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GIVING, IN AN ABRIDGED AND ALPHABETICAL FORM AND ORDER,
THE SEVERAL OFFENCES AND OTHER CAUSES OF COMPLAINT;
THE SUBJECTS OF SUMMARY ADJUDICATION;
THE STATUTES RELATING THERETO;
THE EXTENT OF JURISDICTION;
AND, IN LIKE ALPHABETICAL ORDER,
AN EPITOME OF THE CRIMES AND OFFENCES TRIABLE BY INDICTUENT.
AND, AS AN
PROTECTION OF JUSTICES ACT;
LAW OF EVIDENCE ACTS;
GUIDANCE OF THE MAGISTRATES AND THE CLERKS OF PETTY SESSIONS, &c.
The publication of this, the eighth edition of the Justice of the Peace, is in response to the many calls for it made on the Author and his Publishers.
The work has for some time been out of print.
Little more than five years have elapsed between this edition and the last preceding one. During this short intervening space many legislative changes will be noticeable, both in the law and the administration of it.
The “ Faculty", or Special Jurisdiction, conferred by the * Criminal Law and Procedure (Ireland) Act, 1887", is at once a graft on, and modification of, the general Petty Sessions procedure, when this latter is employed in working out that special jurisdiction.
The Courts so constituted, commonly known as “Crimes Act Courts ', have, from the nature of things, met with stern opposition, the entire chain of procedure challenged and contested step by step—of course under such a strain the strength of the whole chain is always just that of the weakest link.
Parliament, the Bar, and the public Press were not silent spectators, all eagerly took part and took sides.
Venerable statutes-ancient precedents of almost forgotten lore—were re-furbished and had new life added to them.
The Act of 1360-1 (the 34th of King Edward III.) proved to be a right Damascus blade, keen of edge and of wonderful flexibility. The King's Bench, too, as the great conservator of the peace of the realm, brought forth to like purpose from its armoury an original inherent jurisdiction anterior to any known statutes. It is true that in determining some questions the Divisions of the Supreme Courts were not always of one mind, nor indeed were the judges of each Division at all times so with one another, still much solid and abiding instruction was imparted, much light thrown on summary jurisdiction in general.
To recur to the legislative changes during this period, amongst others briefly may be noticed—the “ Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885”, for the protection of women and girls from those who compass, “procure", and bring about their ruin; to prevent outrages on public decency, with summary power to suppress brothels. The “Prevention of Cruelty to and Protection of Children Act, 1889", as the title indicates, to punish those who ill-treat them, and protect them from cruelty, whether practised by Parents, Guardians, or Employers; and to provide for their future safety.
There are others, such as the “ Truck Act”, now extended to Ireland, with amendments protecting Artisans and Workmen from that species of dealing or barter which interferes in the laying out of their earnings to the best advantage; and imposing heavy penalties on the offending employers. The summary power to award alimony to wives deserted by their husbands. The punishment for frauds in the Sale of Butter, where “Margarine" is substituted for that article. Summary punishment for obtaining pay and pensions by personation or fraud. Important amendments in the Railway Acts. In the Weights and Measures Acts, especially as to fraud in the sale or delivery of coal. Amendments in the • Excise" Acts. An Act dealing summarily with indecent advertisements: the exhibition of obscene prints on highways, in windows, &c. The Registration of Shops dealing in horseflesh as an article of food ; protection of purchasers, &c. The “ Public Bodies' Corrupt Practices Act, 1889", subjecting bribery and corruption in office to punishment by indictment, and to other disabilities. A General Interpretation Act as to terms used in Acts of Parliament. Some important amendments in the law as to Oaths and Affirmations, and on the subject of newspaper libels. Nor should a most important Statute, the “ Probation of First Offender's Act”, be overlooked: an Act in harmony with our reforming institutions, the complement of them, and in keeping with the march of civilization generally. Justices getting this extension of discretionary power should make themselves acquainted with the Act, recognise the intentions of the Legislature, and on fitting occasions employ its salutary provisions.
The volume of the Statutes of the last Session was not issued by the Queen's Printers sufficiently early to admit of all being set out in their fitting places in the alphabetical analysis, but the few standing over will be found in the Addenda.
The bringing of crimes and offences within the range of the Summary Jurisdiction Courts, wherever the latitude given these Courts in the measure of punishment will meet the case, continues to be favoured by the Legislature; and on the grounds that it saves expense and delay in the administration of criminal justice. The method of procedure is at once swift and certain.
Additional notes are added in the proper places throughout the work; whatever experience suggested to be useful and practical are introduced : everything calculated to perplex is excluded.
The Author repeats his endeavour to forecast what the least experienced Magistrate may need to have pointed out to guide his first timid steps, and so afford him ready facile help.
To this end he would, in the first instance, point attention to the “Preliminary Outline”, or review, where he will obtain some general idea of his office and duties. Perhaps some of the things there set down will be found serviceable to the more seasoned Members of the Bench.
The Author now asks that the indulgence and favour with which the former editions were received may be extended to this, which, in the ordinary course of things, probably cannot but be the last to come from his pen.
H. H. BALLINTEMPLE, BLACKROCK,
Cork, February, 1890.