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The Legal

Observer,

AND

SOLICITORS' JOURNAL.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7, 1854.

TION OF THE FUNDS.

PROPERTY OF THE INNS OF COURT both branches of the Profession. 2nd. The AND CHANCERY.

Members of the Bar. 3rd. The Attorneys

and Solicitors. The first points for consiNATURE OF THE TRUST AND APPLICA. deration will be, whether the property, as

well of the Inns of Chancery as of the Inns In the last and present Number we have of Court, should be administered jointly or given a full report of the debate which took separately? Whether the whole should be place last Session in the House of Com- under a united governing body, consisting mons on the state of the Inns of Court and of the Benchers of the Inns of Court and Chancery. The resolution of the House in the Ancients of the Inns of Chancery, for favour of the proposed reform was followed the joint benefit of both branches of the by, a Royal Commission of Inquiry. The Profession ;-or whether the Benchers of principal object of the measure is, to ensure

the four great Societies should continue a sound legal education. We trust, also, trustees for the Bar only, and the Ancients that besides this express end and purpose

of the other Inns trustees for the second of the Commission, there will result other branch of the Profession? advantages to the Profession, and that In some respects it might be preferable whilst the young are better prepared for to constitute, as it were, one general Unitheir examination and their call to the Bar versity, including both classes of students or admission on the Roll, the Practitioners and both classes of practitioners ;-incorof the law will be aided and assisted in the porating, in fact, the whole Profession: the discharge of their professional duties, by Bar, the Attorneys, and the Students. collecting and circulating the best works Thus, the Student for the Bar and the on all the alterations in the Law and the Articled Clerk or Pupil would be Underpractice of the Courts.

graduates ; the Attorney would hold the It cannot be doubted that the property position of Bachelor of Laws; the Barrisbelonging to the Inns of Court and Chan- ter that of Doctor of Laws; and the memcery—those ancient Colleges and Halls of bers of each of these grades would be enour great University of the Law-is held in titled, after the regular course of study, the trust for the use and benefit of the students attendance of lectures, and passing the exand members of the Profession ;1 and the amination, to advance from one step to only question before the Commissioners, we another in the several ranks of the Propresume, will be, -What is the proper mode

fession. of rendering this property the most avail

If, however, the two branches of the able in execution of the trust ?

Profession were united under one governing Looking at the Inns of Court and Chan- body, the leading members of the higher cery collectively, it may be taken for granted grade would not only be larger in number that the parties beneficially interested, or the but more influential and powerful, and it cestuis que trustent for whom the property might, therefore, not unreasonably be apis held, are,—Ist. The Students at Law in prehended, that they would occasionally

favour their own order," sometimes to See the extracts from Fortescue, p. 424, the prejudice of the junior or larger branch ante.

of the Profession. VOL. XLVIII. No. 1,387.

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434 Property of the Inns of Court and Chancery.-Inns of Court and Chancery Debate.

On the other hand, the two great branches The reforms which have been effected on of Practice having long been kept distinct, are projected in the Universities of Oxford it may be expedient to continue the same and Cambridge, and in the corporation of course,–leaving the funds of the Inns of the city of London, have been conducted Court to be applied for the benefit of the with due regard to the vested rights and students and members of the Bar; and the just interests of those institutions; and we funds of the Inns of Chancery for the be- cannot entertain the slightest apprehension nefit of attorneys and solicitors. There is, that the excellent and learned Judges, and however, this material difference in regard other eminent Commissioners, who are deto those who may be entitled to participate legated to conduct the inquiry and report in the application of the revenues of the their opinion, will come to any concluInns of Court from those of the Inns of sion adverse to the true interests and welChancery,—that every student for the Bar fare of their brethren. and every barrister must belong to one of The Commissioners will, of course, withthe Inns of Court ;—whilst the attorneys out loss of time, procure the fullest inforand solicitors need not be members, and mation on the state of the revenues of the very few of them are members of the Inns Inns of Court and Chancery, and the apof Chancery. It would, therefore, be ne. plication thereof. We may venture to sug. cessary and just, that in order to partake of gest the expediency of adopting the course the benefits which may be derived from a taken by most of the other Royal Commisreform in the application of the funds of the sioners in issuing a series of questions to be Inns of Chancery, that the attorneys and answered by the several authorities of the solicitors shall be required to join these Inns of Court and Chancery,—by eminent societies and contribute the usual dues pay- members of the Bar,—by solicitors of ex. able by the members thereof.

