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the assistance of a judge, as the Bill met with a favourable recepHouse of Lords now has in cases tion in the House; and the leadof impeachment. I propose that ing Members of both parties de. the result of the inquiries insti. clared their anxious desire to cotuted by this Commission should operate in carrying a remedy into be merely this, that the House execution for the prevailing evil. should have a report laid before it, When it came before the Com. and should then legislate accord- mittee, however, several Members ing to circumstances, and accord- took exception to the nature of the ing to the population and import- mixed Commission proposed by it ance of the city or borough with for the disfranchisement of bowhich it might have to deal.” roughs; and, at the suggestion of
Another principal provision of Sir Robert Peel, that part of the the Bill was directed against the measure was abandoned. practice of treating, declaring with Thus modified, the Bill passed in what bounds it should be con with little discussion in the House sidered illegal, and subjected to of Lords, and received the Royal the same penalties as bribery. The Assent.
Law Reforms-The Lord Chancellor gives notice of Bills relating to
Bankruptcy, Lunacy, and County Courts -- His Speech on the Second Reading-They pass the House of Lords--County Courts' Bill is postponed till the following Session - The olher two Bills carried-Lord Campbell proposes Bills to alter the constitution of Courts of Appeal-They are rejected in the House of Lords Marriage Law-Motion of Lord F. Egerlon, for leave to bring in a Bill to legalise Marriages contracted with deceased Wife's SislerSpeech of Sir R. Inglis
against the Motion-It is supported by Mr. Milnes, Mr. Borthwick, Mr. C. Buller, and Mr. C. Wood; and opposed by Mr. Goulburn, Lord Ashley, the Solicitor-General, and Mr. O'Connell-On a Division it is negatived by 123 to 100- Bill for the belter Protection of the Royal Person, introduced by Sir Robert Peel, in consequence of the outrages of Bean and Francis It is carried immediately in both Houses-Church Rates ; Sir John East hope's Bill for their Abolition—It is opposed by Sir R. Inglis and Mr. Goulburn, and rejected by 162 to 82—Grant to Maynooth College-Mr. Plumptre, Mr. Bateson, Sir H. Smith, Colonel Verner, and other Members speak against it-Speech of Lord Eliot
- It is affirmed by a Majority of 47— Poor Law Amendment Bill, introduced by Sir James Graham-Principal objects and Provisions of the Measure-A few of the Clauses are carried, and the rest postponed--Mr. Escott makes a Molion against the principle of excluding Out-door Relief-Sir James Graham opposes it, and it is rejected after a Discussion, by 90 to 55— Review of the SessionLord Palmerston moves for Řeturns to show the number of Bills brought into the House of Commons, and the Result as to each-He reviews the Domestic and Foreign Policy of the Government at greal length, and with much sarcasm-He is ably answered by Sir Robert Peel, who relorts severely on the Whig party-Prorogation of Parliament by the Queen, on the 12th of August-Her Majesty's Speech-Concluding Remarks.
INthe Lord Chancellor had an
nistration of the Law of Banknounced to the House of Lords ruptcy, to proceedings in cases of three important measures of legal lunacy, and to the establishment reform, which he proposed to in- of a system of Local Courts through troduce and discuss together. They out the country.
Difficulties, bowever, arose, as inquiries were of the nicest and most he afterwards stated, which re- delicate character. He proposed tarded the introduction of the last that two Commissioners should be of these measures, and other sub- appointed, for the purpose of exejects of more exciting interest cuting all those Commissions, not meanwhile pressed upon the at- only in the Metropolitan districts, tention of Parliament, insomuch but throughout the country. From that it was not till the 18th of an examination into details, to which July, when the session was almost he need not advert, he was satisexpiring, that any discussion on fied that those two Commissioners these measures took place.
