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tleman more particularly to this matter, , a great omission in this Bill, with respect because he had made some laudable efforts to the kind of judgment that might be to correct the law by giving the Courts of pronounced in an action under its operaCommon Law power to give relief in cases tion. In Equity a suitor, if successful, of lost bills and instruments, and also by obtained such a decree as he asked for, or allowing equitable defences to actions of as the court thought just; but at Common ejectment. He had also given the Com- Law the Court could only give a strict mon Law Courts the power of setting aside technical judgment. Now as the technical inequitable legal defences, such as those judgment followed the technical division of founded on outstanding legal estates. He actions, now that the forms of action were (Mr. Lowe) thought it could hardly be abolished, he wished to know how the denied, that if that principle were good for Court was to be directed in its judgment. anything, it was good for a great deal He entreated the hon. and learned Genmore than that. If the hon. and learned tleman to consider the few observaGentleman set the distinction of Law and tions he had taken the liberty of making, Equity aside in these matters, was it not and to endeavour to put the matters he by surprise or by mistake that he had not had referred to on a more satisfactory done so in matters of the highest impor- footing. tance? Either it was right to retain these SIR ALEXANDER COCKBURN said, forms of action, and to perpetuate his dis- he was very glad the hon. and learned tinction of jurisdiction, or it was not. If not, Solicitor General for Ireland had brought then why do so in some few cases? But, if in this measure, and he should regret right to do so in respect to these, would it much if the Bill should not be read a not be far better to do so in respect to all ? second time. At the same time he fully Was it not monstrous that one set of courts agreed with the hon. and learned Member should only recognise rights in the mort-|(Mr. Fitzgerald), that it would be a great gagor, and another set of courts only in pity to prematurely hurry the Bill through the mortgagee? That one should see no Committee. He quite concurred in what rights except in a trustee, and the other had been just stated by the hon. and learnno rights except in the cestuique trusted Member for Kidderminster (Mr. Lowe), That one should maintain, and the other namely, that the Bill now before the House should set aside transactions, on the very was a great advance upon the English same facts ? Surely, if the principle of Common Law Procedure Bill of last Sesgiving to the Courts of Law equitable ju- sion, and thought he could point out the risdiction in some cases were good for any reason for this. The Common Law Comthing, it was good for much more. He felt mission recommended the abolition of the sure that the question could not rest here; forms of action; but this important Amendand he ventured to hope that his hon. and ment was abandoned, because certain judilearned Friend would be induced to see cial authorities were alarmed at the recomwhether matters could not be carried fur- mendation of the Commission going to ther, and whether that great principle which such great length. We sometimes cut had been advocated by Lord Mansfield, by away the mast in order to save the ship, Bentham, and by all the great lawyers who and, on that principle, it was found neceshad given much attention to law reform, sary to give up the proposed alteration. could not be accomplished, and the false He very much regretted this, and now and mischievous distinction between Law that the Government were prepared to go and Equity be for ever exploded. With so far in the reform of the Irish Law, he regard to the alteration proposed in the trusted they would apply the same prinform of procedure, he objected to the plan ciple to the English Common Law. * He of making an abstract of the pleadings, as willingly admitted that this Bill was an was proposed in this Bill, because, when advance in other respects upon the Bill parties had gone to the expense of pleading adopted in accordance with the Report of they had incurred enough cost, and the the Commission of which he had the honnext best thing was to try the case, instead our of being a member. They had thought of which it was provided that an abstract it necessary to deal with the incidents of of the pleadings should be made by the an action in its various stages; but the attorneys on both sides, if they could Commission were not prepared to stop agree, and, if they could not agree, appli- there, and their recommendations would cation was to be made to the Judge. This form the subject of a Report which would appeared to him to be objectionable, on shortly be laid before the House, and in the ground of expense. He perceived also which would considered several most important matters, which formed no part 1 Law and Equity one—to abolishi all disof the Bill of the hon. and learned Gentle. tinctions between Law and Equity, and, man. They would probably propose that as the consequence, all distinctions in their Courts of Law should give the effect of a jurisdiction. He hoped they were all Bill of Discovery by the examination of agreed on the great question of law reparties to & suit; and that the Common form, and alike anxious to discharge their Law Courts should have power of disco- duty as regarded it to the public. As a very without any expense, not according member of the profession, he might say to the form of procedure in the Courts of he believed that from one end of WestEquity, but by a simple process of oral minster Hall to the other, the necessity for discovery, bringing up the parties and legal reform was admitted-an admission giving the Judge the power of immediately which, indeed, was, on the part of the striking out the pleadings. So with re- profession, only an enlarged view of their gard to the power of persons who had only own interest. They might depend upon an equitable right maintaining a legal ac- it that the cumbrous rules and methods tion; and alterations were also proposed in which it was proposed to abolish, only premany other important respects. They pro- vented parties, who otherwise would go posed to introduce various Amendments, into Court from asserting their rights, and, doing away with technical forms of action he was certain, did absolute injury to the which had become obsolete and ought to profession as well as to the public. be abolished. With regard to the jury MR. CROWDER said, he was exceed. system, it was worthy of consideration ingly happy to give his cordial vote in whether the plan adopted in the County favour of the second reading of this Bill, Courts, which had worked so well, should and he begged to congratulate the hon. not become a guide for the practice of the and learned Gentleman the Solicitor GeSuperior Courts-namely, that of allow- neral for Ireland upon the able manner ing parties, by consent, to deal with a in which he had brought it forward. question, either with or without a jury, as The Bill in many respects was undoubtthey liked. If parties consented to try edly an improvement on that passed durtheir cause before a Judge in whom they ing the last Session for the Amendment both had confidence, they should not be of Common Law Procedure in England. compelled to have recourse to the more His (Mr. Crowder's) only difficulty was to expensive and less satisfactory process of understand how the Law Officers of the a jury. He believed that one of the rea- Crown thought fit to pass the measure of sons why County Courts worked so ad- last Session without the introduction of mirably was, that if any new matter turn- those very Amendments to which the ated up in the course of a case, the Judge, tention of the House was now being disitting from day to day in the discharge of rected, because they had not been dishis duties, was enabled to say, “ Come be covered since the passing of that Act, for fore me again to-morrow;" whereas with a they had been suggested by members of jury the case must be gone through from the legal profession, and had even been beginning to end without adjournment, discussed in that House. He fully conand the only remedy was to obtain, at im- curred at the time in every one of those mense expense, a new trial. A variety of suggested improvements; but, nevertheless, subjects of this kind were under considera- no notice was taken of them on the second tion, and would receive the best attention reading of the English Bill ; and when the of the Commission, whose anxious desire measure passed through Committee, the was to make the procedure in the Courts consequence was that they had a measure of Common Law as complete and satisfac- applied to the Common Law Courts of this tory as it could be made. He quite agreed country, which was decidedly inferior to with what had been said in favour of doing that introduced on the present occasion to away with the distinction between the regulate the Common Law Procedure in jurisdiction of the Courts of Law and Ireland. With respect to the abolition of Equity, the reason for the existence of the forms of action, he fully approved of which was, that the Legislature had in all that Amendment. It was stated that the ages abused the lawyers, instead of amend- Common Law Commission in their Report ing the Law, and that the Law, conse- recommended the abolition of those forms, quently, grew so stubborn and inflexible, but that part of their recommendations was, that Equity crept in as a clumsy substitute, nevertheless, not carried out, owing, as it and a mode of doing ultimate justice. appeared, to the expressed opinions of cerThe first thing, therefore, was to makeltain high judicial personages. He appre