perience,- and by the several Law SocieThe most proper and expedient course ties. Thus the Commissioners would have would probably be, to incorporate the whole before them many valuable suggestions, Profession of attorneys and solicitors, and which would essentially aid them in arriving require them to become members either of at a satisfactory conclusion,—at once meetone of the Inns of Chancery or of the ing the approbation of the public, and the Incorporated Law Society. In the latter, cordial support of the Profession. there is a very extensive Library, and there a numerous course of Lectures is delivered, INNS OF COURT AND CHANCERY and the Examination takes place.

The

DEBATE. members of the Inns of Chancery as soli. citors, have largely contributed to the formation of that useful Institution.

This important debate was concluded as

follows:A moderate fee on admission, and a small annual subscription, would be sufficient, not The Attorney-General was anxious to take an only for the purpose of effecting the sug- early opportunity of stating that he gave his most gested improvements in Education, by in- ready and cordial assent to the proposal of the creasing the Library and instituting new It was unnecessary for him to go into the

righé hon. and learned gentleman (Mr. Napier). Courses of Lectures adapted for the use of origin of the Inns of Court. It was quite enough the practising solicitor, but to supply the that the Inns of Court had had committed to members with useful works, and ultimately, them the preservation, control, and superinwe hope, to provide a fund for the relief of tendence of the Legal Profession, to entitle the the aged and unfortunate but meritorious House to enter upon a thorough inquiry into members.

their constitution and the means they possessed. We presume that in the reforms which

He agreed with the right hon. and learned are contemplated, there can be no intention in the proper maintenance and high character

gentleman that the country had a deep interest to displace the heads of either class of of the Legal Profession. There were none these "ancient and honourable societies.” who might not have occasion to come to them Whatever changes may be recommended for assistance and service - From the body of will be best carried into operation by the the lawyers the judicial body were taken-and “ Benchers” of the Inns of Court on the their character was, upon every ground, matter one hand, and the “ Ancients” of the Inns of public concern, in which the public were inof Chancery on the other. The rights of pro- that he did not anticipate from the appoint

terested. But at the same time, he must say perty, and the privileges of the members of ment of the commission those great results the respective societies will, of course, re- which the right hon. and learned geotleman main untouched.

seemed to expect. If the present state of legal

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Inns of Court and Chancery Debate.