would be amply sufficient for disThe Lord Chancellor then stated charging those and other importto the House the details of the al- ant duties connected with lunacy. terations which he proposed. Ad. The payment of Commissioners by verting first to the subject of fees would be abolished; it tended bankruptcy, he commenced by to prolong the inquiry, and inpaying a compliment to Lord crease the expense; in one case, Brougham upon the improvements for instance, the expense of exin that department of the law amining into the lunacy of a perwhich he had introduced : “ That on whose income was 191. 10s., system, however, excellent as it had amounted to 2,104l. ; and in was, comprised within its juris- another case, the committee died, diction only a circuit of forty miles and it was necessary to appoint anround London. He proposed to other. The Commissioners would extend the Metropolitan district be added to the visitors at present to a hundred miles round London; appointed to inspect the condition which would add a fifth to the of lunatics. They would be taken business of the Commissioners, from among the highest members without inconvenience to them. of the Bar.” For the country it was proposed Lord Lyndhurst objected to any to appoint Commissioners at five sweeping change of the existing central points, in five great towns County Courts ; his measure went beyond the London district, invest- merely to extend their jurisdiction. ed with the same power which was County Courts were a part of our at present reposed in the London ancient system of judicature. They Commissioners. They would per were presided over by the county form the saine quantity of duty clerk, whose jurisdiction extended now performed by the London to 40s. They might be held in Commissioners having, a similar any part of the county. If he range and a similar jurisdiction." appointed a particular place, and
'The course with the Law of gave them a jurisdiction to the exLunacy was somewhat similar : tent of 51., and appointed persons “ The Law of Lunacy was ad- of respectability and learning to ministered like that of Bankruptcy, preside over them, as he proposed the London Commissioners having to do by this Bill, he thought he jurisdiction for twenty miles round did not innovate upon this ancient the Metropolis, and the country institution. He proposed further, Commissions being, like those of that for the recovery of debts to Bankruptcy, directed to persons of the amount of 201., persons should little or no experience, though the be appointed judges of these courts,
who should not reside in the pro- County Courts, which, owing to
Lord Cottenham expressed his on the ground that two co-ordiapproval of the Bills as far as they nate appellate jurisdictions, that of went; but complained of some the Privy Council and of the House omissions in them, especially the of Lords, did not work well in omission of any amendment of the practice. If then one were to be law relating to Insolvency. retained instead of two, he would
Lord Brougham admitted that prefer the House of Lords ; that the measures were useful, though jurisdiction practically worked well. they fell short of the exigency. He would, therefore, make it the
Lord Campbell, approving of Court of Appeal from all other parts of the Bills, regarded the courts, abolishing appeals to the omissions as su important, that he Privy Council. Its sittings should, could not support the Bills as a however, be permanent, and not whole.
only during the session of ParliaThe Bills were then read a ment. It should be presided over second time, and afterwards passed by the Chancellor, whose place in through the other stages unop the Court of Chancery should be posed, and went down to the supplied by another judge, who House of Commons.
might be selected from among the Some attempts were there made Vice-Chancellors. This plan would to induce the Government to post remove the absurdity of appeals pone the consideration of them, from the Lord Chancellor at Linowing to the late period of the coln's Inn to the Lord Chancellor session at which they were intro- in the House of Lords. duced, and the press of business The Lord Chancellor strongly then existing.. The Government, objected to abolishing the appel. however, declined to defer the late jurisdiction of the Privy CounBills, with the exception of that cil. He thought it admirably relating to the establishment of adapted for the consideration of
the subjects that came before it. was raised in the early part of the Questions were brought before it, session by Lord F. Egerton, who involving almost every kind of law moved for leave to bring in a Bill on the face of the earth. There to alter the laws relating to marwas the Colonial law, every kind riage within certain degrees of afof European law, every kind of finity. He stated that he did so Eastern law, Spanish law, French not without expectation of enlaw, both according to the new countering some serious opposition. code and the old, Dutch law, Until 1835, a large class of marEnglish law, both Common Law riages within the prohibited deand Equity, the Colonial statutes, grees were not void ab initio, but and in addition to these, the Orien were voidable by a sentence obtal law, the Indian law, and the tained from the Ecclesiastical Court, Mahomedan law: there was also In 1835, an Act was passed nich the Ecclesiastical law. The con rendered valid all marriages of stitution of the tribunal was ads that class previously solemnized ; mirably adapted to the purpose of but in the progress of the measure dealing with questions embracing another enactment was grafted on so vast a range of judicial know- it, how, he knew not—which deledge. There were judges of Eng- clared all such marriages thereafter land to decide on questions of Com- contracted, void ab initio. The inmon Law, and the equity judges consistency of annulling prospecto decide upon matters of Equity. tively marriages which were affirmThere were the judges of the Ec- ed retrospectively, was felt at the clesiastical Courts to decide upon time; and there was reason to bequestions arising out of the Eccle- lieve, that, owing to the lateness of siastical law; and with regard to the session, consent was given to Eastern law, there were among this part of the Act, without the dethe Judicial Committee two ho. liberation due to the ultimate bearnourable and learned individuals, ings of the new law. Thus the who had filled the highest judicial matter had rested from that time. situations in the East, and who It might be asked, whether it was were able to give advice to the discreet thus quieta movere ? but Committee on questions connected whether the House agreed to this with Oriental law. As to the ale particular measure or not, circumleged inconvenience of the co-or stances had occurred which rendinate jurisdiction, there had not dered it absolutely necessary that been a single instance of conflicting the attentive consideration of the decisions in 200 years.
Legislature should be given to the Lord Brougham thought that subject in all its bearings. He the evils complained of by Lord would make bold to say, that the Campbell existed rather in theory law of 1835 did not go forth to than in practice.
the country with the sanction of Lord Cottenham expressed a the Legislature, after having been hesitating approval of the pro- fully and fairly considered ; neither posed measures.
was the law consistent with the The Bills were brought in, but practice of the British community, did not pass the second reading, or with the Christian Protestant
A question of much general in- communities of Europe. He would terest respecting the Marriage Law further assert, that the law did