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The Legal Observer,
SATURDAY, AUGUST 19, 1854.
RESULTS OF THE SESSION OF 1854.
In the first place it may not be uninter
esting briefly to advert to the record of her ACCORDING to eustom, we proceed to Majesty's Speech on opening the late Sessam up the results of the Session of Par- sion of Parliament, particularly in regard liament which closed on the 12th instant. to the measures which were then intended In the first great outbreak of Law Reform, to be submitted to Parliament. They were, twenty-four years ago, this work was com 1st, the Bills for transferring from the Ecmenced. It has ever since been our duty clesiastical to the Civil Courts the cogto bring under the notice of the Profession, nizance of Testamentary and of Matrimoweek by week, the projects which have nial Causes ;—2nd, for giving increased been devised or completed, not only by the efficiency to the Superior Courts of Law; distinguished personage who led the way, ---3rd, the Enactments relating to the Setbut the numerous corps which followed in tlement of the Poor, in order more effectuhis train. At that time the only periodical ally to promote the freedom of Labour in devoted to legal subjects was the Law Ma- unison with the interests of Capital ;-4th, gazine, which was edited by a young mem- Amendments in the Laws relating to the ber of the Bar of great ability, and published representation of the People, together with quarterly. It appeared to the originators Measures for preventing Bribery and Corof the Legal Observer that the time had rupt Practices at Elections. arrived for establishing a medium of com- On closing the Session last Saturday, munication between Attorneys and Solicitors her Majesty said "I rejoice to perceive throughout the kingdom ; but the work, that Amendments in the Adminish...
savuration of though chiefly devoted to their interests, the Law have conti
maued to occupy, your included within its scope a review of all attention matters, whether parliamentary or judicial -1, and I anticipate great benefit
veut, from the improvements you have made in in any respect affecting the
Protession at the Forms of Procedure in the Superior large. It was specially designed to call Courts of Law.” After observing on the immediate attention to all projectea altera- removal of the last legislative restriction tions in the Law and Practice, and to upon the use of foreign vessels, her Majesty afford a channel of communication for con- says :-"You have also revised and consoveying the views of the members of the lidated the whole Statute Law relating to Profession to their brethren, and discuss- Merchant Shipping." The Speech also ing the merits of the various proposed states that a willing assent was given to changes which rapidly succeeded each the measure for the prevention of Bribery other.
and of Corrupt Practices at Elections, and We have again, therefore, to execute our a hope was expressed,
" that it might annual task, and recall to the attention of prove effectual in the correction of an evil our readers, in a collective form, the seve- which, if unchecked, threatened to fix a ral amendments or alterations of the Law deep stain upon our representative system." which have taken place during the last The Act for the better government of the seven months, the details of which have University of Oxford, and the improvement been laid seriatim before them, and from of its constitution, was also noticed, “trusttime to time discussed in these pages, ing that it will tend greatly to increase the
VOL. XLVITS. No. 1,380.
Results of the Session of 1854.
usefulness, and to extend the renown of this II. Equity. In this department we have great seminary of learning.”
