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“ Principles of International Law,” part iii., c. 1, p. 290, edit. 1896) says : “The comparatively modern practice termed pacific blockade must now be considered. The first instance of it occurred in 1827, when Great Britain, France, and Russia blockaded the coast of Greece in order to induce Turkey, with whom they remained at peace, to accept their mediation in its war with its revolted Greek subjects. From that time onward pacific blockade has been resorted to at intervals as a means of bringing pressure to bear apon States with whom it was not deemed necessary or desirable to resort to regular hostilities. Publicists have been greatly divided as to the legality of the practice. The true test of its consonance with accepted principles is to be found in the nature of the treatment accorded to vessels of third powers by the blockaders. If the commerce of States unconnected with the quarrel is forcibly stopped, an illegal act is done, since no power has the right to prevent the ships of other powers from trading in time of peace with ports opened to them by the local sovereigns. But if no trade other than that of the blockading and blockaded powers is molested, it is impossible to say that any international offence is committed. The parties immediately concerned must be allowed to settle their disagreements in their own way as long as they do not interfere with the rights of those who kave no concern with the matter in dispute. These principles have been fully established by the last two cases that have arisen. In 1884 the French established wbat they regarded as a pacific blockade of part of the cost of Formosa, as an incident of their operations for reducing China to terms without a resort to open war; but, inasmuch as they claimed a right to capture vessels of third powers, Great Britain protested. The French Government declared that its public armed ships would not resort to search and capture on the high seas, but would seize any merchantmen, whether of Chinese or other nationality, which attempted to enter the blockaded ports ; and Earl Granville, who was then the English Secretary for Foreign Affairs, replied in that case Great Britain was obliged to hold that a state of war existed between France and China, and must put in force her neutrality regulations in the ports of Singapore and Hong Kong. In consequence of this, France claimed, and exercised, full belligerent rights against neutrals ; but the matter was settled almost immediately after by the restoration of normal pacific relations with China : (British State Papers, France, No. 1 (1885), pp. 1-13 ; French State Papers, Affaires de China (1885), pp. 1-15). In 1886 the Great Powers, with the exception of France, established a pacific blockade of the coasts of Greece in order to prevent the Greeks from making war upon Turkey and thus precipitating a great European struggle. The allied fleets were instructed to detain all vessels under the Greek flag attempting to run the blockade, but it was added that even Greek ships were not to be seized when any part of their cargo belonged to subjects of a state other than Greece or the blockading powers, should such cargo have been shipped before notification of the blockade, or after notification but under charter made before notification : (British State Papers, Greece, No. 4 (1886), p. 14). The blockade was raised in a few weeks in view of the pacific assurances of a new Ministry and the commencement of Greek disarmament; and, while it lasted, no protests were made by states unconnected with it. In this respect it contrasted favourably with the French blockade of Formosa two years before. The history of the two cases points unmistakably to the conclusion that pacific blockade is lawful provided it is enforced against none but vessels of the power which is to be coerced by it; and on this condition it was approved in 1887 by the Institute of International Law : (Annuaire de rInstitut de Droit International, 1887-8, pp. 300-1).”

M. Alphonse Ritier, in his Principes de Droit des Gens (1896), vol. ii., p. 198-9, makes the following remarks on the subject of pacific blockade :

“ Bloc kade is an operation of war, and it is in connection with war that we propose to discuss it. But for three quarters of a century states have had recourse to it in times of peace as a method of compulsion either coercive or preventive. Certain weighty theoretical objections may be raised against the modern practice, which surreptitiously introduces war during peace. They are summarised in the consideration that blockade causes material damage to third powers not interested in the conflict and to their subjects. But while theoretically the protest may be raised, policy is a question of action, and it is hardly possible to withhold to-day from pacific blockade the character of an institution of international law as it now exists.

“One may cite as the first pacific blockade that of 1827; the combined fleets of England, France, and Russia blockaded the Tarkish coasts. In 1831 France blockaded several points of the Portuguese coast. In 1833 France and England blockaded the ports of Holland. In 1838 France blockaded the southern ports, and for ten years, in concert with England, blockaded the ports and roadsteads of the Argentine Republic. In 1850 England blockaded, as a measure of reprisal, the Piræus and other ports of Greece. Sardinia blockaded Messina and Gaeta in 1860, a pacific blockade that became a belligerent blockade. The Great Powers threatened in 1880 to blockade the Turkish coast by anchoring their fleet before Puleiquo. France blockaded the ports and roadsteads of Formosa in 1884. The Great Powers, with the exception of France, blockaded, in 1886, the ports of Greece, but only detained Greek vessels. Finally, in Nov. 1888 Germany and Great Britain, in order to put an end to the treaty and to the violence and depredations of the slave-dealers, blockaded Zanzibar ; but this blockade was not directed against Zanzibar even-it had rather the character of a measure of maritime police directed against the slave traffic.”

To this exhaustive summary of the instances of pacific blockade, 1827-96, one may be permitted to mention the pacific blockade, lasting for some weeks, maintained by an English squadron under Rear-Admiral Stephenson in 1895, over the port of Corinto, Nicaragua. To continue M. Rivier's discussion of pacific blockade :

“ The genuine and grave objection to pacific blockade indicated above has been diminished in a recent instance (1886] by the consideration that

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access to the blockaded ports has only been interdicted to the ships of the Power against whom the blockade has been directed. The principles of International Law are consistent with pacific blockade with this limita. tion. Thus restricted, it would be no more than a particular instance of special reprisals, like embargo.

“Previously, in 1848, by a decree of the 1st March, promulgated by the French Council of State in its character of a Supreme Court of Prize, that high authority declared that the confiscation of ships and goods belonging to the subjects of third Powers, daring a pacific blockade, to be illegal. Every blockade ought to be effective and notified. Ships captured for a violation of blockade are only detained, to be restored with their cargoes after satisfaction shall have been obtained. They will be restored without any indemnity. It is on the Power against whom the blockade has been directed that the obligation falls of indemnifying the owners of the ships, if there is occasion for it. If war breaks out the merchant ships will become prize. Quite a number of writers have pronounced against pacific blockade. For instance, M. Geffcken, in the counter-report presented in 1887 to the Institute of International Law during its session at Heidel. burg. The reporter, M. Perels, had defended the legitimacy of pacific blockade. The Institute voted the following resolation: The establishment of a blockade apart from a state of war ought only to be considered as permitted by the Law of Nations under the following conditions : First, the ships of a foreign flag can enter at will, in spite of the blockade ; second, the pacific blockade ought to be declared and notified officially, and maintained by an adequate force; third, the ships of the blockaded power which do not respect such a blockade can be sequestered. The blockade having ceased, they ought to be restored, with their cargoes, to their owners, but without any title to compensation.”

