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THE FOURTH EDITION.
In preparing this Edition of The SUMMARY for the press, the original plan of the work, which seems admirably adapted to its proposed object, has been pursued, and the several statutes relative to the DUTIES OF A JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, which have been passed since the publication of the Third Edition, to the close of the last session of Parliament, (including the late Statutes passed for improving the administration of Criminal Justice in England,) have been carefully abridged and incorporated. The Title Poor has been partly rewritten, and will, it is hoped, be now found an useful compendium for young magistrates in that necessary but intricate branch of their jurisdiction. The work has also undergone a complete revision; all the repealed Statutes omitted ; many errors have been corrected, some new heads have been added, and much matter introduced which fell within the scope of the publication, but was omitted in the previous editions.
Temple, Oct. 1, 1827.
NOTWITUSTANDING the deserved popularity of Dr. Burn's Justice, it seems more diffuse than is necessary for a book of reference to those who have the Statutes at Large to recur to, and not diffuse enough for those who have not. In cases where the magistrate acts only in his ministerial capacity, as in commitments for trial, &c. an abridgment of the law may be sufficient: but in convictions under a penal statute, he never ought to determine without having the exact words of the statute before him. This little Summary points out and abridges those laws that relate to the duties of a justice of the peace out of sessions. If the outline were filled up, and the precise words of every clause inserted at length, it would be a very valuable acquisition to such magistrates as cannot have recourse to a law library; and if all the extraneous matter with which Dr. Burn's work is filled, were omitted, selecting such things only as concern the office of a justice of the peace out of sessions, the bulk of the volume, instead of being increased, would be considerably diminished. This work is confined to the duties of a justice out of sessions, because at the sessions the magistrate will find ample means of reference, besides the opportunity of consulting his friends at the bar and his colleagues on the bench.
Dr. Burn has omitted the laws that relate solely to
the Metropolis, except with regard to hackney-coaches; the reason for this exception is not very clear: if, from the multitude of persons from all parts of the united kingdom that occasionally come to the Metropolis, it was thought necessary (as it certainly is necessary) to insert those laws in a work intended for general use, the same reasoning will attach to other local acts of the same kind. Therefore, in this book, all the laws that relate to London and its immediate vicinity are thrown together, and inserted at the end of the volume.
To avoid repetition and reduce the size of the work as much as was consistent with perspicuity, the abbreviations used by Sir William Addington in that very useful work, the Abridgment of the Penal Statutes, are adopted here: P. denoting the penalty ; R. the mode of recovering it; A, the application; Ap. the appeal; J. 1. or 2. and W. l. or 2., one or two justices, or witnesses.
Wherever the law says a matter is determinable by one or more justice or justices, J. 1. is only inserted, the rest being merely superfluous words, as certainly every act that may be done by one justice may be done by two or more.
Directions for one justice to be of the quorum are omitted, as is the article Quorum in the work, since the thing no longer exists; and by 26 G. 2. c. 27. it is enacted, that no proceeding shall be set aside for the omission, though the statute should expressly require, that one of the justices shall be of the quorum.
It is hardly necessary to add, that wherever sessions occurs, the quarter-sessions of the peace is meant.