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afforded most important assistance in most of the bills in this class, and especially in bringing in the bill relating to real actions.
(VI.) Criminal Law.-This class contains, in addition to the criminal law bills already referred to, some others of importance.
(VII.) Bankruptcy and Insolvency.—This class contains several important measures, especially the great Act establishing a Court of Bankruptcy, by which, amongst other things, the entire patronage of the seventy Commissionerships of Bankruptcy (perhaps the very sweetest flower in the whole nosegay of a Chancellor's patronage) was at once swept away.
(VIII.) Local Courts. Of the reform effected by the Acts and bills under this head we shall speak presently.
(IX.) Law of Evidence and Procedure. ---This head contains reference to several Acts which have embodied many of Lord Brougham's views with respect to arbitration, the jury trial, and evidence. As far back as 1845, Lord Brougham had brought in a measure empowering parties in a civil action to be witnesses; and in 1851 he passed, notwithstanding the strenuous opposition of Lord Chancellor Truro, what perhaps is one of the most beneficial changes in the law which we owe to him—the enabling and compelling parties themselves to be witnesses in a civil action. This was afterwards extended so as to permit husband and wife to give evidence for or against each other, except in cases of adultery and criminal procedure. Perhaps no measure of Lord Brougham's was regarded with greater distrust by the bench, the bar, and the attorneys; yet it is now, with common assent, allowed to be one of the most admirable measures for the advancement of truth and justice that have ever been passed.
(X.)—This last head contains several bills, some of considerable importance, on miscellaneous subjects. Amongst them is the Bill for the Compilation of Judicial Statistics, which, though it did not pass, has already borne good fruit by producing an important volume, printed under the direction of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, and which embodies many important details relative to police and constabulary matters, criminal proceedings, and prisons and prisoners.
Since 1828 four new Courts have been established through the exertions of Lord Brougham.
1. The Judicial Committee put an end to the Court of Delegates, and gave a good appellate jurisdiction in all Colonial as well as Admiralty causes. It was founded in 1833, but its jurisdiction was extended by subsequent Acts, and of these the most important is the jurisdiction vested (1835) in it of extending the period of patents for inventions. The right still continues of applying to Parliament, for nothing can preclude the power of the Legislature, yet no such course has ever been taken, all parties being satisfied with the Judicial Committee, and probably feeling assured that the application for a private Act would no longer be entertained. What endless expense, vexation, and delay would have been saved to the illustrious Watt, if, instead of his long battle in Parliament, he could have resorted to this cheap and expeditious remedy !
2. The whole jurisdiction in Bankruptcy has been changed by the establishment in 1831 of the Bankruptcy Court, and the suppression of the seventy commissioners. This measure was found to work so well in the London district, to which it was at first confined, that in 1842 it was extended to the rest of the country. Among other advantages of the new machinery, it was the means of realizing from bankrupt estates near two millions, which had been lying neglected for years through the supineness of creditors and the assignees.
3. The Central Criminal Court, established in 1834, has jurisdiction over the metropolis and neighbouring districts, including a population little short of three millions, and by its twelve or thirteen sittings in the year ensures the speedy trial of offenders. The extension of the plan to the rest of the country will probably result from the great success of this Court.
4. The establishment of local judicature by the County-Courts, whose jurisdiction now extends to 50l., has produced incalculable benefits; but the addition of equitable jurisdiction in accordance with the original plan of 1833 is still considered by some to be expedient, as well as the power to try by consent of parties causes to any amount and of every kind. The sums sought to be recovered in these Courts are counted by millions, and even where they have a concurrent jurisdiction with the superior Courts they obtain the preference in the majority of instances.
If, as has been said, the Scotts and Ellenboroughs would not know in what country they were if they came back and saw the new judicatures which had been established, so neither would they recognise the system of law administered in the old Courts, so great have been the alteration in procedure, the simplification of the laws relating to real property, and the great changes in the law of evidence. A large part of the success which has attended the alterations must be imputed to the fact that they have been well considered, acutely criticised, and in general only passed after repeated attempts and often renewed scrutiny. Lord Brougham has recently dwelt on the fact that even Newton's discoveries, great and rapid as they were, obeyed the
law of gradual progress which governs all human approaches towards perfection; and that this law is not confined to physics. Hume and Adam Smith, he observes, had their predecessors in political economy; and Fra Bartolommeo and Perugino preceded Raphael. Lord Brougham, who may in the present age be considered as the founder of law reform, had also illustrious predecessors, who paved the way, although,
way, although, as a class, lawyers have not been fond of change ;* but we may reckon amongst those who were reformers the illustrious names of Lord Bacon, Sir M. Hale, and Blackstone. Lord Bacon, in his Proposal for an Amendment of the Law,' and in other parts of his works, has laboured to show the necessity and safety of the work, and how it may be done,
, ' being nothing speculative, but real and feasible ; not going to the matter of the laws, but to the manner of their registry, expression, and tradition; giving rather light than new nature.' And he observes that the laws, as they now stand, are subject to great uncertainties, whence arises the multiplicity of suits; that the contentious person is armed, and the honest subject wearied and oppressed, and that men's assurances of their lands and estates are subject to be questioned.' Again—There is such an accumulation of statutes concerning one matter, and they so cross and intricate, as the certainty of the law is lost in the heap.' He describes his proposal for amendment as a pruning and grafting of the law, not a ploughing up and planting again; for such a remove I should hold to be a perilous innovation, but in the way I shall now propound, the entire body and substance of the law shall remain, only discharged of idle and unprofitable matter.' In this cautious and tentative spirit the work has for the most part been carried on, and if some abuses linger long in consequence, the great mistake is avoided of pulling down material portions of the edifice, and substituting a crazy and inadequate structure in their stead. In tracing the progress of Lord Brougham's Law Reforms we have purposely avoided touching upon the labours of others in the same direction--upon the measures of Lord Campbell, Lord St. Leonards, Lord Cranworth, and we may add, from the bills he has already introduced, the present Lord Chancellor. The exertions of these eminent lawyers cannot be adequately described in an episode. But we cannot conclude without paying a tribute to the vast services rendered by Lord Lyndhurst
, who was the first person in high
* Even Cicero was infected with the prejudice in favour of existing municipal institutions, estimating the twelve tables of the Decemvirs above all to be found in the libraries of Grecian philosophy.
