thursday

Salisbury, Thursday, at 10
Scarborough, Wednesday
Shaftesbury, Wednesday, at 10
Sheffield, Thursday (By at 2), at 10
Shipston-on-Stour, Thursday, at 10
Shoreditch, Tuesday, Thursday,
and Friday

Skipton, Wednesday, at 9.45
Southam, Saturday, at 10
Southampton, Tuesday, at 10
Southend, Thursday, Friday, and
Saturday, at 10.30

Southmolton, Monday, at 11.30
Southport, Tuesday, at 10

South Shields, Thursday, at 10
Southwark, Monday, Tuesday, and
Thursday, at 10.30

Spalding, Wednesday, at 10
Spilsby, Thursday, at 10
Stockton-on-Tees,

Tuesday, at 9.30

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Wandsworth, Monday
Warwick, Friday, at 10
Wellingborough, Monday, at 10
Welshpool, Thursday, at 10
Westbromwich, Tuesday, and Fri-
day (J.S.)

West Hartlepool, Friday, at 9.30
Westminster, Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday, and Fri-
day
Whitby, Thursday
Wigan,
at 9
Wigton, Wednesday, at 11
Wisbech, Monday, at 10
Wolverhampton, Monday (J.S.)
Woolwich, Wednesday, at 10.30
Worksop, Tuesday, at 10.

Tuesday (R. By at 2.30),

No return from Circuit 52.
Other sittings are specially fixed if necessary.

National Insurance.

IT will be remembered that two sections of the National Insurance Act 1911-viz., sects. 66 and 68-confer new jurisdictions on the County Court. Under the former section the County Court judge has to decide appeals from the commissioners on questions of mixed fact and law as to whether any employment is to be held employment under Part 1 of the Act and whether a person is entitled to become a voluntary contributor under the Act. Under the latter section the County Court registrar is given exclusive jurisdiction to decide whether a medical certificate of exemption from process in the nature of distress or execution may be cancelled or modified and to determine disputes as to the sufficiency of the security which the creditor can demand from an insured person who has obtained such a certificate. To deal with the procedure under these sections, a new Order XLIIA has been added to the general body of County Court Rules. Although the Act of Parliament in question is admittedly not free from complication, the new procedure is commendably simple. The method of appeal to the judge is by way of petition which must be filed within one month from the date of the decision appealed against, and the petition must contain the specific facts and contentions of law upon which the petitioner relies to upset the finding of the commissioners. A general application of Order XLII. rr. 16-24, 26 and 27, is made to the procedure following the service of the petition (rule 5). The rules of that order were introduced in 1911 to deal with appeals under the Finance (1909-1910) Act 1910, and they provide a procedure for mutual admission of facts, notices of contentions of law to be

relied on, and mutual discovery and inspection in such a way as to reduce costs as far as possible. The only criticism that might be made of this part of the new order is the absence of an official form of petition. The heading is provided for by rule 4, but, if reference be made to the general body of County Court forms, the only precedent to be found for a petition is form 340, and that sets out an example of an equity petition relating to the distribution of trust funds which have been paid into court under sect. 70 of the County Courts Act. Naturally, the facts and contentions of law would need to be drafted to suit each particular case, but a skeleton form would have been acceptable and in consonance with the policy of the Rule Committee in providing a complete set of forms for the multifarious proceedings arising in the County Court.

The Registrar's Jurisdiction.

THE medical certificate that distress, or execution, or ejectment will endanger the life of the insured person as soon as notice thereof is sent to the registrar operates as a stay of those proceedings, subject to the notification to the creditor desiring to enforce such process that the certificate has been given or renewed: (rule 6). It remains to be seen how many certificates under this remarkable section will be forthcoming, as the extreme unwillingness of the medical profession to assist the working of the Act may possibly extend to the giving of such certificates. Applications to the registrar to modify or cancel the certificate or to determine disputes as to the sufficiency of the security offered by the insured person may be made in or out of court upon notice in writing according to a prescribed form, and the insured person must be served with a copy of the notice two clear days at least before the hearing: (rules 7, 8, forms 449, 452). In either case the registrar may hear evidence on oath or affidavit; his decision is final, and he is specifically given a discretion as to the costs of the proceedings. Excluding merely formal matters, these appear to be the main provisions for procedure, and again they are commendably simple. One aspect of applications under this section and rule may strike the observer as likely to require further provision in the future. According to present arrangements, the creditor is at a disadvantage, since presumably he cannot insist upon a medical examination of the insured person by his own expert-at least the new rules, wisely perhaps, do not touch upon this contingency. If this be the fact, he may find some difficulty, except in a case of obvious fraud, in producing evidence to contradict the certificate. As a matter of conjecture only, this omission may involve small use being made of this part of the new procedure.