Thus eminent publicists of France and England who have delivered the last pronouncements on the subject of pacific blockade bave virtually admitted its legality. Bat besides Pistoye and Duverdy, Woolsey, and others that have been mentioned, publicists, of perhaps equal eminence, and among them the most recent, have pronounced against the justifiability, if not the legality, of pacific blockade ; in more than one case, at all events, not because, as Holland and Hall suggest, they looked only at its earlier form. Perhaps the most explicit condemnation of pacific blockade is to be found in Halleck: “Some writers have imagined a state of things which they term 'pacific blockade'; that is to say, that one State may blockade the coasts of another State, and at the same time declare that a state of peace is maintained. The weight of authority however, is against such an anomaly. While a blockade, as a war measure, will be internationally respected, this will not be the case with a blockade instituted as part of a system of pacific pressure. Such blockade cannot affect neutral States, they are virtually nothing but special reprisals”: (Halleck's “ International Law," c. xiv. p. 474, 1893). The editor of this edition is Sir G. Sherston Baker, and it is, perhaps, significant to note that he does not, apparently, qualify any of the above observations.

Again, in Dr. T. Walker's “Manual of Public International Law (Cambridge University Press, 1895), at p. 97, a moderate, but sufficiently explicit, censure of the practice of pacific blockade is met: “At present (1895), in view of the pancity of instances, the divergence in the character of the actual operations and the disputes which arose thereon, we must be content to say that the title (of a pacific blockade) is not yet practically established.” M. Frantz Despagnet, Professeur à la Faculté de Droit de Bordeaux, Associé de l'Institut de Droit International, in a work published at Paris in 1894 (“Cours de Droit International Pablic") is even more direct in his censure of pacific blockade. He says (p. 519) : " That it is with reason that the majority of authors condemn pacific blockade,” and adds that it is profoundly illogical. M. Despagnet's objections may be thus summarised: Pacific blockade is only employed by powerful States against feeble States ; pacific blockade paralyses neutrals' trade and leaves free that of the blockading State with the blockaded State. This is the inversion of true blockade, which damages belligerents' commerce, but develops that of neutrals. Pacific blockade, in too many instances, has not only not averted war, but led to it; e.g., the case of Turkey in 1827, that of Mexico in 1838, that of 1885 with China. The laws of different countries and treaties which relate to blockade always take it for granted that it is practised as a measure of war, and thus do not admit the hypothesis of a pacific blockade. M. Despagnet points in illustration of this to the French governmental regulations of the 26th July 1778, art. 1 ; to the great treaties on the neutrality of 1778 and 1800 ; and to the Declaration of Paris, 1856. Finally, M. Despagnet argues that the maintenance of a pacific blockade involves the erection of prize tribunals, which, on the other hand, imply that a state of war exists. In 1884, as bas been already noticed, the French, during their “pacific blockade” of Formosa, constituted prize tribunals that validated the seizure of neutrals' vessels. This M. Despagnet alludes to as enforcing bis argument against pacific blockade.

It is submitted, with regard to the condemnation of pacific blockade, by Dr. Walker and M. Despagnet, it is not possible to urge, as Prof. Holland did in the case of Hall's condemnation of it, that their objections had reference to the abuses connected with the earlier stages of its development. Both the first-named eminent publicists were fully conscious, as the dates of their treatises prove, besides abundance of internal evidence, that the methods of pacific blockade were changed by the resolutions of the Institute of International Law in 1887, and the concrete instances of 1884 and 1886. This is sufficient to show that the divergence of opinion which originally existed on the subject of pacific blockade still exists.

It is said in the Digest that there is a natural tendency in the human mind to disagreement, and hence the necessity for arbitration. It is not irrelevant to current events in the Mediterranean to observe, à propos of the landing of forces by the Powers, that, though a pacific blockade is

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generally speaking a maritime operation, yet there are precedents for extending it to territorial operations. Thus France twice threatened Switzerland, in 1831 and again in 1852, with a pacific blockade by land. One remaining argument against pacific blockade adduced by M. Despagnet may be noted. He urges that, though injustice is arrested by not extending a pacific blockade to neutrals, yet in that case it loses all effectiveness. It is significant to observe that Sir Henry Maine ("Lectures Int. Law,” p. 116) contended that blockade was losing its importance as an operation of belligerency, though it is fair to add that the concrete instances he gave in support of this view show that it must be limited by geographical considerations.

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THE JUBILEE OF THE COUNTY COURTS. Owing to the recent agitation to extend the jurisdiction of the County Cuijo, ve propose to deal this week with certain portion of the procedure which, no doubt, will have to be remedied before any extension of their powers is granted. The first point we will deal with is the question of the court fees. As we have said before, the County Court is essentially the poor man's court, and is used for the recovery of small debts. This was its primary duty, and, even with the extension of jurisdiction that has occurred in the last thirty years, it must not be lost sight of. Despatch and efficiency, coupled with a minimum of expense, should be their motto. Now, let us consider and compare the fees payable to the court, both in the County Court and High Court. For the sake of comparison we will take the summary modes in both, namely, the default summons and Order XIV., and see what the court fees in each case amount to for the recovery of £20. First, as to the County Court. They are as follows:

£ s. d. 1. Issue of plaint, 18. in £

1 0 0 2. Hearing, 2s. in £

2 0 3. Issuing judgment summons, 3d. in £ plus 1s.

