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The important changes that have recently taken place in the municipal institutions of this section of the province will doubtless render a digest of the new law a desirable acquisition; and parti. cularly to those persons who, as municipal officers, are now called upon to take an active part in the administration of the laws, and who will, as justices of the peace, need something more than the mere statutes to guide them in the discharge of their duties. The last edition of this work has been disposed of, and the author now cheerfully responds to the call for a new edition. With respect to the merits of the former editions, it is not for him to speak. He cannot however omit recurring with pride and satisfaction to the extensive patronage and circulation which the work has obtained, and he trusts that the purpose for which it was originally designed bas been successfully accomplished.
The General Municipal Act of the 12 Vic. c. 81, ranks among the most important of the measures that have been passed relativo to Upper Canada since the union. Its provisions are lengthy and in some respects elaborate, if not intricate. To render them plainly and easily intelligible to all classes, is one of the objects aimed at in the present edition. The reader will be aware that this act was amended in the following session, by the 13 & 14 V. c. 64. It was deemed expedient, on account of the nature and extent of the amendments, that they should be comprised in schedules to be annexed to the act--and in such form they appear. This method of amendment, although novel in its character, is, under the circumstances, judicious. In order to simplify and elucidate the municipal law, as it now stands, the author concluded that the best plan would be to blend the two acts together. This he has done by introducing the amendments into the original act, in their appropriate places; taking care at the same time to distinguish such amendments from other matter by placing a bracket thus [ ] at the beginning and the end of each amendment, thereby saving the reader the trouble and per. plexity of resorting to the schedules at all, and giving to the whole, in effect, the reading of an original act. He has also subdivided the act into sections, placing each under its proper head or title, such as “ Counties,” “ Cities," « Towns,” &c.; and those clauses of the act which have a general application, he has placed under the title of " Municipal Corporations.
The object of a digest is to convey to the reader, in an abridged form, the substantive parts of law, without embarrassing him with unnecessary prolixity or detail; and this is all the author has ven. tured to attempt in the composition of this volume. The municipal
acts have been published entire, in a convenient pamphlet form, by the enterprising editor of a provincial press, and can be easily procured at a cheap rate by those who may wish to possess their details in full.
Our criminal law has undergone but little modification since the publication of the last edition ; such alterations as have been made, up to the last session of parliament, are all carefully noticed.
The law and office of coroner has been added to the work. It contains also numerous general, forms of office for the guidance of the magistracy; and embraces many other topics of general interest such as the new assessment and jury laws, the laws relating to elections, customs, banking, post office, public meetings, and others, of a general character, interesting as well to the man of business as to the professional reader.
A new and cheap edition of all the statutes would be an important, help to the magistracy, which it is to be hoped will be supplied at the public expense, at no distant date.
The author would also respectfully call the attention of the magistracy to the statute 4 & 5 V. c. 12, which requires justices of the peace to make a return of all convictions and fines had before them to the next general quarter sessions, under a penalty of £20. The accidental neglect of this duty has sometimes exposed magistrates to vexatious qui tam actions, an annoyance which might be easily. guarded against in future by instructing clerks of the peace to remind the magistracy, by means of a printed circular, to be addressed to them periodically, a short time before the sessions, to make their returns.
It should also be borne in mind that under a late statute (the 13 & 14 V.c. 54), an appeal now lies in all cases to the sessions against convictions before individual magistrates. Previously to the passing of this act, an appeal lay only in those cases where it was expressly given by the statute itself. But now it is general, and this change in the law is doubtless an improvement. It will stimulate the presiding justice to a vigilant and impartial discharge of his duty on the one hand, and, on the other, afford just and proper relief in those cases which, through some error in judgment, may require revision.
A very copious index to all the principal matters and forms will be found at the end of the volume; and in the ADDENDA, preceding the index, will be found one or two items which were accidentally · omitted in the body of the work.
With these few remarks the author now submits his labours to an indulgent public, hoping that as the former editions of this work were found useful in their generation, and perhaps not altogether unworthy of the distinguished patronage they received, so the present edition may earn for its author the approving judgment of his former friends and patrons.
TORONTO, 41h April, 1851.
KINCARDINE, K. T., Governor General of British North America, and
Edward, and Vice Admiral of the same, &c. &c. &c.
The Hon. Joseph Bourrett, President.
E. P. Taché,
W. H. Merritt.
John Joseph, Clerk to Executive Council.
Hon. Jas. Leslie, Provincial Secretary.
E. Parent, Esq., Assistant Provincial Secretary East.
Hon. R. A. Tucker, Provincial Registrar.
Hon. Francis Hincks, Inspector General.
Hon. James H. Price, Commissioner of Crown Lands.
Hon. W. H. Merritt, Chief Commissioner Board of Works.
Lieut. Col. Donald Greenfield Macdonell, Deputy Adjutant General
of Militia West. Lieut. Col. Alphonse De Salaberry, Deputy Adjutant General of