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L AW REVIEW;
Quarterly Journal of Jurisprudence.
FEBRUARY to MAY, 1863.
BUTTERWORTHS, 7, FLEET STREET,
Law Publishers to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.
DUBLIN: HODGES, SMITH & CO.
CAPE TOWN: SAUL, SOLOMON & CO.
LELANE STANFORD, JR., UNIVERSITY
LIBRARY OF THE
London: EMILY FAITHFULL, PRINTER AND PUBLISHER IN ORDINARY TO ABR XAJESTY,
VICTORIA PRESS, 83A, FARRINGDON STREET, E.C.
Law Magazine and Law Review:
QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF JURISPRUDENCE.
Art. I.—THE DISCIPLINE OF THE BAR.* EXCUSES are hardly needed, except such as are personal
to myself, for bringing forward before this Society a subject which has attracted of late much attention on the part of the public. That attention has been roused partly by the painful investigations recently held on the conduct of members, who, to the outer world, at least, appeared to be in the foremost ranks of the Bar-resulting, in one case, in the expulsion from the profession of a barrister holding the rank and honours of a Queen’s Counsel, a Recorder, and a Member of Parliament; and, in another, also that of a barrister, holding the same honours, in the severe censure by the benchers of his Inn
his professional conduct; and partly by a recent case which has been decided by the Court of Common Pleas, involving one of the most serious questions which can arise between a counsel and his client.
These unfortunate cases naturally lead us to the consideration of the important question whether the organization of the
* A Paper by Mr. G. Shaw Lefevre, read at a General Meeting of the Society for Promoting the Amendment of the Law, held on Monday, 2nd Feb., 1863.
VOL. XV.--NO. XXIX.
Bar of England, which has so long been entrusted to the Societies of the Inns of Court, is effectual in supporting the honour and dignity of the profession, and whether the discipline which the benchers of these Inns enforce, and their mode of proceeding in the cases brought before them, provide sufficient guarantees to the public. In the observations which I shall venture to offer to you on this topic, I shall, for the most part, confine myself to the nature and origin of the jurisdiction of the Inns of Court and their benchers—to the manner in which that jurisdiction is exercised—to some of the principal rules of discipline and etiquette—to the uncertainty of many of the rules themselves and to the inconvenience thus resulting to the Bar and to the public.
The Bar of England cannot, with any certainty, be traced further back in our history than the 13th century; for it was not till after the Magna Charta that the Courts of Law were permanently settled at Westminster, instead of following, as previously, the king's person in his journeys through the country; and it was about the same time that persons, no longer of the clerical order, practising as barristers and attending the Court, formed themselves into societies, which were partly intended as seminaries of learning and partly as bodies for the maintenance of discipline among their order.* Although there is no account extant of the founding of these Inns or Societies, it is certain that, from a very early period, they were recognised by the Courts of Justice, and that to their members was conceded the exclusive right of being heard on behalf of suitors before the judges of the land in the superior Courts of Law. According to the best authorities, these four Inns of Court are to be considered in the nature of voluntary associations, which from time immemorial have had their powers delegated to them by the judges ;f they
* Dugdale's Origines Jurid., p. 141. Fortescue de Legibus., chap. 49.
| It has been laid down by a high authority that Courts of Justice have necessarily a power of determining what persons shall practise before them