6 0 4. Hearing judgment summons, 6d. in £

0 10 0 5. Order for commitment, ls. 6d. in £

1 10 0 6. Instead of 3, 4, and 5, issuing execution, 1s. 6d. in £ 1 10 The total amount of fees, if proceedings are by way of judgment summons, amounts to £5 6s., and to £4 10s. if by execution. It should be mentioned that, if the defendant consents to judgment, item 2 will be reducer? hy nne half; and also, in addition to item 1, a registrar's fee of 2s. must be added for a default summons.

Now, let us see what are the court fees for the High Court under Order XIV.:

s. d. Writ

10 0 Filing affidavit

2 6 Summons for judgment

3 0 Order on summons

5 Judgment

10 4 Execution

5 0

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posed to increase this number to seven in the new Bill, and also to allow a special jury to be obtained when desired. This is what is greatly needed, and even although the suggestions made by the Bill may not be carried through, this alteration should certainly commend itself to the Legislature. These few failings of the procedure of the County Courts, which could be easily multiplied, have been pointed out in no hostile spirit, but rather in the hope that some of its faults may be remedied, and that when the procedure of the County Court, with its present jurisdiction, has been brought to a higher state of efficiency, the public, for whom the courts entirely exist, will be ready to welcome an extended jurisdiction in their local courts. A Bill to extend the Jurisdiction of the County Courts, and to amend the

Acts relating or giving Jurisdiction thereto.---- [Prepared and brought in by Mr. Monk, Sir Stafford Northcote, Sir Alfred Hickman, and Mr.

Jacoby.] WHEREAS it is desirable to extend the jurisdiction of the County Courts, and to amend the Acts relating or giving jurisdiction thereto.

Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :

1. Any County Court to which Admiralty jurisdiction has been appointed by Her Majesty in Council shall have jurisdiction, and all powers and authorities relating thereto, to try and determine, subject and according to the provisions of the County Courts Admiralty Jurisdiction Act 1868, and the County Courts Admiralty Jurisdiction Amendment Act 1869, the following actions or matters (referred to in those Acts as Admiralty causes), where the amount claimed does not exceed one thousand pounds :

(1.) As to any claim for salvage, towage, necessaries, or wages ; (2.) As to any claim for damage to cargo or damage to a ship by

collision, or otherwise ; (3.) As to any claim arising out of any agreement made in relation to

the use or hire of any ship, or in relation to the carriage of goods in any ship, and also as to any claim in tort in respect of goods

carried in any ship; (4.) As to any cause in respect of any such claim or claims as aforesaid,

bat in which the amount claimed is beyond the amount limited as above-mentioned, when the parties agree, by a memorandum signed by them or by their attorneys or agents, that any County Court having Admiralty jurisdiction and specified in the memor

andum, shall have jurisdiction. 2. All personal actions where the debt, demand, or damage claimed is not more than one thousand pounds, whether on balance of account or otherwise, may be commenced in a County Court, and all such actions shall be heard and determined in a summary way according to the provisions of the County Courts Act 1888.

3. Wherever in section sixty-seven of the County Courts Act 1888 the words “ five hundred pounds occur,

the words “ one thousand pounds shall be read in lien thereof.

4. If in any action where the plaintiff shall claim a sum exceeding one hundred pounds, the defendant shall satisfy the High Court of Justice, or a judge thereof, that for any good reason it is expedient that such action should not be proceeded with in the court in which the same is pending, the said High Court or judge may order the transfer of such action into the High Court upon the defendant paying into court such sum as security for costs as the court or judge may direct, and such order may direct the transfer to take effect forthwith or at any future stage of the proceedings. Any order of transfer made under this section shall, ipso facto, confer on the court designated therein full jurisdiction to hear and determine the action transferred thereto.

Provided that nothing herein contained shall prevent the removal of any action from the County Court by writ of certiorari in the cases, and subject to the conditions set forth in the County Courts Act 1888.

5.-(1.) Whenever either of the parties to an action require a jury to be summoned, the jury shall consist of five jurymen in cases where the amount claimed by the plaintiff does not exceed one hundred pounds, and of seven jurymen when the sum claimed is in excess of that amount; and there shall be paid to each juryman two shillings and sixpence in cases where the amount claimed does not exceed one hundred pounds, and five: shillings where the amount claimed is in excess of that sum.

(2.) Any enactments contained in sections one hundred and one and one hundred and two of the County Courts Act 1888, which are inconsistent. with this section, shall be and are hereby repealed.

(3.) Nothing in this section contained shall prevent either of the parties from having an action tried by a special jury, which shall consist of seven jurymen, and be summoned and remunerated in accordance with regulations to be prescribed by rules and orders.

6.-(1.) The County Courts holden at the centres respectively mentioned in the first column of the first schedule to this Act annexed, together with the County Courts respectively mentioned in the second column of the said schedule, shall become special circuits, and for each of these special circuits there shall be assigned a judge, a chief registrar, and assistant registrars.

(2.) Her Majesty may, by Order in Council, from time to time direct that other County Courts may be constituted a special County Court circuit, and every such special circuit shall thereupon be subject to the various provisions in this Act contained as if it had been originally constituted under the provisions of this Act.

7. There shall be paid to every judge of a special circuit two thousand five hundred pounds a year: provided that it shall be lawful for the Treasury to allow to a judge such sum as the Treasury shall in each case, with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor, deem reasonable to defray his

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£1 15 10 The figures speak for themselves. These are fees which, in the first place, must be paid by the plaintiff, the creditor, though, of course, they can be recovered from the debtor. But that a creditor should be required to pay out £4 10s. or £5 6s., as the case may be, and be out of pocket that amount for some time, to recover £20, seems to be little short of a scandal. After the fees, the next point for consideration is sect. 74. By that, except where otherwise provided by the Act, as in the case of the metropolitan districts, the action shall be commenced in the district where the defendant dwells or carries on business, or by leave of the judge or registrar in the district where the defendant dwelt or carried on business within the last six months, or where the cause of action wholly or in part arose. This leave at the present time is, as a rule, granted on a simple affidavit stating that the cause of action wholly, or in part, arose in the district in which it is sought to bring the action. But what is wanted in the case of courts with a local jurisdiction is practically the reverse of this rule. The action should be brought in the district where the cause of action arose, and for cause shown on an affidavit leave might be granted to bring it in or remove it to the district where the defendant resided. In fact, there should be local venue. It has been proposed to add further to the burden of the unfortunate creditor, and, in place of the affidavit at present required, to compel him to swear a long and complicated one setting forth “ balance of convenience," and facts constituting such “ balance.” The only object of this section and of these new rules, which, it is to be hoped, will be annulled before they can come into operation on the 25th May, seems to be to protect the debtor, and, even under the rules as they stand, to put the creditor to trouble ; while, under the proposed alterations, he is not only put to trouble but to further expense and annoyance.