to notice only two Acts,—viz., the Court Classifying the Bills which have passed of Chancery Act, “to make further proboth Houses and received the Royal Assent, vision for the more speedy and efficient we may notice
despatch of business,” by appointing addiI. The most important Act of the Ses- tional temporary clerks and accountants to sion which received her Majesty's personal wind up the matters depending in the resanction on the 12th instant,—the Second maining Musters' Ofices, and in case of Common Law Procedure Act. The Speech need to call in the aid of the Solicitor to suggested to the Queen does not sufficiently the Suitors' Fund. characterise the full scope of the measure,
The other Act extending the jurisdiction for it effects improvements not only in the of the Court of Chancery of the County Forms of procedure, but in the jurisdiction Palatine of Lancaster against persons reof the Superior Courts of Common Law siding out of its jurisdiction, and transferand the means it affords for obtaining ring appeals to the Lords Justices in Chanjustice,-facilitating and expediting the pro- cery instead of the Judges of Assize. ceedings and diminishing the expense of III. The Bankruptcy Act is a very small the suitors. Thus the Act will enable the instalment of the alterations suggested by Judge to try questions of fact, by consent, the Commissioners in their recent report; without a jury ;-to order cases of compli- whilst the continuance of the office of cated accounts to be forth with referred to broker is in opposition to their recomarbitration ;-the parties also may be exa- mendation, and of the evidence taken bemined before trial; and a full discovery of fore them. The present Act enables the documents obtained ;-trials may be ad- Lord Chancellor to diminish the expense of journed ;-affirmations may be received in- the establishment by not filling up the prestead of oaths ;-restrictions relaxed in the sent or future vacancies ; and it provides cross-examination of witnesses and the con- that a petitioning trader must show that his tradiction of a party's own witness ;-proof assets amount to 1501. of handwriting by comparison admitted ;- IV. A short act has also passed for takdocuments insufficiently stamped receivable ing evidence in the Ecclesiastical Courts on payment of duty and penalty ;-appeals vivú voce; and an Act authorising the apon refusal of a new trial ; -- oral examination pointment of Commissioners to administer of witnesses on motions and summonses ;- Oaths and take Declarations, &c., relating power to issue injunctions ;—the examina- to proceedings in the Admiralty Court, and tion of judgment debtors to discover their providing that the Commissioners for adassets; and to attach or take the same in ministering oaths in Chancery may also execution. These and other amendments take affidavits, declarations, &c., in proof the Law place this Act in the fore- ceedings in the Admiralty Court. most rank of the successful labours of the V. În regard to the Law of Property and
Conveyancing, several Bills have received Session.
mon Law, may the royal assent. 1. The Real Estate Under this head of Com...
conder Charges' Act, directing that in case of inalso be noticed the Witnesses' Act, ima
Lenny the heir shall not be entitled to which witnesses in Ireland or Scotland may testov, be compelled to attend and give evidence in have the incumbrances on the estate paid England, and witnesses here to give evi- out of the personal property; and where dence in the Courts there; but reserving testator makes a will and directs his estate the
power of examining them before Com- to be sold, and does not otherwise direct, missioners. In this department may also the land shall be deemed to be personal be classed the Act for registering Bills of estate.
2. The Act to remove doubts conSale of Personal Property, like Warrants cerning the due Acknowledgment of Deeds of Attorney, in the Court of Queen's Bench. by Married Women, whereby the deeds al
These are the three Acts relating to the ready acknowledged are rendered valid, alcourse of proceeding in the Superior Courts though one or both of the Commissioners of Common Law; but to which may be may have been interested in the transaction, added, as affecting the local Courts, the with certain exceptions in cases wherein Act for extending the Right of Appeal in proceedings are pending; but authorising County Courts to cases heard by consent in the Court of Common Pleas to make rules those Courts; and the Manchester Court for preventing Commissioners who are inof Record Act enlarging the Jurisdiction of terested from taking acknowledgments. 3. the Court and amending its practice, Several Acts for the Inclosure of Lands
Results of the Session of 1854.-New Statutes effecting. Alterations in the Law.
295 have been passed. 4. Also an Act to Faci- NEW STATUTES EFFECTING ALTElitate the Sale and Transfer of Incumbered RATIONS IN THE LAW. Estates in the West Indies, under which three Commissioners are to be appointed, the chief to reside in England, and power the present Volume, with an Analysis to each,
The Acts of the present Session printed in is given to appoint local Commissioners. 5. The Management of Episcopal and Ca- will be found at the following pages :pitular Estates. 6. The Arrangement of Income Tax, cc. 17, 24, pp. 46, 131, ante. Turnpike Trusts. 7. The total repeal of Commons' Inclosure, c. 9, p. 64. the Usury Laws, saving transactions pre- County Court Extension, c. 16, 121. vious to the Act, providing that the legal
Registration of Bills of Sale, c. 36, p. 216. or current rate of interest now payable on
Warwick Assizes, c. 35, p. 218. any contract shall mean the same as if this
Attendance of Witnesses, c. 34, p. 235. Act had not passed; and that the Act shall not affect the Law of Pawnbrokers.