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the detention of habitual drunkards in suitable institutions, giving power to a court of summary jurisdiction in certain cases to order their admission to such institutions. This order could only be made upon the requisition of the inebriate, whereas the Bill now before Parliament provides that "any relative or friend of the alleged inebriate may make a private application by petition to a judicial authority for an order appointing a judicial guardian or committing him to a retreat." A "judicial authority" under the Bill, as at present framed, may be any stipendiary magistrate, or specially appointed justice who is a judicial authority for the purposes. of the Lunacy Act 1890. Provision is made for the voluntary action of an inebriate, who may bind himself by an undertaking to abstain from intoxicants, the breach of which renders him liable to be committed to a retreat by a judicial authority. Considerable latitude of action is given to the judicial authority, who shall endeavour to persuade the inebriate to take advantage of the voluntary provisions of the Bill in the first instance. There are other clauses which deal with the administration of the measure, but it will be seen from those which we have mentioned that the Bill will throw a large amount of extra work on certain courts of summary jurisdiction, many of which are already sufficiently occupied in administering the heavy burden of judicial work which has been placed upon them.

The National Insurance Act.

THE Conviction this week of an employer for obstructing an inspector, appointed under the National Insurance Act 1911, in the course of his duty draws attention to sect. 112 of that Act. This section provides for the appointment of inspectors, and gives them power of entry into any premises other than a private dwelling-house not used as a workshop, to make any examination and exercise any powers necessary for carrying the Act into effect. In fact, the section is so general in its words that it is somewhat difficult to define the limits of the powers of such inspectors. Any person is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £5 who " wilfully delays or obstructs an inspector in the exercise of any power under this section. will be seen that nice questions may arise, in cases where an inspector is obstructed in the exercise of his powers under the section, as to whether the inspector was acting within the scope of his duties and powers. It is somewhat remarkable that a penal section should be left so widely worded, and that no definition should have been inserted limiting the powers of the inspectors, and so defining what would constitute an offence under the section.

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JUSTICES AND COMMITTAL TO PRISON.

It

Home Office, Whitehall, 3rd October 1912. Sir, I am directed by the Secretary of State to say that he finds, from the cases which from time to time come before him, that many minor offenders are still committed to prison for offences for which imprisonment appears to be an inappropriate and sometimes a harmful form of punishment, and he fears that courts of summary jurisdiction do not always fully realise the wide powers given them by statute to deal with minor offenders without having recourse to imprisonment and the responsibility which consequently devolves on them of using those powers in all suitable cases.

In the first place he has reason to believe that full advantage is not taken of the Probation of Offenders Act, and he thinks it may be of assistance to magistrates to have before them the following observations on the subject in continuation of the Home Office circular of the 21st April 1910.

2. It has long been recognised, in the administration of criminal justice, that numerous cases occur in which, though an offence against the law has clearly been committed, it is not necessary nor even desirable that punishment should be imposed on the offender. It would be impossible to define these cases in precise terms. Sometimes a breach of the law may in itself be of a merely technical or trivial character; or there may be circumstances affecting the character of the offence which justify the court in holding that it will be effectively punished and its repetition prevented by a public reprimand and warning or by some form of probation. More frequently, however, a stronger ground for leniency will be found in the age, character, or previous history of the offender than in the circumstances of the offence as proved by the evidence. An offender may be of tender age and not known to have been previously guilty of any offence against the law. Or again he may have reached Third Sheet.

an advanced age without having broken the law in any particular,
and may have yielded to circumstances of such a kind that they are
not likely to recur and at the same time may fairly be regarded as
greatly extenuating his offence; or again the offender's mental
condition may have been such that though he cannot be certified
insane he ought not to be regarded as fully responsible for his acts.
3. The statutory provisions for dealing with such cases and others
which will readily suggest themselves were repealed and re-enacted
in an amended form by the Probation of Offenders Act 1907. It is
of importance that the exact provisions of this Act should be care-
fully borne in mind. In the first place the court has to consider
whether the trivial nature of the offence proved or the extenuating
circumstances in which it was committed on the one hand, or, on the
other hand, the character, antecedents, age, health, or mental.
condition of the offender are sufficient to justify his being dismissed
without punishment. The court may then either dismiss the
charge unconditionally or may bind the offender over to appear for
conviction and sentence if called on within any period not longer
than three years from the date of the hearing. When magistrates
have decided on the latter course they may further make a probation
order putting the offender under the supervision of a named
probation officer. This provision is of very great value, and the
Secretary of State is inclined to doubt whether sufficient advantage
has yet been taken of it by courts of summary jurisdiction. He
believes that in any case where an offence not of a specially grave
character is committed by a person of respectable antecedents, the
magistrates should address their minds to the question whether the
ends of justice will not be sufficiently met by postponing the sentence
to which the offender has made himself liable, so that if he conducts
himself well for a stated period it need not be imposed at all, and
that if this is done the proportion of such cases will be found to be
larger than is commonly supposed. In these cases and specially
where juveniles are concerned, the ends of justice will often be best
secured by making a probation order.

