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1. Liberty of the Subject as connected with the administration of
Justice :(a.) of Criminal Justice:(1.) Appointment of Stipendiary Magistrates.
Multiplication of offences classed as crimes.
| Summary jurisdiction of Magistrates. 0 Reorganisation of Criminal Courts.
1 Systematic practice of appeal to the Home Secretary. (3.) Criminal Punishments :
(4.) Reconstruction of Criminal Law.
Treason and Treason-Felony.
| Organization and multiplication of Police.
Oral examination of prisoners. (6.) of Civil Justice :
1 Expensiveness of litigation. 2. Liberty of the Subject unconnected with judicial administration:
Public Health Acts.
| Army and Navy discipline. Supreme personal rights not violable on behalf of public interests. Public interest in the maintenance of these rights.
Importance of recognising dynamical as well as statical elements in
the Constitution. Recent history as an exponent of Constitutional Law.
Directions of recent Constitutional change :-)
Political susceptibility of the public.
Necessity of new methods of controlling new machinery. iii, Relations between the Executive Government and Parlia.
ment. Modern Constitutional conditions and requirements,
FIFTY YEARS OF THE
THE CONSTITUTION AND ITS MOVEMENTS.
What is familiarly known as the English Constitution possesses so many unstable as well as stable elements that a purely historical method of inquiry has naturally commended itself as the most hopeful mode of studying that Constitution and of predicting its probable movements in the immediate future. Mr. Hallam and Professor Stubbs have had the advantage of extending their historical researches over a very considerable period, reaching, in Mr. Hallam's case, to the end of the reign of George II. Sir T. Erskine May has pur, ported to bring Mr. Hallam's work down to the present day; and Mr. Walter Bagebot has drawn a vivid and severely exact portraiture of the working of the Constitution at the time his treatise appeared. Most of these works treat of times very ancient or very recent, and for this reason scarcely suffice to determine the true directions in which the English Constitution may be said to be moving at the present moment, and therefore fail to describe that Constitution as it really is. If Sir T. Erskine May's work seems to cover the ground here alleged to be vacant, there are other objections to that work which largely reduce its value and render it of little service for the purpose of really testing the existing state of the Constitution. The work is wholly uncritical in its character and conception; it makes little selection of materials, not distinguishing what is of merely transitory and what is of lasting import; and it concerns itself more with defending modern political changes, so far as they seem to follow in the wake of a Wbig theory of government, than with scrutinising the real bearing of these changes on the progress of the Constitution.
The period of fifty years intervening between the year 1830 and the year 1880 seems to present limits peculiarly suited for marking out both the essential and unchangeable elements of the Constitution-if there be any such—and also the growing and variable elements on the movements of which the future of the Constitution depends. Within these limits of time, it is necessary, in view of the purpose indicated, only to recur to those events or constitutional epochs which are of critical moment. A summary of, or even allusion to, all political facts indiscriminately would convert a constitutional analysis into a mere political history. The investigation is not concerned with the general value of legislative enactments, or the success or ill-success of Executive Governments, but with the structure of the English Government itself, and the progressive modifications, in one direction or another, which are taking place in that structure. The only questions for the constitutional inquirer are, where is the supreme
Elements of the Inquiry.
authority ultimately situated, and what practical guarantees are provided for the individual citizen against abuses of that authority. Under these general heads are, in truth, gathered up all the multiform inquiries with which a scrutiny of the constitutional condition of a modern State teems. These inquiries relate to a number of somewhat complex topics which often seem little connected with one another. Such topics are the amount, kind, and formalities of popular representation in Parliament; the control exercised by Parliament over the Executive Authority, and the mode in which that Authority is created and sustained; the relations of local to central authorities, and of Dependencies to the parent State ; and, not least of all, the constitution of Courts of Justice, the nature and administration of the Criminal Law, and the degree of arbitrary authority conceded to the permanent officers who are entrusted with the preservation of the peace.
It is not an unduly patriotic vaunt to assert that, as compared with the existing constitution of all other European States, the English Constitution best secures the primary object of all good government; that is, a wide diffusion of political rights coupled with effective guarantees for personal liberty. This is no optimistic view of the English Constitution ; and the truth of it is testified not only by the treatises of accomplished foreign writers on the subject—who are commonly far deeper students of English institutions than English labourers in the same field—but by the fact that every constitutional movement in other European countries is attended either by an avowed copy of some characteristic English institution or by a tentative modification of one. Thus the movements or struggles of the