hended, however, that it was the duty of framing the English Bill, had not intro.
that House not to be biased by any notices duced those improvements into it. He still
of that sort, provided they were fully per- hoped, however, with his hon. and learned
suaded that such improvements ought to Friend the Member for Southampton (Sir
take place. For himself he was fully per- | A. Cockburn), that they would yet have
suaded that all forms of action should be those improvements in the English Law,
abolished. He did not think it necessary and that the Law Officers of the Crown
to go into the matter as fully as the hon. would introduce every species of reform
and learned Member for Kidderminster consistent with the improved administra-
(Mr. Lowe) had done ; but he would say tion of the law, of which the present
with regard to another of those improve measure was such a favourable commence.
ments- the pleadings—he thought that also ment.
a matter of very great importance in the The ATTORNEY GENERAL said,
conduct of lawsuits. How stood the case he was desirous of receiving in a friendly
with respect to that? Why, in the Com- spirit the observations of the hon. and
mon Law Procedure Act, passed last Ses- learned Gentleman (Mr. Crowder), and
sion, there was the declaration, the plea, quite agreed with him that his hon, and
the rejoinder, the surrejoinder, &c.; but in learned Friend the Solicitor General for
the present measure he found that was not Ireland deserved the gratitude of the
to be a declaration but a plaint, which he House, not only for this measure itself,
thought a great improvement. Why was but for the very able and clear manner
not that improvement introduced into the in which he had introduced it. But the
English Act! He thought the House had hon. and learned Gentleman (Mr. Crowder),
a right to complain, when they saw the le. in making some very serious reflections
gal reforms of Ireland so much in advance upon the Law Officers of the Crown in
of this country. He complained that not England, had forgotten the circumstances
one of those improvements--for he thought under which they had charge of the Bill of
they were all valuable improvements—had last Session, which was said to be so defi-
been introduced into the English Act. cient in its amendment of the Common
There was another point on which he Law Procedure in England, and the utter
wished to say one word. He remem- impossibility of making those additions
bered himself calling the attention of the which were proposed at the time. The
hon, and learned Attorney General, when hon. and learned Gentleman apparently
the English Bill was in Committee, to had forgotten the impatience with which
the clause relating to the payment of the Opposition side of the House had lis.
money into Court.