Evidence in Ecclesiastical Courts, c. 47, p. VI. The Act to amend the Law relating
254. to the Stamp Duties, whereby a new scale
Coinmons' Inclosure (No. 2), c. 49, p. 254. is fixed for inland and foreign bills and Cruelty to Animals, c. 60, p. 275. notes; also on leases for terms exceeding Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, c. 65, p. 276. 35 years, regulated by the amount of rent, Highway Rates, c. 52, p. 276. and on duplicates or counterparts; with Turnpike Trusts'Arrangements, c. 51, p. 276. provisions as to adhesive stamps on bills and bankers drafts ;-repealing the exemp.
ADMIRALTY COURT. tion from receipt stamp duty on letters of acknowledgment; - directing that deeds
17 & 18 VICT, c. 78. made for several valuable considerations
Commencement of Act, 1st August, shall be chargeable in respect of each ;-and
2. indemnifying parties for omitting to state
Judge of Admiralty may appoint solicithe fall purchase money in assignments on tors and notaries to administer oaths, &c.; the sale of good will. VII. The Consolidation and Amendment
Commissioner's appointment to bear a of the Law relating to Merchant Shipping stamp of 1l. ; s. 4. is a great and important work. The Act
Personal answers may
be taken without a extends to upwards of 200 folio pages, and commission ; s. 5. the analysis occupies upwards of 20 more.
Commission for examination of witnesses VII. Regarding the Criminal Law, the dispensed with, and examiners empowered . Acts which have passed relate to the re- to administer oaths ; s. 6. moval of prisoners, the prosecution of
Answers, affidavits, &c., how to be sworn youthful offenders, and the suppression of and taken in England and Wales ; s. 7. gaming-houses.
Answers, affidavits, &c., how to be sworn IX. Several other Acts of great public and taken out of England and Wales ; s. 8. importance, have also passed, viz., the Penalty for false swearing, &c. ; s. 9. Board of Health, Metropolitan Sewers, and Metropolitan Burial Acts.
Penalty for forging signature or seal of X. The only Act relating to the Law of under this Act; s. 10.
Judge, &c., empowered to administer oaths Parliament is that for consolidating and Power to appoint persons under special amending the Laws relating to Bribery, circumstances to administer oaths, &c.; S. Treating, and undue influence at Elections
11. of Members of Parliament.
Power of Judge to issue commissions as In this brief summary of the general heretofore, to administer oaths, &c. ; s. 12. scope of the several Statutes of the Session,
Power to Court to proceed by way of we have necessarily omitted many details, monition; s. 13. and perhaps have not sufficiently explained Her Majesty may by order in Council all the prominent points, but some of the vary, alter, or abolish fées, and provide for Acts, so far as they are important to the their collection by stamps ; s. 14. practitioner, have already been fully set After such order fees not to be received forth--the rest will speedily follow; and in money, but by means of stamps ; s. 15. during the vacation such notes and anno- Commissioners of Inland Revenue to give tations will be supplied as may be deemed the necessary directions as to the stamps, useful.
and to keep separate accounts; s. 16.
New Statutes effecting Alterations in the Law. Provision for sale of stamps ; s. 17.
said Court ; and any such answers may be filed Commissioners of Inland Revenue
any further or other formality than is make regulations as to allowance for spoiled required in the swearing and filing of an affi
davit. stamps ; s. 18. Provisions of former Acts relating to commission for the examination of any wit
6. It shall not be necessary to sue out any stamps to be applicable to stamps under nesses in any matter, suit, or proceeding in the this Act; s. 19
said Court; and any examiner appointed by No document to be received or used any order of the said Court shall have the like unless stamped ; s. 20.
power of administering oaths as Commissioners. Officers guilty of fraud or wilful neglect now have under commissions issued by the in relation to stamps liable to be dismissed;
Court for the examination of witnesses. s. 21.
7. All answers, examinations, affidavits, dePower to Treasury to order pensions for and attestations in or relating to any matter,
positions on oath, declarations, affirmations, retiring officers ; s. 22.
suit, or proceeding in the said High Court of Provisions to extend to instance, prize, Admiralty shall and may be sworn and taken in and other matters ; s. 23.
