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has not been received in England. That which chiefly weighed with the majority was that if this principle received effect, the condition “not answerable for breakage” would have no meaning at all, as it was impossible to hold that it was intended to exempt the shipowner from responsibility for breakage arising from his own gross negligence. This has long been settled by English cases (Phillips v. Clark, 2 C. B. N.S. 156; Lloyd v. Gen. Screw Collier Co., 33 L.J. Ex. 269 ; Grill v. Gen. Screw Collier Co., 35 L.J. C.P. 321, s.c. 1 L.R. C.P. 600). And the main question in the case, that of onus probandi, was decided by the judicial committee of the Privy Council last year, as it is now decided by the Court of Session. In Ohrloff v. Briscall, 35 L.J. P.C. 63, 1 L.R. P.C. 231 (a case not cited in the argument in the Scotch Court), charterers shipped on board the Helene a cargo consisting of casks of oil, wool and rags, and personally superintended the stowage. The bill of lading bore on the margin a memorandum, “not accountable for leakage.” In the course of the voyage the oil casks became heated by contact with the wool and rags, and a very large quantity of the oil was lost by leakage. It was held in a suit against the ship for damages that in the circumstances the shipowners' ignorance of the consequences of stowing the oil casks along with the wool and rags did not amount to such negligence as to render them liable for the loss.
The judgment of the Court of Appeal contains this passage :-"For the respondents it was contended that the word (' leakage') means only ordinary leakage (which according to the evidence amounts to 1 per cent.), and does not extend to extraordinary leakage, such as that in question, amounting to an alleged deficiency of 2000 tons. part of the appellants it was denied that, according to the natural and ordinary meaning of the words employed, the ainount of leakage was at all limited in quantity ; but it was conceded that, in accordance with Phillips v. Clark, the words on the margin did not protect the shipowners from responsibility for leakage occasioned by their own negligence. It was however contended on behalf of the appellants that the plaintiffs must, in order to entitle themselves to the action, give satisfactory proof of such negligence, and that they had failed to do so; and, after a careful consideration of the case, we have come to the conclusion that this contention is well founded." After reviewing the facts the judgment proceeds“For these reasons we think the respondents failed to prove that the leakage was caused by the appellants' negligence. The memorandum in the bill of lading protects the shipowner as to all leakage, except that caused by negligence, and therefore, if no negligence is shown, there is no cause of action.”
Business of the Court of Session. The cases waiting for debate in the Outer House are as follows :—Lord Kinloch, 14 ; Lord Jerviswoode, 22 ; Lord Ormidale, 12 ; Lord Barcaple, 18; Lord Mure, 7. The First Division roll contains 75 ordinary actions and 4 summary cases waiting for hearing ; and 17 ordinary actions and 24 summary actions not ready for hearing, or in which the parties are not moving The Second Division roll contains 71 ordinary and 3 summary cases ready for hearing ; 23 ordinary and 21 summary cases not ready for hearing, or in which parties are not moving. The rolls show a great decrease on the arrears of summar roll cases, and a corresponding increase in the arrears upon the long roll. The extended sittings of the Inner House begin on November 1, but the Lords Ordinary do not take their seats, nor does the regular work of the winter session begin, till November 12. Some of the Lords Ordinary have fixed diets of proof in the first fortnight of November. The number of cases in the Calling Lists during the Vacation was 171, being an increase of 20 above the number called on the two box days in Autumn Vacation 1866.
The Atmosphere of the Parliament House is one of the things which every one, except a few old fogies, complains of, but which no one tries to remedy. Hot air is pumped up, fresh air is excluded, and dust is accumulated until the air in the Outer House is like that of the Arabian desert, deteriorated by carbonic acid exhaled from a thousand legal lungs. Vitiated as the air of the Outer House is, it is pure compared with the air which you attempt to breathe in the close boxes of the Lords Ordinary, especially while a proof is going on. No epithet can describe the aggravated abomination of that air except one, it is absolutely putrid. Unless it is desired to shorten the lives of the members of the legal profession, or to prevent those who have weaker frames from going through an equal quota of work, there is surely no reason why this state of things should continue. If a system of scientific ventilation cannot be at once applied, why should not the daily misery of the profession be at least alleviated by having the windows partially opened, a simple measure which has probably never occurred to the comfortable people who have the charge of such matters. It would be easy for some one in authority to give the necessary directions for letting in some pure air in this way,—failing which, there seems to be no remedy except for the junior bar to come up in the morning provided with stones and catapults, and to make riddles of the great windows.