4. On the other hand, the Secretary of State would strongly urge on the magistrates that no such order should be made unless there is a clear probability that such supervision as the probation officer is able to give will be of real benefit to the offender, and for the purpose of ascertaining this the court should have as full information as can be obtained with regard to the antecedents and circumstances of the offender. In the case, for instance, of a person in respectable circumstances who has yielded to special temptation, supervision by a probation officer is not likely to be required : while in the case of a juvenile offender whose previous appearance in court shows him to be of a persistently criminal disposition, it is not likely to be effective, especially if on any previous occasion it has been tried and has failed. In the latter case the court should carefully consider whether they should commit the offender to a reformatory or industrial school, or, if he is over sixteen and the offence charged is an indictable one, commit him to quarter sessions with a view to his detention in a Borstal Institution. It should always be borne in mind that the discipline enforced in such institutions is more likely to have a beneficial effect upon the offender if he is put under it early than if it is used only as a last resort after he has been repeatedly before the courts and repeatedly discharged without punishment or with a merely nominal punishment. Cases occur in which an offender has been put on probation three or even four times. This appears to the Secretary of State to be a misuse of the Act: and, while he is ready to admit there may be many exceptions, he is inclined to think that as a general rule a probation officer is not likely to do good in the case of an offender who has already been put on probation and has proved unworthy of the leniency shown him.

5. Further, the Secretary of State would urge on you that before putting an offender on probation you should be satisfied that this will secure for him such supervision and kindly assistance as may be effective in restraining him from further breaches of the law. He is far from thinking that the value of a probation officer's work in this respect can fairly be judged by his written reports; but undoubtedly among the reports lodged in this office there are some which create the impression that they represent work' of a merely formal and mechanical kind. He desires to impress on you that the supervision of probation officers is useless unless it is actually effective in restraining the probationer from breaches of the law and helping him to live an honest and orderly life. The magistrate who puts an offender on probation is responsible for seeing that the supervision thereby entailed is satisfactorily enforced, and unless he believes that good results are likely to result from it, it will be better either to impose appropriate punishment or to make an order under sect. 1 of the Probation Act discharging the offender without punishment. In order that the magistrates may inform themselves of the actual results of probation the Secretary of State thinks that the probation officers' reports should show whether a probationer continues in the same employment as before or whether he has found fresh employment, what wages he is earning, and so on. Again, it is, in the Secretary of State's opinion, most desirable to encourage in every way possible co-operation

between the regular probation officer and such voluntary philanthropic societies or individuals as may be ready to help in the work of probation.

6. The Secretary of State has also reason to think that many minor offenders are imprisoned in default of paying a fine when the actual exaction of the pecuniary penalty is really the right and appropriate punishment. He finds that of the total number of persons received in prison over 50 per cent. are committed in default of payment of a fine, and of these about 15 per cent. obtain their release by payment of the fine in whole or in part. The Secretary of State would strongly urge that where an offence can properly be punished by a pecuniary penalty it is on every account desirable that it should be so punished and that imprisonment should be regarded not as a regular alternative to the pecuniary penalty but as a consequence that will follow only when it has been found impossible otherwise to recover the fine. The Secretary of State has reason to fear that in many cases where a fine is the appropriate punishment sufficient time is not allowed to the defendant to pay it. He does not think the allowance of time should be dependent on application being made by the defendant, as such a rule if adopted *must necessarily bear more hardly on a defendant who appears for the first time in a police court than on old offenders more familiar with the procedure of the courts. On the contrary, it should, in his opinion, be the general rule that in every case where a fine is imposed, some time for payment should be given unless there is clear reason to the contrary, and if this practice is universally followed he believes that though there might be a certain increase in the number of offenders who would avoid payment of their fines, this evil would be more than compensated for by the increase in the number of fines paid and the consequent decrease in the number of persons committed to prison in default of payment. These observations apply with special force to the case of juvenile offenders. The practice of allowing time for payment as a matter of course in all summons cases unless the court should for special reasons order otherwise, has been actually adopted, as Mr. McKenna understands, at some places without causing detriment to the ends of justice, and he would commend it to your consideration if the practice at your court is at present different.

7. Mr. McKenna need scarcely say that the above remarks are merely of general application. He thinks that the experience derived from the ordinary administration of this department may properly be utilised for the assistance of magistrates, but he is too deeply sensible of the value of the work done by courts of summary jurisdiction all over the country and of the many difficulties with which they are confronted in dealing with minor breaches of the law to wish to be understood as in any way criticising their action.

