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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
A LARGE Edition of this little work has been disposed of since the 22nd of last October, and this has induced me to prepare a Second Edition for the press, and I rejoice very much that I am by this means enabled to answer and remove every objection and doubt which has to
knowledge been raised, either to any enactment or as to the meaning of any clause in these Acts, except indeed such as were of too frivolous a nature to deserve any notice whatever. To me it would have been a matter of sincere pleasure to have been able to say that every one had edited these Acts with great ability, learning, and diligence, and that wherever any doubt or difficulty might be supposed to arise, an anxious desire had been shown to smooth the difficulty and do away with the doubt,-in a word, to do as much as reasonably might be in order to secure the well-working of these very important Statutes. I very much regret that such a pleasurable task should not have fallen to my lot, and that on the contrary I have felt it incumbent on me to answer objections that never ought to have been raised, and to remove doubts that never ought to have been started. My primary object in the First Edition was to explain the effect and operation of the new matter contained in these Acts, and to place it in its proper light, and the primary object of the additional remarks in this edition is to answer objections and to remove doubts; and I rejoice to say that I am not aware of a single objection or doubt that has not been completely
answered or removed. It may be that objections and doubts have been noticed, which might well have been passed over in silence, or that too great pains have been taken to answer or explain what hardly deserved any notice at all. If so, the error is at least on the right side, and it must be attributed to the anxious desire I have that these Acts should have their very useful provisions fairly understood, and that their well working should not be impeded by objections and doubts that have no substantial validity whatever. It was no desire of mine to find fault with the works of others that has led to the observations in these pages; but it seemed to me but right that I, the preparer and earnest supporter of the amendments contained in these Acts, should defend them against every attack which was erroneously made upon them. I have reason to believe that the former edition did much to place these Acts in their proper position, and I trust that the additional matter in this edition may have a similar effect.
I have carefully reconsidered all the notes to the former edition, and have made such alterations in, and additions to, them as seemed to be in any way expedient.
The former edition was confined almost entirely to pointing out the alterations effected by these Acts and the reasons for them. I have been induced in this edition to add an Appendix, containing plain and concise directions as to such of the summary proceedings under these Acts as seemed to require them. The reason for my doing this is, that I have understood that such directions were desired by some magistrates and their clerks; a very erroneous opinion appears to have existed, even in quarters where greater knowledge might reasonably have been expected to be found, as to the effect of these Acts on summary procedure, and this will be found to be wholly removed in the Appendix.
I have also given forms for summary proceedings under the Larceny and Malicious Injuries Acts, which alone require any new forms. These forms are framed from
those in Jervis' Act, 11 & 12 Vict. c. 43, with such alterations as to adapt them to the proceedings under these Acts.
As several of the Acts authorise the issuing of search warrants, I have added some observations as to the granting and form of such warrants, and have given forms for them and the informations necessary for obtaining them.
On the whole I trust that the Appendix may be found quite sufficient to guide any one in all the proceedings to which it applies, and that the forms there given may prove useful precedents to all who may resort to them for assist
When the last edition was published the Acts had not come into operation ; they have now stood the test of a winter and spring Assize and two Quarter Sessions, and with the most perfect success. Not only has no point, been reserved, but no point has even 'been taken upon them, in England, Scotland, or Ireland. This is indeed a triumphant result: and, although I was always perfectly satisfied that they would work admirably, still it is a great satisfaction to find that my anticipations have been so completely verified : and I shall now venture to say— what I am confident is the truth that these Acts are the very best Acts that ever were passed on the subjects to which they relate, and that they afford a greater protection to the lives, the homes, and the property of those of Her Majesty's subjects to whom they extend than ever existed before, and although they have cost me more labour, and caused me to be subjected to more annoyance than any one can imagine, yet it is a mighty consolation to think that they are now the law of the land, and that a very large proportion of those amendments in the Criminal Law, which I have for years laboured to effect, are now attained ; nor can I help regretting that failing health has compelled me to decline any further participation in so good a work, especially at a time when the burthen of the
day is passed, the vantage ground is won, and there is every prospect of further success with comparatively little trouble. Still to have had the large share I have had in Lord Campbell's Acts for the better prevention of offences, 14 & 15 Vict. c. 19, and for the improving the administration of the Criminal Law, 14 & 15 Vict. c. 100, and above all in these Acts, is more than ordinarily falls to the lot of any one; and whilst I regret that more has not been done, I cannot help rejoicing that so much has been accomplished, and the more so, as it may afford an excellent precedent for future legislation of a similar kind.
When I wrote the remarks on the difficulty of assimilating the law of England and Ireland in the Introduction, post, xlii, I little thought that a proof of what I then said would be presented in so short a time. At this moment there is a Bill, introduced by the Government on the urgency of some persons in Ireland, for the express purpose of doing away with the assimilation of the law as to summary offences in the two countries, which was effected by these Acts in the last Session, and this too before it is possible for the working of the Acts to have had anything like a fair trial. Nothing can more strongly prove the correctness of the opinion of those who doubted as to the practicability of such an assimilation; and I cannot but express my deep regret that, after the assimilation has been so far carried, it should be attempted to be undone; and not only all the labour bestowed on effecting that object rendered fruitless, but a fresh impediment raised to the assimilation of the laws of the two countries, and I heartily hope that the House of Lords will throw out a bill, which, as far as I am able to judge, is not only not called for by any sufficient reason, but is pregnant with mischievous consequences for the future.
C. S. GREAVES. May 5, 1862