Scottish Criminal Statistics.- In a very clear and well digested paper on the “ Distinctive Features of Jury Trial in Scotland in Civil and Criminal Procedure as compared with that adopted in England and Ireland,” (Edin., Constable), which was read by Mr Gilbert Rainy Tennent at the late meeting of the Social Science Association, the curious statement is made, that “the proportion of convictions to committals in Scotland in 1865 was 32:07 per cent., and in 1866, 30 per cent.; and of acquittals to convictions, 1865, 8:06 per cent.; 1866, 9.65." This would show an extraordinary inefficiency in the administration of criminal justice, and indeed the figures are so absurd that Mr Tennent could not have quoted them had he not rather hastily adopted the authority of an official abstract. How so huge a blunder got in there, we do not try to explain. It occurs verbatim as Mr Tennent gives it, in the “ Abstract of the Tables of Criminal Offenders for the year 1866, reported by Her Majesty's Advocate for Scotland." The statement on the face of it leaves unaccounted for nearly 60 per cent of the total committals of 1865, and more than that proportion of the committals for 1866. The fact is, that there is not one correct figure in the statement, and that the abstract does not truly represent the results of the parliamentary returns. The clerk who prepared it must have been either incapable or asleep. Correctly stated the results are : 1865, convictions 75-713 per cent. of committals ; acquittals 24:286 per cent.—1866, convictions 76-55 per cent. ; acquittals 23:44 per cent. Convictions include persons outlawed and insane, and acquittals include those discharged without trial. This is the thing which somebody at the British Association meeting at Dundee called "a most excellent and valuable paper;" upon which the Scotsman remarks :
“ Every one knew before that no paper could well be more remarkable for the valuable information which it did not contain; and we now know that no paper could well be more remarkable for the erroneous character of such information as it pretends to give."
Reports of Sheriff Court Decisions. We have resolved to devote a few pages of the Journal to Notes of Cases decided in the Sheriff Courts. The reports of such cases must necessarily, however, be brief and carefully selected, both because the space which we can afford is limited, and because, from the nature of the thing, such reports can very seldom be of authority. The notes which we propose to give are intended to be useful (as indeed our notes of cases in general are mainly intended to be) for information and suggestion rather than for citation as authority. As it would be vain to organize a regular system of reporting for such a purpose, we are obliged at starting to appeal to the public spirit of our readers to furnish us with notes of cases of interest in the Sheriff Courts. And we may suggest that the classes of cases most useful for our pages are those in which the jurisdiction of Sheriffs is privative or final, practice cases, cases of procedure under statutes, especially under recent statutes, and generally actions which are brought less frequently in the Court of Session. But we do not wish to exclude any case which raises points of importance or novelty.
Procurators' Apprentices. The 23d section of the Debts Recovery Act, 30 and 31 Vict. c. 96, remedies the hardship imposed on this class of apprentices, many of whom never become procurators, and with whom money is not always superabundant, by the 24th and 25th Vict., c. 91, s. 34, and the Procurators' Act, 28 and 29 Vict., c. 85. The former Act forbids the registration of any deed or instrument liable to stamp duty, unless the same is duly stamped, while the latter requires all indentures of apprenticeship to procurators (which require £30 stamps) to be recorded within six months from the beginning of the apprenticeship. Previous to the Act of 1865 the practice was to execute an agreement between master and apprentice on a 2s. 6d. or 6d. stamp. The new Act provides that the indenture required by the Procurators' Act shall be held as duly stamped, for the purpose of recording, if it bear a 2s.6d. stamp, and that the remainder of the duty shall be paid on the admission of the apprentice as a procurator in addition to the stamp duty then payable on such admission. It appears from a correspondence published in the Scotsman that since 1865 various indentures unstamped or on sixpenny stamps have been recorded, and complaint is made that the Lord Advocate has made no provision in the Act as to these. We do not see that the Legislature was called upon to grant an indemnity for a violation of the law committed with full knowledge. We give no opinion at present as to the proper remedy where the requirements of the former Acts have not been complied with. A correspondent refers to the Act of 1850 enabling parties to get the opinion of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue as to the deficiency of stamp duty
“And at same time their indentures will be stamped with the full penalty of £10, or such modified penalty as the representation may infer, and after that, in terms of Act 1850, their indentures " shall be receivable in evidence.” £10 is a far lighter penalty than reserving the time if more than a year has run. As for those who neither had their indentures stanıped at all nor registered, thus ignoring both the Revenue and Procurators' Acts, the only course that seems open to them is to begin their apprenticeship as at May 1867-getting it registered and certified now under the half-crown stamp, in terms of the 1867 Act. The loss of time seems inevitable, as no representation could be expected to take effect with the Commissioners unless based on ignorance of the law or inadvertency. So much for the procurators' apprentices. One word as to other professions. If other apprentices were exposed to the same risk of challenge as procurators, it would be found that not one in a thousand ever file even a half-crown stamp. It is only because he is constantly in court, that a procurator's qualifications are so narrowly scrutinised, and that he cannot get off so easily as the session-clerk, who plies his vocation in perhaps every parish in Scotland unlicensed, although scheduled for a qualifying instrument."