The scale of costs, too, stands in need of many alterations, for in many cases these are as inadequate as the fees for the court are extortionate. An instance or two must suffice for the present. Take the judgment summons on a £20 debt, which we have dealt with above. The court fees amount to £2 6s. The allowance to a solicitor attending nil, unless the party for whom he appears resides out of the district of the court, and only then when allowed by the judge. The fee allowed to a solicitor for attending the action and conducting it amounts to 15s., while the court fees for hearing are £2; in the High Court, under Order XIV., the fees are £1 10s, and the allowance to the solicitor about £4 10s.

One word in conclusion about the County Court jury. The present number, five, is generally agreed to be most unsatisfactory, and it is pro

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Circuit No. 21. BIRMINGHAM 24. CARDIFF

25. WOLVERHAMPTON 26. HANLEY

Crickhowell, Ross, Abergavenny, Chepstow,

Monmouth, Newport, Pontypool, Tredegar,

Usk, Dudley, Walsall, West Bromwich. Market Drayton, Burslem, Cheadle, Leck,

Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Rugeley, Stafford, Stoke-upon-Trent, Stone, Tunstall,

Uttoxeter, Atherston, Tamworth. Brecknock, Aberdare, Bridgend, Merthyr

Tydfil, Pontypridd. Axbridge, Wells, Weston-super-Mare. Crediton, Exeter, Kingsbridge, Newton Abbot and

Torquay, Okehampton, Tavistock, Totnes.

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travelling expenses, with reference to the size and circumstances of the special circuit for which he is judge. The salaries of the judges shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund, and the Treasury shall pay the same accordingly; and the sums which may be allowed to them for travelling expenses shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament.

8.-(1.) The chief registrar of a special circuit may hold courts at each place where a County Court is holden within such circuit, at the respective times or intervals and in the same manner as the said courts have hitherto been holden by the County Court judges, or at such other convenient place within the circuit approved of and appointed by the judge, and may exercise the jurisdiction conferred on the judges of County Courts by the County Courts Act 1888, as amended by this Act and any Acts amending the same, or by any Act of Parliament relating to the said courts and judges; provided that such jurisdiction shall not be exercised by a chief registrar where the debt, demand, or damage claimed exceeds twenty pounds, whether on balance of account, or otherwise, or where a title to any corporeal or incorporeal hereditaments is involved.

(2.) Subject to rules and orders, an assistant registrar of a special circuit may, on the application of the parties and by leave of the judge, hear and determine any disputed claim where the sum claimed or amount involved does not exceed five pounds.

(3.) Where the parties to an action agree by a memorandum signed by them, or by their attorneys or agents, a chief registrar or assistant registrar may hear and determine a disputed claim to any amount for which the court has jurisdiction.

9. If any party in any action or matter shall be dissatisfied with the determination or direction of a chief registrar of a special circuit in point of law or equity, or upon the admission or rejection of any evidence, the party aggrieved by the judgment, direction, decision, or order of the chief registrar may appeal from the same to the judge of the court in which such action or matter was tried in such manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by rules and orders.

10. There shall be paid to the chief registrar of a special circuit a salary of fifteen hundred pounds a year, and to each assistant registrar of a special circuit eight hundred pounds a year : provided that it shall be lawful for the Treasury to allow to a chief registrar or assistant registrar such sum as the Treasury shall, in each case, with the concurrence of the Lord Chancellor, deem reasonable to defray his travelling expenses, with reference to the size and circumstances of the special circuit. The salaries and allowances shall be paid out of the produce of the fees payable under the provisions of the County Courts Act 1888, and whenever the amount of such fees shall not be sufficient to pay the salaries and allowances, the deficiency shall be made good out of any moneys to be provided by Parliament for that purpose ; and the surplus which from time to time shall remain after payment as aforesaid, shall be paid over to the credit of the Consolidated Fund.

11. The chief registrar and any assistant registrar of the chief court of a special circuit shall not be allowed to practise as a solicitor or notary.

12. In section ninety-two of the County Courts Act 1888, where the words“ two pounds” occur, the words “five pounds" shall be read in lieu thereof.

13. The enactments specified in the Second Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed, from and after the commencement of this Act, to the extent mentioned in the second column of the said schedule.

14. Rules and orders for the purposes of this Act may be made and altered from time to time by the like persons and in the like manner in which rules and orders may be made under and for the purposes of County Courts.

15. This Act may be cited as “The County Courts Act 1897," and shall be read and interpreted as one Act with the County Courts Act 1888.

16. This Act shall come into operation on the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight.

COUNTY COURTS ADMIRALTY | The whyle of section three.
JURISDICTION ACT 1868–

31 & 32 Vict. c. 71. COUNTY COURTS ADMIRALTY The whole of sections two and four.

JURISDICTION AMENDMENT
ACT 1869–

32 & 33 Vict. c. 51. COUNTY COURTS Act 1888- The whole of sections fifty-six, fifty51 & 52 Vict. c. 43.

seven, fifty-eight, fifty-nine, sixty,

sixty-two, and eighty-one. The words “five hundred pounds,"

wherever they occur in section sixtyseven.

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A DANGER OF VOLUNTARY CONVEYANCES. VOLUNTARY settlements and conveyances are not uncommon, if only from the prevalent desire to avoid the incidence of the death duties, by making inter vivos the dispositions of property which would otherwise be testamentary. It is not generally known what a serious blot a voluntary conveyance is on a title. By the combined effect of statutory enactment, it is practically impossible for anyone who claims under a voluntary conveyance dated within the last ten years to give an absolutely safe title, such as trustees or public bodies would be justified in accepting.

