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sions," and included, according to its title, “those matters in which the justices of session have an original jurisdiction, as well as those which come before them by way of appeal; apprentices, bastardies, articles of the peace, vagrancies, convictions, and such other subjects as are submitted to their judgment without the intervention of a jury.” The subjects of these two chapters are arranged in nine chapters of the present edition. The last chapter, relating to matters incidental to the jurisdiction of the sessions, was the same in outline before as at present. The whole has been further sub-divided into sections for the purposes of convenient perusal and reference.
The First Chapter of this edition treats of the jurisdiction and incidents of the various Sessions of the Peace; of the sources whence they derive their authority; of Petty Sessions, and the occasions when they are requisite and proper; of Special Sessions, with the recent determinations as to the mode in which they should be convened, and the provisions of the 9 Geo. 4. c. 61. as to the General Annual Licensing Meeting, and its subordinate Special Sessions; of General Sessions; and generally of the Quarter Sessions, and of the periods when they should or may be holden.
The Second Chapter treats of the several parties attendant on the sessions. In some parts this chapter has been curtailed, as in the portion allotted to the Coroner, whose duties have but slender connexion with the sessions, while, on the other hand, under the section of “ Justices," a comprehensive view of the rights, liabilities, and protection of magistrates in and out of session is inserted ; and, under the head “ Jurors," the substance of the provisions of the 6 Geo. 4.c. 50. is given. In other respects, this chapter has been much condensed in points which have not been found practically useful.
The Third Chapter marks out the limits of the jurisdiction of the Court of Quarter Sessions to try offences :
describes the proceedings preliminary to its judicial business, as taking oaths; gives a summary of the law relating to the grand jury, and considers their duties ; and introduces, in the consideration of their jurisdiction to present, the law relating to venue, modified in the cases of larceny, &c. by the recent statutes.
The Fourth Chapter, on the modes of prosecuting offences at sessions, is almost entirely new. Its chief object is to give a concise and intelligible summary of the law of indictments, as altered by the latest statutes, and interpreted by the most recent decisions; and it accordingly embraces a consideration of the joinder of parties; the introduction of several charges varying either in fact or in form; the necessity of discriminating the degree of offence to be charged; the general requisites of an indictment; the various parts of an indictment, with the consequences of error; and the practical points relative to engrossing, preferring, and returning the bills when found. The other modes of prosecution by presentment and information being rarely adopted, are more concisely treated.
The Fifth Chapter treats of felonies prosecuted at sessions, and gives forms of indictments applicable to them. The offences particularly considered in this chapter are those which consist in the felonious abstraction of property ; those being, in practice, the only felonies usually prosecuted at sessions. This chapter contains, besides a concise view of the law of simple larceny, an abstract of all the provisions of 7 and 8 Geo, 4. c. 29. with forms applicable to its several clauses. The whole of this chapter, with the exception of some passages relative to simple larceny, in which Mr. Dickinson had supplied cases, arising within his own experience, as illustrative of legal distinctions, and which it was thought right to preserve, is re-written; and the forms, which are
arranged under the several sections which treat of the law to which they are related, have been framed on the provisions of the statute.
The Sixth Chapter embraces the whole subject of misdemeanors indictable at sessions. After shortly discussing the principles on which offences have been holden indictable, and stating the jurisdiction of the sessions over them, it presents the misdemeanors most frequently indicted at sessions in alphabetical order, each section containing a brief summary of the law relating to the offence under consideration, and precedents of indictment or indictments applicable to such offence. The precedents collected by Mr. Dickinson have been generally used for the purposes of this chapter ; but they have been greatly curtailed and compressed. The summaries of the law which introduce the precedents are entirely new, except in one or two instances, where notes, appended to the precedents in the former edition, have been used in framing them.
The Seventh Chapter treats of proceedings on indictments, of every description, from the time they are found to judgment. It treats shortly of compromises; of pleas; of the law of traverse and postponement of trial; of the preliminary forms of trial; of the right and mode of challenge ; and of the conduct of the trial ; of the verdict; and the judgment. It has been the object of the Editor to render this chapter as useful in practice as its space would allow, and therefore he has selected for notice those points which, in his own experience at sessions, he has found most likely to arise. As counsel usually begin to practise at sessions at the very commencement of their professional career, it has seemed not impertinent to intersperse in this chapter brief considerations of their rights and duties in the various stages of a criininal trial, whether for misdemeanor or felony. This chapter includes a brief compendium of such parts of the law of evidence as are most likely to be referred to in sessions, of its application to the charge, and the mode in which it may be adduced and sifted. For the greater part of this chapter the present Editor is responsible.
The Eighth Chapter includes the few civil matters over which the sessions exercise an original jurisdiction, in the cases of disputes between apprentices and their masters, the exhibition of articles of the peace, and the disposal of vagrants.
The consideration of bastardy might be brought into this division; but it so rarely comes before the sessions, otherwise than by appeal, that it was thought better, in this edition, to refer it to that class of subjects.
The Ninth Chapter, “on general matters relating to appeals,” collects such as are common to appeals, in order to prevent repetition in the subsequent chapters relating to appeals in particular cases, as the general rules affecting the notice; recognizances; the right of appealing ; the sessions to which appeals must be preferred; the trial of appeals, and the judgment of the Court upon them. Its matter is chiefly that of Mr. Dickinson, though it has been arranged anew.
The Tenth Chapter, “on appeals against poor rates, the appointment of overseers, and parish accounts,” contains, under the third section upon the grounds of appeal, the matter collected by Mr. Dickinson on the law of rating property. This part of the work, and that contained in the following chapter on the law of settlement, does not generally consist of a digest or summary of the law, but a selection of the prominent cases with which the author chose to illustrate his positions. The Editor would have preferred substituting a more comprełensive and condensed summary of the law; but as in this part of the work there was not the same reason for the substitution of entirely new matter, which operated in the criminal division, he did not think it right to make so
great an alteration in the spirit of a work which, on its original plan, has been found so acceptable to magistrates. If, however, the different manner adopted in those parts of the work, which are of necessity new, should be approved, he may feel authorized to introduce it into these chapters also in the next edition. In the mean time, this part of the work also has been subjected to an entirely new arrangement, and interspersed with such points as are likely to occur in practice.
The Eleventh Chapter, “on appeals against orders of removal,” contains, besides some new matter on practical points relative to removals, the matter collected on the law of settlement by the original author, except the section giving a history of settlement by payment of parochial taxes, and that on settlement by estate, of which the first is entirely, and the second principally,
Such recent cases have, of course, been introduced throughout as were consistent with the design of the work.
The Twelfth Chapter, on orders, and convictions, and appeals from them,” is partly new, as it relates to orders of bastardy, and entirely so as to orders for diverting highways ; but the text, relating to the general requisites of convictions, is chiefly that of Mr. Dickin
The precedents, however, which occupied more than a hundred pages of the former edition, are nearly all removed, having been rendered obsolete by recent statutes. A few precedents of convictions on recent statutes, and especially on 7 and 8 Geo. 4. c. 29. for offences partaking of the nature of larceny, have been introduced, chiefly as completing the illustration of the points which are noticed in connection with indictable offences,—as one degree of offence is often made punishable by summary conviction, and another, or a repeated offence, by indictment. To give a complete series of precedents applicable to all the clauses in Mr. Peel's acts