435 education resembled that which existed when became compulsory no good would be done. the right hon. gentleman first became a mem- The branch of the Profession to which he had ber of the Profession, it would indeed be a long had the honour of belonging had given matter of paramount necessity that such a to the world Lord Stowell, who was a powercommission of inquiry should issue. But hon. ful illustration of the advantages which atmembers must not overlook all that had been tended the cultivation of the science of jurisdone of late years to place legal education upon prudence. That learned lord had studied the a sound basis. No less than five public pro- principles of jurisprudence in almost every fessorships had been founded within the last language, and was regarded as one of the few years, namely—the professorship of civil greatest authorities wbo ever lived. law and general jurisprudence, the professor- The Solicitor-General said, he should be ship of common law, the professorship of real sorry to allow this subject to pass by without property, the professorship of equity, and the making a few observations; and, in the first professorship of constitutional law and legal place, he wished to express the gratitude which history. All these professorships had been he, and he was sure the whole of the Professupplied with funds, and although examina- sion, must feel to the right hon. gentleman for tions were not compulsory, still an experiment the manner in which he had brought forward bad been tried and a great step had been this important question. But he could not taken. There could be no doubt that the agree in the opinion expressed by his hon. governing bodies of the Inns of Court were and learned friend the Attorney-General, that most anxious in their desire to place legal the subject should be left entirely to the Inns education upon a sound and satisfactory foot- of Court themselves. It was an undoubted ing. When he reminded the House that fact, that those learned bodies had done somewhat had already been done had the sanction thing in the way of reform, but what had been of such names as those of the Master of the effected was mainly through the students themRolls, Sir P. Wood, Lord St. Leonards, Sir selves, who were very anxious to obtain inK. Bruce, and others of similar position, he struction, and who were endeavouring, as far Deed not say that the matter was in admirable as possible, to reap the benefit of the instituhands. Stúdentships had been founded and a tions which had been founded, and which, ungreat deal had been done. The matter was in questionably, of late had been placed on a very safe keeping, but the right hon. and learned wide basis. It was now about eight or nine gentleman thought a commission ought to years since he first drew the attention of the issue. Be it so. One result, at least, would Inns of Court to the neglect of those great follow from the appointment of a commission, duties which he considered it was incumbent since it would dissipate a great deal of miscon- upon them to discharge. In 1832, a Comception relative to the revenues and resources mittee having been appointed, a more liberal of the Inns of Court, and the application of system, but one by no means adequate to the those revenues to the purposes of legal edu- wants of the students, was framed; but he cation. There was but one feeling among the thought it was their duty to extend as much as Benchers of the Middle Temple-of whom he possible, the legal education of the whole body was one-on this subject, and they had de- of the people. With respect to all their other puted him to say that they should be most institutions, they invited the people of the happy to give every possible assistance to the country to take part in the administration of commission. A similar feeling was expressed the law, and it was their bounden duty, thereby the Benchers of the Inner Temple, and the fore to give them the means of obtaining a hon and learned member for West Suffolk general knowledge of the principles of the law. (Sir F. Kelly) the Treasurer of Lincoln's Inn, The Universities had for a long time been neg had authorised him to say that the same feel lectful, and the Inns of Court, he said, had ing pervaded that body. The governing bodies shared in that neglect, and the only thing he of the Legal Profession would cheerfully re- regretted on the present occasion was that the ceive suggestions and cordially adopt any terms of this motion were not a little more measures which would raise the character of comprehensive. He should like to see the the Legal Profession. At this time of day, Inns of Court erected into one great legal when public bodies and institutions were snb- university, for the purpose not merely of projected to a searching inquiry, it would ill be- moting the education and legal instruction of come the Inps of Court to offer the least oppo- the Profession, but for the purpose of co-opesition to inquiry. It did public bodies good rating with the Universities of Oxford, Camto let light and air into their proceedings. bridge, and London for the public good. He This was the case with the Universities of hoped to see the time when, in the great Oxford and Cambridge, and, when the time scheme for the improvement of the seats of came for a similar inquiry into the University learning and the Courts of the country, there of Dublin, he hoped the right hon. and learn would be found departments in which a deed gentleman would be as ready to acquiesce gree-manifesting the attainment of some in such an inquiry as the Inns of Court had knowledge and some experience in the law, been to acquiesce in the motion of the right and which degree would be requisite to give a hon. and learned gentleman.

position at the Bar-should be granted as the Mr. R. Phillimore wished to express his reward of study and

genius. "He, therefore, opinion, that until the examinations of students hoped that there would

be introduced into the

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Inns of Court and Chancery Debate. Universities of Oxford and Cambridge a sys- state of the law of this country, on many occatem of general instruction in jurisprudence sions, was such as to cause great regret at the and the law, and that the Inns of Court might limited knowledge the English barrister posbe erected into a public institution to perfect sessed on many