That was limited to tened to any attempt to introduce any new certain causes of action ; but in the pre- measures, attributing to the Ministry that sent Bill he found that was allowed in all they were endeavouring to prolong the causes-assaults, false imprisonment, libel, Session unnecessarily, and to disappoint slander, malicious prosecutions, &c. The the expectations formed of an early disso. hon, and learned Solicitor General would lution. This Common Law Procedure Bill probably recollect that he (Mr. Crowder) came down from the Lords at a very late had pointed out that improvement for period of the Session. His hon, and the English Bill, for he had expressed his learned Friend suggested various alteraapproval of it at the time, but yet it had tions in it, but whether he (the Attorney not been introduced into the Bill. He' General) agreed with them or not was per(Mr. Crowder) also approved of that clause fectly immaterial; there appeared to be a of the present Bill which would enable as- great chance of losing the Bill altogether,

nees in “choses of action to bring the and they were therefore obliged to hurry it action into Court, for he thought the law through the House. He was thus not a as it stood in that respect was a very idle free agent in the matter; he had no liberty distinction. He had made those observa- of choice. It was important to pass the tions in a friendly spirit towards the Law Bill even in an imperfect state, and he had Officers of the Crown, both of England and trusted to future occasions to introduce imIreland ; but he could not help repeating provements, to which it was impossible to that it did appear to him very extraordinary attend at the time they were made. His that those very valuable improvements had hon, and learned Friend said the Bill for not been introduced into the Common Law Ireland was in advance of that for Eng. Procedure Bill for England; and it seemed land, and seemed to feel a certain shame to him still more remarkable that the Law that it should be so. He must consider Officers for Ireland, who had assisted in this, that in Ireland they had the opportu

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nity of looking from the limits to which we | advantage of the measure then before the had arrived, and must remember that even House was, that the form of pleadings, a dwarf, when on a giant's shoulders, saw which we had tried a long time in our farther than the giant. The Irish lawyers Courts of Common Law, had been found had bad the benefit of English experience. wanting, and had, in the present Bill, been His hon. and learned Friend the Solicitor thrown aside and a new system adopted. General for Ireland bad, he confessed in- He also approved highly of the clauses of troduced great improvements beyond those the Bill relating to County Courts, which they possessed in the English law; but the had been eminently successful, and bad House must not believe for one moment afforded great satisfaction in this country. that he (the Attorney General) was not He also thought the clauses relating to quite prepared at the proper time to adopt equitable jurisdiction a great improvement; any improvements that could be made in and he concurred in the remark of his hon. the Common Law Procedure Act. With and learned Friend the Member for Kid. regard to the forthcoming Report of the derminster (Mr. Lowe), that those who Commission, it would be necessary to con- had gone thus far in Law Reform must sider very carefully the amendments sug- consider whether they would not have to gested, and not to rush at once upon all go much farther. With respect to the those reforms which were recommended by fusion of Law and Equity, which some those ardent reformers who were among its thought so desirable, he concurred with members. The discussion upon which they those who said that there should be no were at present engaged was a very desul- rational distinction between them that tory, although he hoped not an unprofit- Equity was merely an excrescence on our able one. The suggestions made as to system, arising from the imperfections in the working of this Bill were not now well our Law. But it was another question as timed, because the House was not discuss- regarded jurisdiction, or whether the two ing the details; they were only considering could not be amalgamated in one common the principle of the measure, and those tribunal. He could quite understand that hon. Gentlemen wbo agreed to the second it might be necessary to have different reading would have ample opportunities in Courts for a division of labour; but an Committee of suggesting the valuable im- anomaly which he apprehended was most provements which they had heard to-night. objectionable was this—to see two different He trusted the House would forgive him if tribunals adjudicating on one matter on he had been drawn away from the question different principles. The only satisfactory really before them. Let the Bill go to a law reform was that which would provide second reading, and when it went into that the jurisdiction of a Court should be Committee hon. Gentlemen could then sug- an entire and perfect jurisdiction. As an gest any alterations or improvements they example, he would put a case, suggested thought proper. He was sure they would by the hon. and learned Member for Southall come to the consideration of the ques- ampton (Sir A. Cockburn). Why was it tion in the same spirit-a desire to make that a Court of Common Law could award it as perfect and good a Bill as possible. damages for the non-performance of a con

