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The third edition of this work, published in 1851, has been long since distributed. The compiler has been arged in many quarters to publish another edition. He has now the pleasure of complying with the wishes of his friends and patrons, by presenting them with a new edition in a much enlarged and improved form. It will be found a complete digest of the criminal law as it now stands. Several important and valuable measures have been enacted since the publication of the last edition. Among them is the statute for the summary disposal of petty larcenies, instead of the dilatory and expensive process by indictment. Provision has also been made for the summary trial of juvenile offenders, and for the establishment of a reformatory prison, in which, as the statute in its preamble states, “they may be detained and corrected, and receive such instruction, and be subject to such discipline as shall appear most conducive to their reformation and the repression of crime.” Provision too has been made for the erection of a criminal lunatic asylum, for the safe keeping of convicts under sentence, while insane—and for the confinement of lunatics whose malady may render their being at large dangerous to public safety.
Improvement has also been made in procedure upon criminal trials, by allowing indictments to be amended in court according to the facts given in evidence, so that an offender may not escape upon mere technicalities. An act was also passed in the last session of the legislature, to extend the right of appeal in criminal cases in Upper Canada. It seems to have been an anomaly in our criminal code that so just a provision should have been so long omitted—while in civil suits, as well as upon summary convictions before justices, the right of appeal has been long since conceded. Where the life or personal liberty of the accused is at stake, it is but just and reasonable that he should be at liberty to shew if he can, good and sufficient cause for a new trial. The whole of the above may be considered as decided improvements in our criminal code, and will no doubt give general satisfaction to the country.
With respect to the magisterial office, the acts of the 16 V., cs. 178, 179, simplify and elucidate their duties upon indictable offences, and summary procedure. They are accompanied by schedules of forms. The whole will be found inserted in the present work. By a late statute, the office of “county attorney” has been created-an officer whose services at the sessions will be found a valuable acquisition on crown prosecutions. To him the magistrates are also, by the same statute, privileged to resort, should they require his advice or aid in matters brought before them for preliminary investigation.
Having thus briefly glanced at the leading measures of improvement, the author will conclude with the hope that this new edition of the PROVINCIAL JUSTICE will prove a useful guide to the magistracy, and worthy of the patronage bestowed on its predecessors.
The law and office of coroner has been added.
The municipal law has been omitted, as a bill is now before parliament for its consolidation. It will probably pass this session ; upon which the existing law will of course become defunct.
W. C. KEELE. Toronto, 31st May, 1858,
A* placed at the head of a Statute, denotes that such Statute relates to Upper Canada
only, and was passed before the Union.
ABDUCTION. By the 4 & 5 V. c. 27, § 19: where any woman shall have any interest, whether legal or equitable, present or future, absolute, conditional or contingent, in any real or personal estate, or shall be an heiress presumptive or next of kin to any one having such interest, if any person shall from motives of lucre take away or detain such woman against her will, with intent to marry or defile her, or to cause her to be married or defiled by any other person, every such offender and every person counselling, aiding or abetting such offender, shall be guilty of felony, and being convicted thereof shall be liable to be imprisoned at hard labour in the Provincial Penitentiary for any term not less than seven years, or to be imprisoned in any other prison or place of confinement for any term not exceeding two years. § 20. If any person shall unlawfully take or cause to be taken any unmarried girl being under the age of sixteen years, out of the possession and against the will of her father or mother, or of any other person having the lawful care or charge of her, every such offender shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and being convicted thereof shall be liable to suffer such punishment by fine or imprisonment, or by both, as the court shall award.
: ABORTION. By the 4 & 5 V. c. 27, § 13, administering poison or other noxious thing to any woman with intent to procure abortion, or unlawfully using any instrument or other means whatsoever with the like intent, is made felony, and the offender liable at the discretion of the court to be imprisoned at hard labour in the Penitentiary for life, or,
above men her or their pepper Canada,
any term not less than seven years, or in any other place of confinement not exceeding two years.
ABSCONDING DEBTORS. By the Division Court Act, 13 & 14 V. c. 53, $ 64, it is enacted, that if any person or persons in any county of Upper Canada, being indebted in any sum not exceeding twentyfive pounds, nor less than twenty shillings, for any debt or damages arising upon any contract express or implied, or upon any judgment, shall abscond from this Province, leaving personal property liable to seizure under execution for debt in any county in Upper Canada, or shall attempt to remove his, her or their personal property of the description above mentioned, * either out of Upper Canada or from one county to another therein, or from Upper to Lower Canada, or shall keep concealed in any county of Upper Canada to avoid service of process, it shall and may be lawful for any creditor or creditors of such person or persons, his, her or their servant or agent, to make application to the clerk of any division court of the county wherein the debtor or debtors were or was last domiciled, or where the debt was contracted, or to the judge of the county court therein, or to any justice of the peace in any county of Upper Canada, and upon making or producing an affidavit or affirmation to the purport of that in the schedule to this act annexed, marked D, (which affidavit or affirmation the said clerks, judges, and justices of the peace are respectively hereby authorised to adıninister,) and upon then and there filing the said affidavit or affirmation with such clerk or judge, or if taken before a justice of the peace, with such justice of the peace (whose duty it shall be to transmit the same forthwith to the clerk of the division court, within whose division the same was so made or taken, to be filed and kept among the papers in the cause,) it shall be lawful for such clerk, judge, or justice of the peace forth with to issue a warrant under his hand and seal, directed to the bailiff of the division court within which the same was issued, or to any constable of the county, commanding such bailiff or constable to attach, seize, take and safely keep all the personal estate and effects of the absconding, removing or concealed person or persons, of what nature and kind soever, liable to seizure under execution for debt, within such county, or a sufficient portion thereof to secure the sum mentioned in the warrant, with
* Goods or chattels.