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assistant ministers, and have nothing to do with it but as litigants or as culprits ? When we have a paid magistracy through the country in place of a popular—a public prosecutor instead of a private—a court consisting of a judge only, instead of judge and jury, is there no danger that the people will become first indifferent and then alienated? If, in addition to this, the gentry of the county shall no longer be summoned to assemble at assizes and sessions, to indorse the accusations preferred against wrong-doers, but those accusations should be drawn by crown-appointed officials, having no sympathy with the people, will our public courts and their doings have the same interest for the thousands of the population which they now have? The people now venerate the judges and respect the magistracy because they are associated with them in dispensing justice; they see with how much patience, learning, and candour, the judicial functionary from Westminster Hall disposes of a complicated case ; with how much common sense and English fairness a county magistrate does his business at sessions. They see it because they actually take part in the proceeding, and there is established a bond of sympathy between him who presides and those who are in the jury-box, because they are engaged in the pursuit of a common object: these bonds are strong and innumerable, and I think they are priceless. Is it not wise to maintain them by continuing to give to gentry and tradesmen, yeomen and labourers, the same work in our courts which has already weaved the ties which so help to bind society together? Narrow reasons, plausible enough ; special objections, not without weight, may be assigned as the ground of changes which may have wider consequences than the reformer contemplates. Cheapness and speed may be attained at a cost incalculable. My own opinion certainly is, that the stream of justice is not only more picturesque, but more useful and more fresh and wholesome, when it winds, perhaps slowly, between devious but natural banks, than when it rushes through professional and official conduits, where it not only loses a grace but may contract a hardness.

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IN TAKING my leave of you, on the expiration of my year of office as president, I beg to return you my sincere and cordial thanks for the honour you did me in twice electing me to that office, and likewise for the support and friendly reception I have at all times met with from the members of this Society. It was no small distinction (in my estimation, at least) to be selected as the first president of a Society like this, which was formed directly for the purpose of extending the science of jurisprudence in England. I account it a still greater favour and privilege to have been chosen president a second time; and my only matter of regret is, that my engagements -partly parliamentary, partly professional—left me so' few opportunities of meeting the members of the Society. But the regret I feel at ceasing to preside over you is much alleviated by the opportunity which I have of making the following announcement. At the request of the council, I waited on the Lord Chancellor, and communicated to him the expression of their hope that he would assume the office I am laying down; for we thought it right that a Society of this kind should flourish altogether under the patronage of the highest officer of the law. The Lord Chancellor assented to that request, and I make no question that the Society will gladly accept the privilege of having for its president the Lord Chancellor for the time being; the duty of presiding over its meetings being, of course, generally performed by the vice-presidents. Now, although I do not despair of occasionally seeing the Lord Chancellor among us, I recommend to you (and the recommendation will probably be carried into effect by the council) that some regulation be adopted to secure on each evening the presence of one of the vice-presidents. But there are some subjects to which, in summing up the events of the last year, I wish to point your attention. The object of the Society is best attained by well-written papers (and of those you have had you may well be proud); but, at the same time, its general benefit would be much advanced by discussions on papers. Now, I regret to say I have seen some disinclination among our members to beginning the discussions on our papers, and they do not often become animated until the hour arrives when, by the rules of the Society and of common convenience, the members are about to separate. I therefore, suggest that we have the paper read at one meeting, and the discussion of it adjourned till the next. The paper should be circulated in the mean time, and on the succeeding evening, after hearing another paper, we may discuss the first. And this also suggests to me the great expediency of enlarging the number of our members, by invitations to all classes of the educated community. It is true, we call ourselves “The Juridical Society," and the great body of our members will, of necessity, be of the legal profession ; but you well know how much advantage is derived from the assistance of non-professional but well-educated men. You know how law is indebted to all other sciences, and other sciences to it. The science of government is divided into many departments; but, however numerous they are, they all range under, and depend on, the science of law,-- from the law is let down, as it were, a golden chain which binds all the different quarters of the globe of political science together, and gives them cohesion with each other. It were therefore well if men of the medical, political, and literary world were to join our Society; and I therefore hope that each individual member of it will, among his own friends and connections, endeavour to get such to join us, by representing our Society as one not confined to purely professional objects, but extending to politics and the noblest branches of moral philosophy : we should then have among us men of science and literature, desirous of advancing the human race. And this reminds me that, among our honorary members, we have many distinguished foreigners;


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and there was one whose loss you will no doubt join me in lamenting. You all remember that last summer we had a most interesting discussion on a paper read by Professor Katchenovsky (a), on which occasion we had also the presence of another eminent man from abroad. That paper was one calculated to excite great interest, and showed in the writer an acquaintance with the subject of international law, and a familiarity with the writers upon it, greater, I am sorry to say, than could be found in most English lawyers. In that discussion Dr. Wurm bore a distinguished part: he is now no more. Very recently a letter from him was received by one of the secretaries, expressing his hope of being able to attend here and read a paper on international law. I on from this painful subject to that of the papers which have engaged the attention of the Society during the past year, and, as I have already said, they are papers of which we may well be proud. It would not do for me to make an invidious selection, and I should not be justified in omitting to notice any one of them. I think that when the next volume of our proceedings is published, it will be perused by every member of the Society with pleasure, at being able to reflect that he belongs to a body which has made those valuable additions to the body of English law. In referring to those papers in terms of admiration, I must mention that we have had some announcements which have not been fulfilled—a paper on codification has been delayed from domestic affliotion; and there was another paper which I proposed to myself the pleasure of reading; when about to do so, however, I thought I saw an opportunity of bringing the subject of it before parliament, where I had long thought of bringing it, and I deemed it better to submit it to a body which could put its recommendation into practice. I allude to a paper on the establishment of a Department of a Ministry of Publio Justice.

If you will do me the favour to listen to me for a short time, I will now endeavour to point your attention to some subjects of domestic legal science, to which I hope our

(a) Supra, p. 99.



attention will be directed during the ensuing year, and which appear to me especially to deserve attention. I believe these subjects to be at the foundation of jurisprudential science in Enyland, and I look to the efforts of this Society to render them acceptable to the community at large.

The first of these is the suliject I have already mentioned —the propriety of instituting a Ministry of Public Justice. You have all doubtless heard of this subject for many years, yet, like every thing else in our country which all think desirable, it has to wait for a long time before it is carried into effect. The manner which I should suggest for carrying out that plan would involve matters of detail which would detain you too long. But I will point out two or three of the objects to which it was meant to be subservient. The first thing, then, that strikes every member of our profession who directs his mind beyond the daily practical necessity of the cases which come before him, is, that we have no machinery for noting, arranging, generalizing, and deducing conclusions from the observations which every scientific mind

uld naturally make on the way in which the law is worked in the country. Now, look how differently the moral sciences, and every part of physical science, are treated here. Is not science among us pursuing the great Baconian method of induction ? Are we not always making experiments, recording the results of our observations, and at length, when a great quantity of facts are ascertained, we advance with certainty the boundaries of each science? Why is not that applied to law ? Take any particular department of the common lawtake, if

you please, any particular statute. Why is there not a bo ly of men in this country, whose duty it is to collect a body of judicial statistics, or, in more common phrase, make the necessary experiments to see how far the law is fitted to the exigencies of society, the necessities of the times, the growth of wealth, and the progress of mankind? There is not even a body of men concerned to mark whether the law is free from ambiguity or not; whether its administration is open to any objections; whether there be a defect either in the body or conception of the law, or in the machinery for

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