MR. COLLIER said, it was not his inten- tract, but could not enforce the payment tion to go into the details of the measure of those damages ? Then, again, with before the House; he would only make a few regard to injunctions. He remembered a observations upon its principle. He quite case, tried before the present Lord Chief agreed with the hon. and learned Member Justice--it was the case of the convent at for Liskeard (Mr. Crowder), that the pre. Clapham, where the priests kept ringing sent measure was a very great improve the bells to the great disturbance and anment on the Bill of last Session. He noyance of the neighbourhood. An action thought the hon. and learned Gentleman was brought against the priests, and dathe Attorney General somewhat misunder- mages were recovered; but it seemed a stood the observations of his hon. and learn- strange anomaly that though the Lord ed Friend the Member for Liskeard. He Chief Justice could give damages, he could (Mr. Collier) did not understand that hon. not stop the bells, but they might go on and learned Member to cast any reflections ringing the bells for ever, subject only to on Her Majesty's Law Officers, but only com as many actions as might be brought against plained that a similar measure, introduced them. Now, for the reasons he had given, for England, had fallen so very far short of it appeared to him that this Bill was framed that for Ireland. It seemed to him one great in a very comprehensive spirit, and he hoped the alterations suggested would be learned Gentleman the Attorney General made in Committee, and that even further that the more they considered those changes progress would be speedily made in re- the better. This Bill had been indebted to moving such other technicalities in our many eminent law reformers for several of Law as are still left.

its improvements, and he thought it would SIR DENHAM NORREYS said, the be rendered still more valuable at the preonly question seemed to be one of com- sent period when so much landed property plaint, that

Irish should have had so in Ireland was changing hands. He should much better a Bill than the English. He say, in conclusion, that they had also made believed the Gentlemen opposite were anx- considerable advances in the Court of Chanious to give them cheap law and good; but cery in Ireland, where upwards of 1,500 why were they still unwilling that the summonses had been disposed of by sumjurisdiction of the Assistant Barristers' mary proceeding for small amounts by the Courts in Ireland should be assimilated to present Lord Chancellor of Ireland. the County Courts in England, and their MR. GEORGE said, he thought that the jnrisdiction extended from 401. to 501. ? Common Law Procedure in this country He could not conceive why they should ob- and in Ireland ought to be completely asject to what seemed so obvious an im- simila ted, and he hoped that before the provement of the law of Ireland.

passing of the present Bill care would be MR. WHITESIDE said, he felt bound taken to amend it in conformity with those to make his acknowledgment of the very improvements in the English system which kind remarks made by various hon. Mem- it might be found desirable to adopt on the bers on his Bill both in the House and out recommendation of the Commissioners, of the House. He also felt bound to say whose Report upon the subject would, it that he received the most important assist- appeared," be published in a few days. ance in preparing that measure from seve- There was nothing which could more effecral members of the English Bar. Mr. tually contribute to complete the union of Willes had favoured bim with many valua- the two countries than the perfect assimible suggestions, and his hon. and learned lation of their code of laws. Friend the Attorney General had strongly MR. PHILLIMORE said, he felt much approved of the principle of the Bill. He gratified at the introduction of the Bill. therefore felt that he did not deserve him. He believed it was one of the most comself all the commendations which had been prehensive measures of Law reform that bestowed upon him respecting this mca- had ever been introduced into that House; sure. As to the principle alluded to by and he regretted sincerely that the English the hon. and learned Member for Kidder- lawyers had allowed the lawyers of the minster (Mr. Lowe), he (Mr. Whiteside) sister country to get so completely the had no authority to warrant him in adopt- start of them by the proposal of so imporing it. He could not break down the dis- tant and useful a Bill. It certainly was tinctions between the Courts of Law and necessary that pleadings should be verified, Equity. This Bill did not do that; but it but he entertained a strong objection to removed a great number of obstructions; the multiplication of oaths, and trusted it facilitated the proceedings; it cheapened that some form of declaration would be the proceedings; and it shortened the pro-adopted. He also thought that the form ceedings. His hon. and learned Friends of issue should be submitted to some anthe Member for Ennis (Mr. J. D. Fitz- thorised officer, in order that it might be gerald) had taken several objections to the properly stated. Bill; but as those objections turned princi- MR. NAPIER said, lie wished to make pally on the difference which would prevail an observation in reply to the suggestion between the Common Law Procedure in which had been offered by the hon. Barothis country and in Ireland, it was evident net the Member for Mallow (Sir D. Northat they would hereafter be obviated, for reys). The hon. Baronet said he wished it was the intention of the Law Officers of that the jurisdiction of the Assistant Barthe Crown in England to adopt hereafter risters' Courts in Ireland should be exany good which they might find in the pre- tended in the same way in which the jurissent measure. He rejoiced to hear that diction of the County Courts had of late such improvements as those suggested by years been extended in this country. the hon. and learned Member for South. Now he would remind the hon. Baronet ampton (Sir A. Cockburn) were to be that the present measure would afford the made; and he agreed with the lon. and means of obtaining cheap and speedy jus

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