It is well known that 27 Eliz. c. 4, which invalidated voluntary conveyances as against a subsequent purchaser for value, is now repealed by the Voluntary Conveyances Act 1893 (56 & 57 Vict. c. 21), except as to purchases for value completed before the date of the latter Act. The result is that the settlor cannot, by conveying to a proposed purchaser, avoid the voluntary conveyance, and make a good title. This was the method proposed by Mr. Justice Stirling in Re Briggs and Spicer (64 L. T. Rep. 187; (1891) 2 Ch. 127). There the voluntary settlement was dated in 1888. 'In 1889 the trustees of the settlement agreed to sell part of the property comprised therein to trustees on behalf of the London County Council. There was ample evidence that the settlor was solvent at the date of the settlement, but Mr. Justice Stirling held that this was not sufficient, inasmuch as under the Bankruptcy Act 1883, s. 47, the onns might lie on the persons claiming under the settlement to prove that the settlor was solvent in 1888 in the possible event of the settlor becoming bankrupt before 1898. In the latter part of his judgment he suggested that the settlor might sell and convey to the purchasers, and that the purchasers might, at the direction of the settlor, pay the purchase money to the trustees of the settlement, but held that the court would not force such a title on unwilling purchasers.

The Act of 1893 deprives this suggestion of the learned judge of any force in cases that occur since the date of the Act, inasmuch as a conveyance by the settlor will not avoid the voluntary settlement. In fact, since the Act of 1893, the concurrence of the settlor is of no effect, except that the purchaser may thereby have the benefit of his covenants for title.

There remains the very serious difficulty created by the Bankruptcy Act 1883, sect. 47. Under that section, if the settlor becomes bankrupt within two years of the date of the voluntary settlement, the settlement is void against the trustee in bankruptcy : and if the settlor becomes bankrupt at any subsequent time within ten years frem the date of the settlement, the settlement is void against the trustee in bankruptcy unless the parties claiming under the settlement—these words include purchasers from the trustees of, or the beneficiaries under the settlement: per Mr. Justice Stirling (ubi sup.)--C8

-can prove that the settlor was, at the date of the settlement, able to pay all his debts without the aid of the property comprised in the settlement, and that the interest of the settlor in such property passed to the trustees of the settlement on the execution thereof. In Re Briggs and Spicer (ubi sup.) there was ample evidence available at the time the case was heard of the solvency of the settlor at the date of the settlement. The learned judge said: “If that issue could be decided now, and upon the materials before me, I should probably hold that the vendors had made out their case, but that appears to me to be

Circuit No. 1. NEWCASTLE-ON-TYNE Alnwick, Belford, Bellingham, Berwick, Gates

head, Hexham, Morpeth, North Shields,

Rothbury, Wooler. 2. SUNDERLAND

Bishop Auckland, Consett, Durham, Hartle

pool, South Shields, Wolsingbam. 5. ROCHDALE

Bacup, Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Wigan. 6. LIVERPOOL

Ormskirk and Southport, St. Helens and

Widnes. 8. MANCHESTER

Salford. 11. BRADFORD

Burnley, Colne, Keighley, Otley, Skipton. 13. SHEFFIELD

Glossop, Rotherham. 14. LEEDS

Wakefield. 16. HULL...

Beverley, Bridlington, Great Driffield, Hedon,

Howden, Pocklington, New Malton, Scarborough, Whitby, Barnsley, Goole, Ponte

fract, Selby. 18. NOTTINGHAM

Bingham, East Retford, Mansfield, Newark,

Worksop, Doncaster, Thorne. 19. DERBY

Alfreton, Ashbourne, Bakewell, Belper,

Buxton, Chesterfield, Wirksworth, Burton

on-Trent. 20. LEICESTER

Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Hickley, Loughborough,

Lutterworth, Market Boswell, Market Harborough, Melton Mowbray, Bourne, Grantham, Stamford, Oakham, Uppingham, Nuneaton.

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boside the point. The party from whom the attack is to be feared is not

in existence, and he cannot be bound by any proceedings at the present time. The fact on which the title depends cannot be proved merely by documentary evidence. When the attack comes the purchaser must produce witnesses who will establish, prima facie at all events, the ability of the settlor at the time of making the sottlement to pay his debts. Those witnesses are not under the purchaser's control; when they are wanted they may not be found; they may be out of the jurisdiction, or they may be dead. Even if the purchaser shonld succeed in producing them, it is impossible to anticipate by what rebutting evidence their testimony may be met, or what may be the effect of cross-examination.” This reasoning appears to be conclusive, and to show that in all cases where there is a voluntary conveyance or voluntary settlement less than ten years old, the title cannot be forced upon an unwilling purchaser, and is not such as trustees or public bodies can safely accept.

The later case of Myors v. Paterson (71 L. T. Rep. 228 ; (1894) 3 Ch. 267) does not throw any doubt on this position. The head-note in the Law Reports is in these terms : “A purchaser who has contracted to purchase land is not entitled to repudiate his contract simply because one link in the vendor's title consists of a voluntary conveyance to a person ander whom the vendor claims by purchase for value.” These words do not accurately represent the decision. In that case the voluntary conveyance was more than nine years old at the date of the contract, the settlor had been dead seven years, and the only question was whether the settlor had dealt with the property in the short time (two years) which elapsed between the date of the deed and the date of his death. Mr. Justice Romer simply decided that the purchaser was not justified in repudiating the contract, ard that he ought to have made requisitions to ascertain what had actually happened.

In Re Brall ; Ex parte Norton (69 L. T. Rep. 323 ; (1893) 2 Q. B. 381), Mr. Justice Williams has actually decided that, in sect. 47 of tbe Bankruptcy Act 1883, void means voidable, and that a bonâ fide purchaser for value from the donee under a voluntary settlement has a good title against the trustee in bankruptcy, even if he purchased with notice that the donee claimed under a voluntary settlement. In this case the bankruptcy was within two years of the date of the settlement, and there was no question of the sufficiency or insufficiency of the evidence. The learned jadge was helped to his decision by the fact that the settlor's estate had had the benefit of the purchase money paid by the bonó fide purchaser from the donee under the settlement, and therefore tha settlement was not really voluntary. If this were the ratio decidendi the case is intelligible. Otherwise it seems to go too far, and is in the teeth of the clearly expressed words of sect. 47 of the Bankruptcy Act 1883. It remains to be seen whether the Court of Appeal will approve of the decision. It is clear that Mr. Justice Stirling was not of the opinion that bona fides would of itself relieve parchasers claiming under a voluntary settlement from the onus of proving the solvency of the settlor at the date of the settlement in the event of his bankruptcy within ten years from that date.