office to come to the rescue, and who did so much, both by the introduction of many important measures, and by affording his powerful aid in passing others. His merits as a law reformer are less generally known than his singular abilities as a judge and a statesman. Nor is it more for the bills he has promoted than for those he has prevented that he is entitled to distinction. Without a tincture of that blind, unhesitating, though astute opposition which characterised Lord Eldon, no one has rivalled him in the acute discrimination between plausible fallacies and real improvements. A mind so subtle and yet so practical has rarely or ever been brought to bear upon the question of legal reform; and it is to the sifting that many of the innumerable
; propositions made during the last five and thirty years have undergone in his fine understanding, that we owe alike the retention of what was excellent in the schemes, and our preservation from what was pernicious. Liberal where change was desirable, his vigilance has been incessant in defending whatever is excellent in our institutions against hostile attack and rash innovation: witness his invaluable efforts on the passing the Municipal Corporations Bill. With all the chaste and perspicuous eloquence and with all the acuteness of reasoning and exactness of learning which distinguished him in the meridian of life, he, only the other day, rescued our jury system from what most must consider as an alteration of very questionable value. It was not the least characteristic part of this remarkable display that a declaration which has been made again and again at various Assizes by the Lord Chief Justice of England of his power to have a jury, who could not agree in a verdict, carried in a cart to the borders of the county and there shot, like rubbish, into a ditch, was shown to be purely apocryphal, and to be founded upon a misunderstanding of an old word, and an ignorance of ancient customs. The precision of knowledge possessed by Lord Lyndhurst has been shown on many similar occasions to be as conspicuous as its extent. But we shall not now attempt to do justice to his rare powers, nor shall we even venture to sum up the character of Lord Brougham as a law reformer. Enough to say that though those who may hereafter take a view of his life and actions will, in estimating his achievements, dwell upon his vast powers as an energetic orator, and upon his qualities as a statesman, a scholar, a philosopher, and a philanthropist; there will yet be no one branch of his exertions which will
his great services to his country more than his unremitting labours for the amelioration of our laws. He is among the small band of illustrious men who have left the impress of their minds upon
the age in which they have flourished, and a people educated, a popular literature diffused, and a cumbrous and expensive law made cheap and plain, will carry with thein to the remotest generations the name of Brougham.
ART. VIII.-1. La Quistione Italiana. Il Conte Buol ed il Pie
monte. Lettere di L. C. Farini a Lord J. Russell. Turin.
1859. 2. Della Indipendenza d'Italia. Discorso di V. Salvagnoli. Flo
rence. 1859. 3. Toscana e Austria. Florence. 1859.
. 4. La Proprietà Fondiaria in Lombardia. Studi di S. Jacini.
Milan and Verona, 1857. 5. Condizioni Economiche della Provincia di Sondrio. Memoria di
S. Jacini. Milan and Verona. 1858. 6. Sulla Necessità di accordare al Regno Lombardo-Veneto la Pere
quazione della sua Imposta Prediale con quella delle Provincie Tedesche del Impero. Di V. Pasini.
Di V. Pasini. Venice. 1858. 7. L'Empereur Napoléon III. et l'Italie. Paris. 1859. WE . TE close,' says Mr. Hallam, the bistory of the Middle
Ages, while Italy is still untouched, and before as yet the first lances of France gleam along the defiles of the Alps. There is still a moment, if only a moment, before us, resembling that which the illustrious historian has chosen to mark the conclusion of his first great literary journey. But although blood has not yet begun to flow, and the hum of peaceful industry is still unbroken by the roar of cannon, the cloud of military preparation has grown so dense that it appears as though it could not choose but burst, and abashed diplomacy seems almost on the point of ceding her place and office to the sword. Three months or even one month
ago, we might have treated the Italian question as one for simple argument in senates, and in those wider circles where public opinion lives and moves. The issue grows narrower now, and may soon be reduced simply to this: with what feelings ought England to regard the combatants in the impending strife, and what will be the nature and scope of her concern in the combat ?
We fear that, at the point which we have now reached, it might not improbably be assumed that the interval between the manifestations which have already occurred and the first outbreak of war, is but like the moment after the eye has seen the flash and before the ear hears the report; that though divided in time they are one in causation; that, the first having occurred, we cannot hope