« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Where, however, he has given cases which have not before been reported, he has of course entered more fully into their circumstances, and has usually added in notes, reports of them more or less extended.
The Author has fortunately been enabled to publish Notes of the Opinions of the Judges in a variety of important election questions. The sources from which he has principally derived these notes have been twofold. In the first place, he has had unlimited access to the valuable collection of Session Papers of the late Lord President CAMPBELL; and from these he has been enabled to give both the Notes of that eminent lawyer of his own opinions, in a variety of cases decided during his presidency, and also those which he took on the Bench of what fell from the other Judges. With respect to these Notes, it is proper to observe that they ought to be taken in connection with the full reports of the cases to which they relate, which are given in the Collection of Decisions published by the Faculty of Advocates; because it has not been' consistent with the Author's plan to give so ample a report of those cases as might be necessary to the full understanding of these notes. At the same time, it is believed, that, in general, even the short account which the Author has given of the different cases, will be sufficient to enable the reader to comprehend the general import of these opinions. The other source
from which he has derived the Opinions of the Court, is the Collection of Notes of the late Lord HAILES. From this collection, it is well known that the opinions, in a variety of cases, have been already published, under the direction of a gentleman of the Bar of well known industry and ability. The opinions, however, in a considerable number of cases, were not included in this publication, principally because the eases were unreported, and the Session Papers could not be found; and many of these cases were election questions. These circumstances were kindly communicated to the Author, and as he was enabled to discover the Session Papers for some of those cases in the collection of Sir ILAY CAMPBELL, he was with great liberality permitted to avail himself of the Notes of Lord HAILES; and has accordingly from that source printed the previously unpublished opinions of the Court, in several questions.
The Historical Inquiry regarding the Constitution of Towns, which has been appended to the legal part of this publication, was originally intended to have related merely to the Boroughs of Scotland, and to have been of such an extent as might, without inconvenience, have been prefixed to that portion of the work which treats of the law of Borough Elections. But, in prosecuting this subject, the Author was struck with the similarity of the borough constitutions of different countries,
and was induced to extend his inquiry, so as to include a few of the principal countries of modern Europe, and also to enter rather more fully into the history of the Scottish Borough constitutions than he had originally intended. The result has been, that, although the historical view which he has drawn up, can only be considered as a general outline of the subject, it became too extended to be inserted as an introduction to that part of the work relating to the Law of Borough Elections; and it was judged better to annex it as a separate Essay, appended to the whole subject. In the portion of this inquiry relating to the Scottish Boroughs, the Author has necessarily trenched on some of those historical points which were the subjects of keen political controversy, during the pendence of certain questions in Parliament and before the Privy Council. His object, however, has been to abstain from all expression of party sentiment, and to state the facts in regard to the history of our Borough Constitutions, precisely as they have appeared to him to be established by authentic historical evidence.
In concluding these observations, he begs leave to return his warmest acknowledgments to those of his brethren at the Bar, who have kindly assisted him with opinions on points of difficulty as they happened to occur, and who have permitted him the use of writings and documents of various descriptions.