It is no doubt possible to provide for the difficulty in the conditions of sale or by a special clause in the contract for sale, and this should be done in all cases where the sale takes place within ten years from the date of the settlement. But it is believed that many practitioners are not aware what a serious blot on a title, in the absence of a special condition or clause, is caused by a voluntary conveyance or settlement less than ten years old ; and the writer is not aware of any method of obviating the difficulty.

Catholic schools which existed till 1890, when that Le rislatui e abolished separate schools and established a non-sectarian publi, schol system.

It was then contended on behalf of the Roman Catholic minority in Manitoba that the Act of 1890 was ultra vires of the Legislature, and the litigation thereon ended in a decision on the facts, and sub-sect. 1, by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council rendered on the 30th July 1892, that the legislation of 1890 was within the powers of the Manitoba Legislature. Thereupon the Roman Catholic minority appealed to the GovernorGeneral for relief as provided for by sub-sects. 2 and 3. The right to do this came before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, who on the 29th Jan. 1895 decided in their favour on the construction of the subsections. The mode of enforcing this decision, whether by coercion or conciliation, is at present the phase of the question which is considered by the Canadian authorities,

It is the fundamental principle of the British Constitution that “the governed make their own laws and provide the means and regulate the manner by and in which they are to be governed by those laws." This is effected through their Parliaments, whose members are chosen by the majority to represent the whole, and it is an irresistible inference that the minority have therefore rights as against the will of the majority. Another self-evident deduction is, that legislation, like taxation, depends upon parliamentary representation from which it follows that the Imperial Parliament legislates locally only for the United Kingdom, and generally for the empire as a whole including those colonies having no legislatures. The Parliament of the Dominion of Canada can constitutionally legislate only for the purposes of the Dominion, and the Legislature of Manitoba has the sole right to legislate locally for that province. The whole three subsections therefore were and are ultra vires of the Dominion Parliament, and that notwithstanding the nominal confirmation by imperial legislation, because they assume to limit the inherent British constitutional principle of legislation only through representation the birthright of every British community.

The questions submitted to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council were apparently advisedly framed to ignore the principles of constitutional law in both cases.

The last decision appears about as reasonable as that counsel should pass B.'s title to an estate on having placed before him a deed from A. conveying it to B. without inquiring as to whether B. had any title to convey An act of a colonial legislature may or may not be ultra vires, and the courts can so determine. The question as to whether an Act of the Imperial Parliament can be determined to be ultra vires by any court than itself has not been determined, and the necessity for doing so could probably only arise, as it now does in this Manitoba case, with reference to Imperial legislation affecting a self-governing colony.

The necessity of settling the question in accordance with British Constitutional Law is that, if it is not done, the result will probably be rebellion or the abandonment of the province by the best elements of its people, and until it is so settled a vicious precedent of unconstitutional legislation to British colonies remains on the Statute-book of Canada sanctioned by an Imperial Act. The rights of every British community ought to be safeguarded in the interests of the British Empire, and not in those of the empire of the Poje.

W. H. BARTRAM. London, Canada, 8th March 1897.

COMMENTS ON CASES.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW IN CANADA. The consideration and solution of the question of constitutional law involving logically the undermining of British institutions and the ultimate disintegration of the empire, known as “The Manitoba School Question," seems to call for a change of venue from the Dominion of Canada where the supremacy of the empire of the Pope extolled by Justin McCarthy, M.P., has been and is truly exemplified. That supremacy has been evident in the past history of Canada and is still potent to influence, consciously or unconsciously, the public men and press of the Dominion, so that the true principles of constitutional freedom at stake are ignored and lost sight of in the struggles of the politicians for office.

The Act of the Dominion Parliament constituting the province of Manitoba and its union with the Dominion, confirmed by an imperial statute, provides in sect. 22 that the Legislature of the province may exclusively make laws in relation to education subject to and according to the follow. ing provisions :

(1.) Nothing in any such law shall prejudicially affect any right or privilege with respect to denominational schools which any class of persons have by law or practice in the province at the union.

(2.) An appeal shall lie to the Governor-General in Council from any act or decision of the legislature of the province or any provincial authority affecting any right or privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic minority of the Queen's subjects in relation to education.

(3.) In case any such provincial law as from time to time seems to the Governor-General in Council requisite for the due execution of the provisions of this section is not made, or in case any decision of the Governor-General in Council on any appeal under this section is not duly executed by the proper provincial authority in that behalf, then and in every case, and as far only as the circumstances of each case require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial laws for the due execution of the provisions of this section, and of any decision of the Governor-General in Council under this section.

This Act went into effect on the 15th July 1870, and in 1871 the Legislature of Manitoba established a system of public and separate Roman