points which became the oband carry into practice that course of know. ject of inquiry, and whoever was conversant ledge and study which a certain number of with the administration of the law with respect persons might have commenced at the univer- to railways, when they first became regularly sities. At present the universities admitted of established, must have observed with regret the education of a limited number only, but a and with shame that there was an entire want large class would like to resort to a school of of knowledge with regard to the law as it law if it were established upon the basis which affected those companies ; the consequence was, it ought to be in this country. It was with the adjudication of cases in the Courts of Law some shame that he had ascertained the unfa- first set in one current and then in another, invourable position we were in, contrasted with troducing a variety of conflicting decisions with France. In Paris alone the number of profes- respect to such cases, and a degree of uncersors reading in the different departments of tainty and confusion greatly to be deplored. the law, with a view to the education of the This state of things was to be attributed in a people at large, was more than three times the great measure to that want of instruction in number lately established in this country. Nor original principles which, he must say, had was this confined to Paris, but in eight of the hitherto been characteristic of English juris. large municipal towns were established local consults, but which he hoped would no longer universities or large public schools for the continue to exist. teaching of the law. Nothing of the kind ex- Mr. Bowyer said, that being one of the reaisted in this country, but he hoped the time ders to the inn to which the Solicitor-General was not far distant when so pressing a want belonged, it gave him much pleasure to be able would be supplied. But he should be sorry if to state that many of the improvements introthe House were to be impressed with the opi- duced had resulted from the labours of that nion that the Inns of Court continued in a learned and hon. gentleman. He was glad to state of insensibility as to the present want find that the learned Solicitor-General diswhich was everywhere making itself felt. The sented from the opinion expressed, that it Inns of Court were valuable national institu- would be better to leave the matter where it tions, invested for the public service with cer- was. Nothing in the way of improvement tain rights, and having corresponding duties would ever be done so long as people were saand obligations to discharge, and, in his opi- tisfied with things as they were. In his opinion, the manner in which those duties and nion very little had yet been done, for when those obligations ought to be discharged would be referred to the report of the Committee be a very proper subject for inquiry by this of the Council of the Inns of Court on Legal House; and if it should be necessary to give Education, he found the stipend of each reader them additional powers for the more extensive was to be 300 guineas per annum, which he conand efficient discharge of their duties, there tended was not sufficient for the payment of percould not be a fitter occasion on which to do sons who performed such important duties in 80 than the present. He trusted, with the reference to legal education. They were told right hon. gentleman who had brought this that the revenues had been overrated, but they matter forward, that it would not only receive had had no means of judging, as the amount attention in proper quarters, but that the Com- had hitherto been kept secret from the Public mission would be directed to the attainment of and the Bar; but he believed it would be still greater ends than those it was more im- found quite sufficient, not only to remunerate mediately proposed to attain by it: but he readers more handsomely, but to dispense with would mention, in justice to the Inns of Court, the fee of five guineas paid by students on that, in addition to the nine studentships, four their admission to the lectures, which fee, he of which entitled the holders to 50 guineas a contended, was a great hardship upon the year, and were conferred as prizes for the young men, and operated as a discouragement greatest proficiency, there was also given to to persons anxious to obtain a legal educa. the Council of Legal Education, over which he tion. He pointed to Germany and other had the honour to preside, power to grant countries, as affording a great contrast to ours certificates of honour, which entitled the reci- with respect to the study of jurisprudence, -a pients to some standing in the Inns of Court, science which, in his opinion, it was of the and in that Profession to which it was probable greatest importance to cultivate. If they had they would eventually belong. A good basis a body of professors they would be found of had therefore been established, and all that the greatest service in a subject which more was wanted was a compulsory examination, and more engaged the attention of Parliament which, in his opinion, was an essential requi- -he meant the proper revision of Acts of Parsite to the perfection of any system. In addi- liament. He said, a body of professors, competion to the things he had mentioned, there were tent to assist in drawing up Acts, and to point a number of professorships, which would give out what in each case would be the best method great facilities to all who wished to obtain that of attaining the particular object the Legislaeducation which was absolutely necessary to ture had in view, would be of the greatest use. those whose intention it was to go to the Bar. The They could be always referred to by the Go.

