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TO THE TWENTY-THIRD EDITION.
SINCE the publication of the 22nd Edition, in 1900, there has not been very much legislation affecting the Criminal Law. Indeed the only new statates are the Money Lenders Act, 1900 (63 & 6+ Vict. c. 51), post, p. 594 ; the Larceny Act, 1901; the Poor Prisoners Defence Act, 1903; the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, 1904; and s. 28 of the Companies Act, 1900 (63 d: 61 Vict. c. 48), post, p. 587, which deals with false statements by directors and officers of joint-stock companies.
The Larceny Act, 1901 (1 Edw. 7, c. 10), which is printed at pp. 575, 576 of this Edition, has had the effect of removing the many difficulties found in working ss. 75, 76 of the Larceny Act, 1861, which it repeals—difficulties which had been pointed out in In re Bellencontre (1891] 2 Q. B. 122.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, 1904 (4 Edu. 7, c. 15), which is in the main a re-enactment of the Act of 1894, will be found at p. 877, et seq. The chief changes effected by the new Act are the addition to the schedule of further enactments, to which the rules of the Act as to evidence and procedure are to be applied in the case of offences against children under sixteen ; the provision allowing conviction for cruelty on an indictment for manslaughter, and the alteration from three to six months of the time limit on prosecutions for offences against girls of thirteen and under sixteen against s. 5 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885. In R. v. Chandra Dharma, 69 J. P. Rep. 39 (noted post, p. 913), a case was reserved on the question whether the prosecution for an offence against 8.5 of the Act of 1885, committed less than three months before October 1, 1904, when the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, 1904, came into force, was subject to the three months' limitation in the Act of 1885, or to the six months' limitation
in the Act of 1904. On March 18, 1905, the Court for Crown Cases Reserved decided (40 L.J. Newsp. 238 ; 21 T. L. R. 353) that the amendment effected by s. 27 of the Act of 1904 related to procedure only, and applied to offences committed before the section came into force, in respect of which the three months' limit imposed by the Act of 1885 had not expired on October 1,
The Poor Prisoners Defence Act, 1903 (3 Edu. 7, c. 38), will be found at p. 187, and the attorney-general's rules under it at p. 189; while the scales of costs for solicitor and counsel will be found at p. 255. Attention may here be drawn to the new scales of costs and allowances in criminal prosecutions made in June, 1904 (see pp. 249–255), superseding those of November, 1903, which had superseded all prior scales. In view of these changes, the chapter on costs has been almost wholly rewritten.
It has been thought more convenient to print the text of the Criminal Evidence Act, 1898, in full at p. 392, et seq., and to add as notes the various decisions interpreting its provisions. There are still some unsettled difficulties as to its effect, e.g. whether in cases where the husband or wife of a prisoner may be called for the Crown without the consent of the prisoner, such a witness is now compellable or is competent only. In R. v. Ellis, Lewes Assizes, November 25, 1899 (post, p. 398), on a charge of abduction under 48 & 49 l'ict. c. 69, 8. 7, Wills, J., ruled, in accordance with the practice adopted at the Central Criminal Court, that s. 4 of the Criminal Evidence Act, 1898, rendered the husband or wife compellable witnesses in prosecutions under the statutes scheduled to that Act. He had proposed to reserve a case ; but the prisoner was acquitted, and this difficulty still remains unsettled. So far as concerns cases within the Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act, 1904, or the first schedule to that Act, the difficulty is solved by 8. 12 of that Act (post, p. 882), but it remains as to the other enactments referred to in s. 4 and the schedule to the Act of 1898 (post, p. 397); and it is to be presumed that in 8. 4 of the Act of 1898 calling such a witness“ for the defence” without the consent of the accused means calling the witness on behalf of a co-defendant.
The divergences of judicial opinion stated, post, pp. 319, 320, as to the scope and effect of the ruling in R. v. Lillyman, have been to a considerable extent removed by the judgment of the Court for Crown Cases Reserved in R. v. Osborne
 1 K. B. 551, which establishes that immediate complaints are admissible in the case of offences against women and girls, even where the question of consent is not an essential element in the crime charged, and that such complaints are admissible even if made in answer to questions, provided that the questions are not leading, suggestive, or of an intimidating character.
In the preface to the 22nd Edition it was stated that the title Treason had been revised in view of the probability that prosecutions for the offence might occur in the near future. During the South African War many prosecutions for treason took place in South Africa ; but the offence is there governed by the Roman-Dutch law, and not by the law of England. However, in this country the trial of R. v. Lynch  1 K. B. 414, arising out of the same war, necessitated a careful examination of the English authorities on treason, and certain of the results of that investigation have been incorporated in the present Edition.
The title Libel reflecting on the administration of justice has been rewritten, and that of Contempt of Court added (post, p. 1094), in consequence of the decisions in R. v. Tibbits and Windust  1 K. B. 77 : R. v. Gray  2 Q. B. 36 : and R. v. Parke (1903] 2 K. B. 432, in which last case the powers of the High Court to prevent comments on cases committed for trial were fully considered. The chapters on compensation (p. 263), restitution of property (p. 268), and compounding offences (p. 1089), have been revised and, it is hoped, improved.
The title Bigamy (p. 1167) has been rearranged; the various forms of " Disorderly Houses" have been dealt with more fully than in previous editions and forms of indictment have been inserted; the substance of the various statutes relating to Lotteries has been inserted ; and throughout the work the editors have made numerous alterations and additions ; e.g. as to the law relating to the taking of the deposition of a dying person (p. 374), and to the admissibility of dying declarations (p. 322), and as to proof of guilty knowledge in cases of receiving stolen property (p. 552); and they have inserted at p. 1327 certain of the new Prison Rules relating to the classification of prisoners by the prison authorities. Certain of the indictments have been modernized ; and the references have been rechecked throughout with the object of eliminating so far as possible all incorrect citations of cases and text-books, and the Index has been revised and suppleniented to meet numerous criticisms and suggestions received. The editors are obliged to Mr. B. O. Bircham and Mr. H. E. Jenkins, both of the South - Eastern Circuit, for help in correction of references and of the Index, and to Mr. Arthur Denman, Clerk of Assize on the South-Eastern Circuit, and Mr. J. B. Matthews, of the Oxford Circuit, for many valuable suggestions.