It is very desirable that the existing doubts as to the validity of titles to property derived from grantees under voluntary settlements under circumstances such as those appearing in Re Carter and Kenderdine and Vendor and Purchaser Act 1874 (noted ante, p. 364) should be judicially settled. At the present moment it is difficult to say what the law on the subject is. In 1891, Mr. Justice Stirling had to deal with a case where a voluntary settlement had passed certain lands to trustees for certain purposes, and the trustees had subsequently sold the property to a purchaser, the settlor being himself a party to the contract. The purchaser then objected, on the ground that a voluntary settlement might become void as against a trustee in bankruptcy if the settlor became bankrupt within ten years, as provided by sect. 47 of the Bankruptcy Act of 1883. Mr. Justice Stirling held that the purchaser's objection was substantial, and he accordingly declined to force the title upon him : (Re Briggs and Spicer, 64 L. T. Rep. 187: (1891) 2 Ch. 127). Two years afterwards, Mr. Justice Williams took a different view of the effect of a pledge of jewellery made by a voluntary settlee. This was not, of course, a decision under the Vendor and Purchaser Act, and Mr. Justice Williams expressed himself as doubtful whether he should not follow it nevertheless; but he eventually decided that the pledgee was entitled to keep the jewellery, notwithstanding that the trustee in bankruptcy of its settlor made a claim to it, and that his title to it was not void by reason of the declaration that the settlement was void : (Re Vansittart ; Ex parte Brown, 68 L. T. Rep. 233; (1893) 2 Q. B. 377). Within three months, the same learned judge, in Re L. and W. H. Brall; Ex parte Norton (69 L. T. Rep. 323; (1893) 2 Q. B. 381), held again that a purchaser for value without notice from a settlee has a good title as against a trustee in bankruptcy on a subsequent avoidance of the settlement. With these contradictory decisions, purchasers of property held under voluntary settlements will do well to be wary. The courts are, however, un willing to force titles such as these on reluctant purchasers, on the two grounds pointed out by Mr. Justice Stirling in Re Briggs (sup.), viz., that settlors should not be assisted to get rid of settle. ments created by them, and that it is not possible to ascertain conclusively that an apparently voluntary settlement is not really one for value.

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It may be asserted that at the present time the remedy to which equitable mortgagees or pledgees, not having simply a charge, whether their security is on land or personal chattels, among whom may be classed the holders of debentures by way of floating security whose rights thereunder have crystallised, are entitled, is foreclosure, to which, even on an originating summons brought by one of such debenture-holders on behalf of himself and all the others, they will be entitled: (see Oldrey v. The Union Works Limited, 72 L. T. Rep. 627). Further “mortgagees” have the right to obtain from the court an order for sale of the mortgaged premises under sect. 25 (2) of the Conveyancing Act 1881, and judgment creditors, having by sect. 13 of the Judgments Extension Act 1838 (stat. 1 & 2 Vict. c. 110) specific charges on their debtors' land, are entitled to the remedy of foreclosure, on the ground that they hold what is equivalent to an agreement to execute a legal mortgage in their favour: (Jones v. Bailey, 17 Beav. 582; Fisher on Mortgages, p. 585, 4th edit.). In a former case Mr. Justice Kekewich pointed out that the plurality of debentures may in some cases bo matter of importance in considering the right of their holders to claim foreclosure. This is exemplified in Re The Continental Oxygen Company Limited; Elias v. The Continental Oxygen Company Limited (noted ante, p. 389), where the plaintiff had purported on his own behalf and on that of other debenture-holders to enforce payment by sale or foreclosure, and had obtained judgment, but the chief clerk found by his certificate that the foreign holder of two of the debentures, although aware of the judgment, had not taken any steps in the matter, and Mr. Justice Kekewich refused, in her absence, to make an order for foreclosure, but made a modified order for sale.

Re Lever ; Cordwell v. Lever (ante, p. 389), presents a question of some difficulty apon the construction of powers to postpone conversion. The material clauses in the will under consideration were an absolute trust to the testator's two trustees to sell his real and leasehold estates, followed, in a subsequent part of the will, by a discretionary power with the consent of the testator's widow to postpone conversion during her lifetime, with a declaration that it should not be necessary for them to sell unless she requested them, which she had not done. The trustees differed as to the desirability of a sale, but the remainderman desired it. Mr. Justice Stirling held that the absolute trust for sale took effect, but the Court of Appeal has decided that in the above circumstances the discretionary power to postpone the sale was operative. It is laid down in Lewin on Trusts, p. 512, 6th edit., that where a power is given to trustees to do or not to do a particular thing at their discretion, the court has no jurisdiction to lay a command or probibition upon the trustees as to the exercise of that power, provided their conduct be bona fide, and their determination is not influenced by improper motives, and the recent case of Re Crowther; Midgley v. Crowther (72 L. T. Rep. 762 ; (1895) 2 Ch. 56), is an instance of the disinclination of the courts to interfere with discretionary powers to trustees to postpone conversion. The power given to the widow to request the trustees to sell would have made a sale by them obligatory bad she requested it : per Mr. Justice Kekewich in Re Hill; Hill v. Pilcher (74 L. T. Rep. 460; (1896) 1 Ch.962); not having made the request, and the trustees differing as to the desirability of a sale, the Court would not compel them to effect one.

The Lord Chancellor attended the Clerkenwell Parochial Schools, Amwell-street, E.C., on Wednesday, and distributed the prizes to the successful pupils of the schools.

Sir Richard Webster, Q.C., M.P., distributed on Wednesday the prizes to the successful factory and flower girls who attend needlework and drill classes at the Leysian Mission, Whitecross-street, E.C.

Mr. T. Parker Dixon, of 13, Gray's.inn-square, and Mr. Frederic George Hunt, of No. 1, Gray's-inn-square, solicitors, have entered into partnersbip, and will in future practise at the former address under the style of Dixon and Hunt.

Charles Edwards, once a London solicitor, who became an old-time lawyer of New York, and whose son became British consul there, gave this ingenious legal aspect to three classic poems: "The Iliad is an action of assault and battery, in which the Greeks were plaintiffs and the Trojans defendants; the Æneid was a suit in heaven's chancery, with bill filed by Juno against Æneas and pals (Palinurus included); and the Jerusalem an action of ejectment, commenced by Christians against Pagans to recover the Holy City.”

Mr. Pickering, the librarian of Lincoln's-inn, writes : "in your issue of to-day you print an extract from the Westminster Gazette concerning Chief Justice Kotzé, which is not correct. The Chief Justice of the Transvaal was a student of this Inn, and took an exhibition in July 1872. He was called to the English Bar, and by this Inn, in April 1874, and his name appears in the current Law List. I recently had a letter from him in which he said, “I still remember with pleasure the days spent in the Inner Temple Library.'

