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Qui juris nodos, et legum ænigmata solvat.--Juv.
PRINTED FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY.
In a country which boasts of the richness and variety of its Periodical Literature, where almost every branch of science, and every sect has its subsidiary journal, it is somewhat singular that Jurisprudence, a science in itself so interesting, and in its application so closely connected with the wellbeing of society, should be absolutely without any regular organ of communication with the public. Such, however, is the case with respect to England; and, what renders the circumstance more remarkable is, that, in other parts of Europe, even where periodical literature is but in its infancy, works of this class do exist. France has its “ Thémis ou Bibliotheque du Jurisconsulte.” In the kingdom of the Netherlands, two works of a similar description have recently appeared, one at Liege, the other at Amsterdam. In Germany, besides several minor publications relating to the laws and judicial establishments of individual states, there is the celebrated “ Zeitschrift, of Savigny; ” and there is also a new work, entitled “ Annals of German Jurisprudence,” conducted by Schunck.
It is proposed, therefore, to take up the ground hitherto unoccupied in the periodical literature of England; and many circumstances concur to render the present moment the most favourable for such an undertaking. The legislature has turned its attention to the defective state of our code, and the anomalies of our judicial system : and various measures of reform are in contemplation, which, to be efficient, must be maturely weighed, frequently discussed, and subjected to the test of a minute and searching criticism. The public mind is anxious; directed to the subject, and information is sought with avidity. A spirit, also, of rational inquiry seems to pervade the practitioners of the law : there is an evident disposition amongst them to extend their views beyond the narrow technicalities of the profession, and to shake off the reproach cast upon them by a distinguished writer, “ that law is studied in England rather as an art than a science.”
The projected work will embrace the science of jurisprudence in its widest extent.
To investigate and explain the true principles of legislation, and to apply the philosophy of law, will constitute a main feature in its plan. The history and antiquities of the law, the legal institutions of other nations and other times, will also demand its attention. The Roman law, so long depreciated in England, will not be overlooked. The decisions and practice of our courts, and the general administration of justice
throughout the empire, will meet with the consideration to which, from their vast importance, they are entitled. The acts of the legislature will be vigilantly watched, and their substance, structure, and operation examined.
Above all, the proposed alterations in our code, and the reforms of our judicial institutions, will be noted in their progress, their tendencies developed, their imperfections displayed, and such suggestions offered as may serve to promote the effectual attainment of their object.
All English works of character upon the subjects above enumerated will be noticed in the “ JURIST." Nor will it confine its labours to English literature alone. Out of the immense and continually increasing mass of foreign productions on law, those will be selected which possess sufficient interest, either as treating upon points which bear any affinity to the dispositions of our own legal system, or as indicative of the actual state of jurisprudence in other countries.
With regard to such English publications as are strictly of a professional nature, it would be equally beside the purpose, and beyond the limits of the work to review them all. Those alone will be noticed which are calculated to advance the science.
Each Number will contain a narrative of domestic and foreign transactions connected with the