County Constabulary.—A correspondent of the Scotsman inquires "how it is that during the last seven years, twenty out of twentyseven superintendents have resigned and left the service ?” And also, “how it is that, during the same period, four chief-constables have been appointed from beyond the pale of the service ?” Perhaps some of our readers may be able to answer the queries.
Royal Commission on the Administration of Justice in England.The Government has appointed a Commission, with a view to effect
" the greatest law reform as yet adventured,”—the revision, it may be the reconstruction, of the entire machinery for the administration of justice in the Superior Courts of England. The greatest credit is due to the adviser of this bold and wise step, whether it be the LordChancellor or the Attorney-General, and upon the whole (though the absence of Lord Westbury is remarkable) the Government is also to be praised for the selection of Commissioners. It is much to be wished that Scotch lawyers of eminence would press for a similar Commission for Scotland. The Commissioners are-Lord Cairns, Sir W. Erle, Sir J. P. Wilde, Sir W. P. Wood, Mr Justice Blackburn, Mr Justice Smith, Sir J. B. Karslake, Sir Roundell Palmer, Mr W. M. James, Mr J. R. Quain, Mr H. C. Rothery, Mr Ayrton, M.P., Mr Hunt, M.P., Mr Childers, M.P., Mr J. Hollams, and Mr F. D. Lowndes. Mr T.J. Bradshaw, Barrister, is Secretary. The Commissioners are directed to inquire into the operation and effect of the present constitution of the English Court of Chancery, the Superior Courts of Law at Westminster, the Central Criminal Court, the Court of Admiralty of England, the Admiralty Court of the Cinque Ports, the Courts of Probate and Divorce for England, the Courts of Common Pleas of the Counties Palatine of Lancaster and Durham, and the Courts of Error and Appeal from all the above-mentioned tribunals, as also into the operation and effect of the present separation and division of their respective jurisdictions. The investigation extends to the arrangements for holding the sittings in London and Middlesex and the assizes in England and Wales, together with the present division of the legal year into terins and vacations; the arrangements for distributing and transacting the judicial business of the Courts, with a view to ascertain what changes and improvements may be advantageously made so as to provide for the more speedy, economical, and satisfactory despatch of the judicial business now transacted by the same courts, and at the sittings and assizes respectively. The Commissioners are also to inquire into the laws relating to juries, especially with reference to the qualifications, summoning, nominating, and enforcing the attendance of jurors.
Paid v. Unpaid Police Magistrates. —A lively discussion, which appears to be periodical, took place on 3d October on this subject in the Town Council of Glasgow. The subject was introduced by Mr J. L. Lang, a Town Councillor, and a member of the Faculty of Procurators highly distinguished for forensic ability and experience. He moved for a Committee to consider as to appointing a stipendiary magistrate or magistrates for the Police Courts of Glasgow, and relieving the bailies from attending thereat. His arguments in favour of the proposal were, the importance of having a trained lawyer to manage cases of great importance to the interests and character of those who were concerned in them, who were often too poor or had not time to procure the aid of a lawyer; that cases often of great civil and pecuniary interest, such as smoke and nuisance cases, were now