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Inns of Court and Chancery Debate.- New Statutes. vernment, would render assistance to the law he could not state the exact sum. From the officers of the Crown, and might be referred information furnished by that return, he was to for their opinion in matters of public import- able to make a calculation which led him to ance, or on any difficult points of international estimate that the revenue derived annually law. He thought there ought to be a thorough from the rent of chambers alone by the four examination into the revenues of the Inns of Inns of Court amounted to no less a sum than Court, and that the public ought to be in- 87,6801. per annum; which was all originally formed, not only what they amounted to, but derived from the ground they held in trust for how they were applied, in order that the object the use of the law students, and for which land for which these Inns of Court were established they only paid a nominal sum. How then did -namely, the promotion of legal education they discharge their trust properly when they among the people-should be secured. demanded such an immense sum of money for

Mr. V. Scully said, that the object of this chambers that the loss from those unoccupied Commission would be, that any illusion as to he estimated at 1,2001, a year. They also the enormous revenues of the Inns of Court charged expensive fees on the granting of the would be dissipated. They would know what degree of barrister, and demanded, besides, those revenues were. If they were adequate from each student fees to the amount of 351., they would be applied in a proper manner, and in addition to the 1001. caution-money depoif they were not adequate for the purposes for sited as security, while the students were eatwhich they were intended they might be made ing their terms, the interest of which was 50. He hoped the result would be a system gained by them. He calculated that, from all of examination attended by rewards to stu, sources, they derived a revenue amounting to dents who had distinguished themselves, and nearly 100,000l. a year–a sum far more than also by disqualification if that were necessary, sufficient to provide for the legal education of They ought also to have a proper system of every student who went there. He had no legal education, such as that the Solicitor- doubt the commission would be attended with General had expressed his approval of, and he very good results ; but he, with other memtrusted that the recommendations of this Com- bers, regretted that it was not so comprehenmission would not be allowed to lie dormant, sive as to enable it to inquire into the conduct but wonld be at once acted upon. He wished of the Inns of Court, and the way in which to enforce on the Solicitor-General the neces- they had discharged their duty. sity of completing the reform on this question Mr. Napier, in reply, corrected a misapat once, so as to render no supplemental mea- prehension of the Attorney-General with resures necessary.

spect to the University of Dublin ; that uniMr. Hadfield earnestly hoped, that the pro-versity had, immediately after Mr. Wyse's posed measure might be one of a liberal ten committee instituted professors of general law dency, as be thought the time had arrived and civil jurisprudence, and there had not been when the major part of her Majesty's subjects any university in the United Kingdom that had should be no longer excluded from these edu- gone so far to meet the spirit of the times as cational institutions, but that free access should that one had. be given to all who claimed to be instructed. The motion was then agreed to. He hoped, therefore, some plan would be adopted to throw open the universities, and

[lt will be observed that not a word was that that reform would extend to the removal said, in the course of the debate, on the eduof all tests and difficulties which at present ex: cation of Attorneys and Solicitors, and though isted, whereby many persons who possessed the resolution includes the Inns of Chancery, conscientious' scruples were prevented from

we hear nothing of the mode in which it is protaking the benefit of those institutions.

Mr. Craufurd was rejoiced to find so great a posed to interfere with the revenues of those unanimity on the part of the hon. and learned Societies.-Ed.] gentlemen who had spoken on the subject with respect to the necessity of these reforms; and NEW STATUTES EFFECTING ALTEhe considered it greatly to the credit of the

RATIONS IN THE LAW. Government that they had so readily acceded to them. Notwithstanding, however, the eulo

The Acts of the present Session printed in gium which had been passed by one right hon. and learned gentleman upon the Inns of Court, the present Volume, with an Analysis to each; it was his opinion that no corporation in the will be found at the following pages :kingdom had committed grosser breaches of Income Tax, cc. 17, 24, pp. 46, 13t, ante. trust than those same inns; for he found, on

Commons' Inclosure, c. 9, p. 64. reference to history, that they were founded for the purposes of lodging students and in- County Court Extension, c. 16, 121. structing them in the laws of England. It Registration of Bills of Sale, c. 36, p. 216. had been stated by the hon. member for Dun- Warwick Assizes, c. 35, p. dalk that they had no means of arriving at any

Attendance of Witnesses, c. 34, p. 235. judgment as to the revenues; but, from a return which he had moved for last Session, he was

Evidence in Ecclesiastical Courts, c. 47, p. able to form some approximate idea, although 254.

218.

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