8. If you require further copies of this letter for distribution among your fellow-magistrates they will be furnished on application to this office.-I am, Sir, Your obedient Servant, EDWARD TROUP,

LEGISLATION.

Criminal Law Amendment.

CONSIDERABLE pressure is being brought to bear on the Government to reconsider the present unsatisfactory prospects of the Bill now before the House of Commons. The measure stands in this position: It was introduced by Mr. Lee, and the Home Office, by the time the second reading stage was reached, had technically taken it over, and it now appears "starred" in the official papers. Its title has been changed from one which included the words "white slave," and other alterations, to which we will draw attention in a moment, have been made in Standing Committee C which have in effect extracted all the sting it ever possessed. The Bill was minded to stop up certain obvious lacunæ in the existing law through which commercialised vice could evade the law and make a profitable business. The Home Office in taking it up recognised the demand of the police for further powers, which demand has received the imprimatur of every society and individual whose duties have led them to realise the facts. Mr. McKenna's speech on the second reading showed that the general operation of the Act of 1885, which amended the criminal law in some important particulars, has been conceded on all sides to be satisfactory, but he showed that the person in charge was the only person who could be reached at present as a rule, and the operation of the Act of 1885 required some further extension.

Arrest Without Warrant.

STRONG exception has been taken to a clause in the Bill under which the police were given power to arrest anyone whom

they had good cause to suspect was about to commit an offence and Mr. Wedgwood in his opposition to this clause relied on some distinctions which seemed to him to justify the police having this power already in burglary cases because then they would have the tools of their trade upon them. Mr. McKenna in reply showed that the possession of tools was not an essential ingredient in the matter, and that under the law as it stood, where offences against the person are concerned, the offender can be arrested on reasonable suspicion without warrant. The same rule applies in malicious damage cases. In the case of this Bill, if this power of arrest without warrant is excluded, in practice the Bill is well-nigh useless altogether. In the few hours of delay while the warrant is sought for the procurer and his victims will have disappeared. This power of arrest, however important as a wholesome check on a particular phenomenon of vice, does not deal with other aspects of other vices, and this was made a strong argument for those who opposed the Bill altogether. As was pointed out by the Home Office, it is not intended to be a complete panacea for troubles due to economic as well as social evils, but the Bill is merely a Police Bill of a limited type, but one susceptible of much useful work. With the arguments pro and con in this stage the measure was sent to Standing Committee C.

The Bill as Amended.

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IT has emerged from its consideration there with certain omissions in regard to which, as already indicated, considerable pressure is being brought to bear on the Government. The power to arrest without warrant persons who offend against the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, s. 2, is restricted to “a constable who is not below the rank of sergeant and is detailed for special duty under this Act : or the chief officer of a borough or county police force." These may arrest without warrant when there is good cause to suspect the commission, or the attempt to commit, the offences against that sect. 2. This virtually negatives the hopes entertained, for while such an official is being sought the offender will slip away with his victim. A new clause is added to the Bill whereby increased penalties await procurers. Any male convicted for a second and subsequent offence under sect. 2 may, at the discretion of the court, and in addition to any term of imprisonment awarded, be sentenced to be once privately whipped, and the number of strokes and the instrument are to be specified by the court in the sentence. The clause relating to the suppression of brothels has been drastically altered. Sect. 13 of the Act of 1885 is now altered, so far as it relates to brothels, by inserting the words "or person in charge " after the word "occupier." Something like a page of the original Bill is then deleted, and in place of it there is a provision that any person convicted for the third or subsequent offence against sect. 13 of the Act of 1885 is to be liable to a penalty of £100 or to imprisonment for twelve months with or without hard labour, and may also be called upon to enter into recognisance, with or without sureties, to be of good behaviour for twelve months. In default of such recognisance he may be imprisoned for a further three months.

Determinations of Tenancy.

SOME very knotty points were discussed upon the clause in the original Bill on this subject. As originally drafted, it was provided that on the conviction of the tenant, lessee, or occupier of any premises for knowingly permitting the premises to be used as a brothel, the landlord or lessor could determine the lease as from the date of the conviction without prejudice to the rights or remedies of any party to such lease. If he did not so determine the lease and subsequently during the subsistence of it any such offence was again repeated, such offence was to be deemed to have been committed with the landlord's knowledge. This is now deleted, and in place of it there is introduced a long clause which under the circumstances mentioned empowers the landlord to require the person convicted "to assign the lease or other contract under which the said premises are held by him to some suitable person approved by the landlord or lessor, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld." If the offender does not assign within three months, then the lease can be determined. In this event the court which has convicted the tenant, lessee, or

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