A meeting of the Society of Chairmen and Deputy-Chairmen of Quarter Sessions was held on Tuesday at the Guildball, Westminster, when Mr. Rassell J. Kerr, the vice-president of the society, in the absence of Viscount Cross, the president, took the chair. The following Parliamentary Bills were considered and other questions affecting quarter sessions discussed : Court of Criminal Appeal Bill, Justices of the Peace Bill, Juries Detention Bill, Law of Evidence (Criminal Cases) Bill, Solicitors Magistracy Bill, Unlawful Possession Bill.

Mr. Philip T. Rhys, of 22, Commercial-place, Aberdare, South Wales, writes with reference to the late Sir E. Kay :- In the obituary of the late Lord Justice Kay, copied from the Times into your issge of this date, there is a mistake as to the date when the late judge ceased to be 'journeyman.' I think-and at that time I was engaged in a Lincoln's-inn office-that it was on the death of Vice-Chancellor Hall that Mr. Justice Kay took over those chambers, being subsequently, on Vice-Chancellor Bacon's retirement, transferred to him. Surely, Justices Ford North, Pearson, and Stirling all for a time occupied the position of journeyman.”

The Bar Point-to-Point Steeplechase will be held under the management of the Pegasus Club, on the 3rd April, in Essex, about three miles from Epping Station (G.E.R.). There will be a light weight and heavy weight race for practising barristers, and a race open to all members of the Inns of Court. Entries close to the hon. secretary, Mr. J. B. Gilliat, 6, Crown Office-row, Temple, on or before Saturday, the 27th March, at 1 p.m., from whom particulars can be obtained. A special train will leave erpo treet Station at 1.25 p.m., returning from Epping at 5.10 p.m. Conveyances to and from the course will be provided for members of the Pegasus Club and their friends. Applications for tickets for these must be made by members of the club on or before Wednesday, the 31st March.

The Hon. Mr. Justice Kekewich will preside on Wednesday next, the 31st inst., at a festival dinner, to be held in the King's Hall of the Holborn Restaurant, in aid of the Old Age (Pension) Fand of the Law Writers' Provident Institation. This is a friendly society, established in 1842, for the promotion of habits of thrift and prudence among law writers, an industrious class of humble workers dependent on the Legal Profession. Among other benefits the Institution provides a pension of from 108. to 14s. per week to its old and incapacitated members. The value and importance of this provision may be gauged by the fact that during the last six years £1380 has been paid in pensions, and as many of the members are attaining an advanced age, the annual payments must necessarily increase. Mr. Justice Kekewich will at the dinner plead for donations in aid of the fund, and it is hoped the appeal will be generously responded to by the Legal Profession. Donations to the cbairman's list should be sent to the secretary, Mr. John Holland, at 33, Chancerylane.

The remains of Sir Edward Kay were on Taesday interred at Brockdish Church, Norfolk. Many of the principal residents in the district attended the funeral, and there were also present a large number of the tenants on the Brockdish estate, and tradesmen from the neighbouring towns of Harleston and Diss. The Rev. J. H. White, rector of Brockdish, and the Rev. E. J. Gaussen, rector of Thorpe Abbots, were the officiating clergy

The mourners included Miss Kay, Miss Marion Kay, Mr. Walter Kay, Miss Kay-Shuttleworth, Mr. Cecil Russell, and Mr. F. K. North. Among the friends present were the Hon. Walter Hanbury, the Rev. the Hon. A. Parker, Archdeacon Perowne, Canon C. R. Manning, the Rev. T. Holt Wilson, the Rev. F. G. Holmes, the Rev. F. R. Smith, Mr. Richard Crawshay, Mr. Frere, Miss France, and Mr. Alfred Taylor. A memorial Brvice was held at Christ Church, Lancaster Gate, Hyde Park, on Tuesday morning. Among those present were Lords Justices Lindley, A. L. Smith, and Rigby, Mr. Renshaw, Q C., Mr. J. R. Mellor, Mr. George Chance, Mr. H. L. Manby, Mr. Horton Smith, Mr. Eddis, Mr. Martin, Lady North, and Mrs. Fothergill Robinson. The Rev. G. E. Farran and the Rev. R. Milburn Blakiston officiated, and the choir was supplemented by men's voices from Lincoln's-inn and Westminster Abbey. The hymns were the same as those sung at Lady Kay's funeral service in 1889.

OCCASIONAL NOTES.

The Revenue Paper will be taken on Monday, the 29th inst., and following days.

The following London special jury actions will be in the list for trial on Monday, the 29th March, viz. :--Lucas r. Ewing, Heath v. Wood and another, Gieve v. Guilding, Gifford v. General Exploration Company Limited, and Abercrombie v. Lane Bros.

The Queen has been pleased to direct that Tuesday, the 23rd June, be observed as a Bank Holiday throughout the United Kingdom.

A Judicial Commissionership on the Niger is vacant just now. It is worth from £750 to £800 a year, and is in the gift of Lord Salisbury.

A rather poor caricature of Mr. Justice Lawrance appears in Vanity Fair of the 18th inst.

The Press Association states that Lady Bowen, widow of the late Lord Bowen, died on Wednesday night, after a prolonged illness, at her residence, 2, Queen’s-gate-gardens.

The Lord Chancellor has consented to preside at a meeting in support of the Inns of Court Mission in Central London, to be held at the Inner Temple Hall on Wednesday, the 31st March, at 4.30 p.m.

Mr. Justice Kekewich bas taken Killocban Castle, Sir Reginald Cathcart's seat in Ayrshire, along with the sbootings which appertain to it, and his tenancy includes extensive salmon fishings in the Girvan.

Sir Robert Reid, Q.C., M.P., will be the principal speaker at the annual meeting of the National Reform Union, which is to be held at Manchester on the 14th April, under the presidency of Mr. P. Stanhope, M.P.

The Home Secretary entertained at dinner on Wednesday, at his residence, on Carlton House-terrace, the Lord Chancellor, Lord Ashbourne, Sir Edward Clarke, Q.C., M.P., Sir Francis Jeune, Mr. E. H. Carson, Q.C., M.P., and Mr. Bigham, Q.C., M.P.

Mr. James T. Withers, of Maltravers House, 6, Arundel-street, Strand, W.C., has taken into partnership Mr. Adrian Pollock and Mr. John Henry Crow, and the practice will be carried on under the style of Withers, Pollock, and Crow,

men.

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