England and Wales before any such Commis
sioner appointed as aforesaid, or before any The following are the Title and Sections magistrate or justice of the peace, or before of the Act :
any Commissioner to administer Oaths in Chan
cery. An Act to appoint Persons to administer Oaths, and io substitute Stamps in lieu of positions on oath, declarations, affirmations,
8. All answers, examinations, affidavits, deFees, and for other purposes, in the High and attestations in or relating to any matter, Court of Admiralty of England.
suit, or proceeding in the High Court of Ad[7th August, 1854.]
miralty of England shall and may be sworn Whereas doubts have arisen whether the and taken in Scotland or Ireland, or the Isle of “ Commissioners to administer Oaths in Chan- Man, or the Channel Islands, or any of them, cery” may lawfully administer oaths, or take or in any colony, island, plantation, or place declarations, affirmations, or attestations, in the under the dominion of her Majesty in foreign High Court of Admiralty of England: and parts, before any Judge, Court, magistrate, whereas it is expedient that fit and proper notary public, or person lawfully authorised to persons should be forth with appointed for administer oaths in such country, island, or such purposes ; and it is also expedient to pro- plantation, or place respectively, or before any vide for the collection of the fees payable in re- of her Majesty's consuls or vice-consuls in any lation to proceedings in the said Court by foreign parts out of her Majesty's dominions ; means of stamps to be provided and used for and the Judge and other officers of the said the purpose : be it enacted as follows: High Court of Admiralty shall take judicial
1. This Act may for all purposes be cited as notice of the seal or signature, as the case may the "Admiralty Court Act, 1854."
be, of any such Judge, Court, magistrate, 2. This Act shall come into operation on the notary public, person, consul, or vice-consul 1st day of August, 1854.
attached, appended, or subscribed to any such 3. It shall be lawful for the Judge of the answers, examinations, affidavits, depositions High Court of Admiralty of England, and he on oath, declarations, affirmations, and attesis hereby empowered, from time to time and stations, or the documents to be used in the as and when he may think fit, to appoint any said Court. person practising as a proctor, solicitor, or 9. All persons swearing, declaring, affirming, notary public in any part of England and Wales or attesting before any person authorised by to administer oaths and take declarations, af- this Act to administer oathis and take declarafirmations, and attestations in or relating to tions, affirmations, and attestations, shall be any matter, suit, or proceeding in the High liable to all such penalties, punishinents, and Court of Admiralty of England; and such consequences for any wilful and corrupt false persons shall be styled “Commissioners to ad- swearing, declaring, affirming, or attesting conminister Oaths in Admiralty," and shall be tained therein, as if the matter sworn, declared, entitled to charge and take a fee of 1s. 6d. for affirmed, or attested had been sworn, declared, every oath administered by them, and for every affirmed, or attested before any Court or perdeclaration, affirmation, and attestation, taken son now by law authorised to administer oaths by them, subject to any order of the Judge of and take declarations, affirmations, and attestathe said Court varying or annulling the same. tions.
4. The fiat or document by which any such 10. If any person shall forge the signature or Commissioner shall be appointed shall bear a the official seal of any Commissioner, Judge, stamp of 11., and it shall not be necessary that Court, magistrate, notary public, or other person any such appointment should be published in lawfully authorised to administer oaths and take the London Gazette.
declarations, affirmations, or attestations under 5. It shall not be necessary to sue out any this Act, or shall tender in evidence any ancommission to take the personal answers of any swers, examination, deposition on oath, departy in any matter, suit, or proceeding in the claration, affirmation, attestation, or other ju
Neo Statutes efftoting Alterations in the immes.
297 dicial or official dncument, with a false or where any fee shi he payable in respect of counterfeit signature or seal of any such Com- any document, sucur! ' shall, at the expense missioner, Judge, Court, magistrate, notary of the party liable to pay, and in such manner publie, or other person authorised as aforesaid, and under such regulations as shall by any attached or appended thereto, knowing the oriler of the Judge of the said Court be disame signature or seal to be false or counter- rected, be stamped or affixed on the vellum, feit
, every such person shall be guilty of felony, parchment, or paper on which the proceeding and shall be liable to the samne punishment as in respect whereof such fee is payable is writany offender under an Act passed in the 8 & 9 ten, printed, or engrossed, or which may be Vict., intituled “An Act to facilitate the Ad- otherwise used in reference to such proceeding. mission in Eridence of certain official and other 16. The Commissioners of Inland Revenue Documents."
shall from time to tiine and as occasion sball 11. The Judge of the High Court of Ad. require give the necessary directions for carmiralty of England may, whenever it shall ap- rying the same into effect, and shall provide pear to hiin necessary so to do, authorise any everything that is requisite for that purpose, person to administer oaths and to take affi- and shall do or cause to be done everything davits, depositions on oath, declarations, af. that is necessary for the receipt and collection firmations, and att stations during the time of the money to be paid for such stamps, and such person shall be on the high seas, or in any the said Commissioners shall cause separate place not within her Majesty's dominions, in and distinct accounts to be kept of all sums of or relating to prize proceedings in the said money received or collected by them in respect Court, and it shall not be necessary to athix of the sale of such stamps, and of all costs, any stamp to the fiat or document by which charges, and expenses incurred by them, or by any such person shall be appointed.
their direction, in carrying the same into effect. 12. No:hing herein contained shall abridge 17. The Commissioners of Inland Revenue or lessen the power of the Judge of the said may, if they think it necessary to do so, authoHigh Court of Admiralty of England as it now rise proper persons for the sale and distribu. exists to issue cominissions as heretofore, and tion of all or any of the stamps to be used to appoint fit persons to administer oaths, de under this Act, and may allow to such persons clarations, affirmations, and attestations, and the usual or customary discount or poundage generally to execute any commissions, nor shall thereon. affect in any manner the power of the Judge 18. The Commissioners of Inland Revenue or surrogates of the said Court to administer shall from time to time make such regulations oaths and take affidavits, depositions on oath, as they shall think fit for the allowance of such declarations, affirmations, and attestations as stamps issued under the provisions of this heretofore, in or relating to any matter, suit, or Act as may have been spoiled or rendered proceeding in the said Court.
useless or unfit for the purpose intended, or 13. In all cases in which a party has a cause for which the owner may have no immediate or right of action in the High Court of Ad- use, or which through mistake or inadvertence miralty of England against any ship, or freight, may have been improperly or unnecessarily goods or other effects whatever. it shall noť be used, and such allowance shall be made either necessary to the institution of the suit for such by giving other stamps in lieu of the stamps person to sue out a warrant for the arrest so allowed, or by repaying the amount thereof, but it shall be competent to him to value to the owner or holder thereof, after de. proceed by way of monition, citing the owner ducting the discount or poundage (if any) alor owners of such ship, freight, goods or other lowed on stamps of the like kind. effect: to appear and defend the suit, and upon 19. The provisions contained in the several satisfactory proof being given that the said acis for the time being in force relating to monition has been personally served upon such stamps under the care or management of owner 0o'yners, the said Court may proceed the Commissioners of Inland Revenue shall to hear and determine the suit, and may make (so far as the same are applicable and consuch order in the prennises as to it shall seein sistent with the provisions of this Act), in all right
cases not hereby expressly provided for, be of 14. Her Majesty may by order in Council full force and effect with respect to the stamps from tune to tiine vary, alt ir, or abolish all or to be provided under or lry virtue of this Act, any of the fee payable in relation to proceedl. and to the vellum, parchment, or paper on or ings in the High Court of Admiralty of Eng- to which the same stamps shall be impressed : land, and may substitute one or more fee or or affixed, and be applied and put in execution fees in lieu thereof, and may direct that all or for collecting and securing the sums of money any of such fees shall, from a day to be nained denoted thereby, and for preventing, detecting, in such order and thenceforth, he collected by and punishing all frauds, forgeries, and other means of stainns, to be provided and used in offences relating thereto, as fully and effectually manner hereinafter-mentioned.
to all intents and purposes, as if such provi 13. From and after the day named in such sions had been herein repeated and specially order the fees directed by such order to be re. enacted with reference io the 'said last-menceived by stamps shall not be received in tioned stamps and sums of money respectively. money, but by a stamp denoting the amount of 20. No document which by aby order as the fee which otherwise would be payable; and aforesaid ought to have had a stamp impressed