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to recall to our minds Lord Macaulay's description of Jeffreys, "the most consummate bully ever known in his profession," from whose mind "all tenderness for the feelings of others, all self-respect, all sense of the becoming were obliterated." When any fact favourable to the accused was elicited he did his best to destroy the effect of it on the jury. He abused the counsel for the defence at every turn. In his examination of the prisoner in the presence of the jury, he insisted upon his confessing that he had committed the assault without intending to kill the accuser, merely "to administer one of those corrections which he was in the habit of administering to his servants, but that having miscalculated his blow, having gone further than he meant, intoxicated with terror, and stupified, he threw himself on his victim to finish him!" The only reply he obtained from the accused was a solemn assertion of his innocence. No browbeating or bullying could however, intimidate the prisoner's counsel, or prevent them from doing their duty. They submitted to the court the most convincing evidence of his innocence. They established beyond all moral doubt the conviction that the accusation had been falsely preferred by Roux in order to extort money in his claim for damages as partie civile, and that the injuries had been inflicted by himself. This defence was supported in the strongest manner by the behaviour of Roux himself in the witness-box, by the demeanour of the accused throughout his trying examination, by the evidence as to the worthless character of Roux, by the highest testimony in favour of Armand, and lastly by the most skilled medical evidence, which showed conclusively that the apparent torpor and insensibility of the accuser were feigned, and that he could easily have tied himself up in the position in which he was found.

When Mons. Lachaud concluded an eloquent speech for the defence the audience greeted him with loud cries of "Bravo!" That public spirit is not dead in France is proved by the fact that the jury refused to be dictated to by

the court, and acquitted the prisoner. The shameless partisanship of the President was so undisguised that it defeated its own object, and even the populace cheered outside when they learnt that Armand had escaped from the hands of this unjust judge.

Mr. Stephen, in the comparison which he institutes between our own and the French system, speaks of the French jury as "an anomalous excrescence," and expresses it as his opinion that it is of no use, because the inquisition already carefully made by the Ministère Public has settled the question of guilt or innocence beforehand. He seems to think that they are only convened for effect, and that in fact they simply return a verdict in accordance with the direction of the prosecution. The case of Armand signally disproves this position. Here the whole weight of the Ministère Public and of the Court was against the unfortunate accused. The Juge d'Instruction who had made the first inquiry, who had taken the depositions of the witnesses, was examined and gave his evidence-particularly as to what took place in his private interrogation of the accused, in the tone of an advocate for the prosecution. The judge was shamelessly partial to the accuser, and through, out the proceedings took for granted the guilt of the accused. No greater pressure could have been brought to bear by the prosecution; yet the jury with scarcely any hesitation brought in a verdict of not guilty. It is plain that this institution is in France, as it has proved in England, a most important means for maintaining, and it may be, gradually extending their existing privileges. For though it may be true that nearly nine teen-twentieths of the criminal offences are tried before the Correctional Tribunals which have no juries, all the trials of real gravity or importance are included in the remaining twentieth; and these are tried at the Court of Assize before a jury.

We have gone briefly through the leading incidents in a prosecution which was singularly disfigured by all that is harsh and repulsive in French criminal process. We have dwelt

upon all those features in it which are open to the strongest objection the secret examination of the prisoner, the assumption throughout the written statement for the prosecution, not merely of his guilt, but of every allegation in his disfavour, whether to be produced in evidence or not: the appeals by the prosecution and the bench to the passion or the prejudice of the jury; the production against the prisoner on his final trial of the statement made by him in a previous informal inquiry: the examination for the prosecution of the very magistrate who had conducted this preliminary inquiry: the attempts made from the bench to surprise, to frighten, to cajole the accused into a confession of his guilt. But with the exception of the preventive imprisonment of the accused for many weary months we do not think that any of these evils are fairly traceable to the principles or, indeed, to the express rules laid down in the French criminal code. The system there constructed taken as a whole is rational and simple. It proposes nothing more than to obtain by inquiry the exact truth as to every offence committed throughout the empire. For this purpose it appoints a Crown prosecutor in every town. It erects tribunals of simple police for the trial of all minor offences, in every centre of population, and provides them with judges, who are not merely honorary but paid and responsible magistrates. It provides accessible local tribunals (correctional tribunals), at which all offences not of the first magnitude may be tried. It charges one of the judges of this tribunal (the Juge d'Instruction) specially with the preliminary examination of all important criminal matters. It creates two intermediate courtsthe Chambre de Conseil, and the Chambre des Mises en Accusation-whose duties are to sift again all the facts before sending the case for trial. In the Procureur-General it provides an official of high standing, whose express duty it is impartially to superintend on behalf of the public every grave criminal charge, from the time of its remission to its final hearing before a jury in the Cour d'Assize. It gives an appeal from each of the minor tribunals to the higher. And, in the last resort, it

allows an accused as a matter of right to carry any decision, except on a mere question of fact, to a special court of criminal appeal which has been described by an eminent authority as "one of the most important institutions of modern France, giving to the whole jurisprudence of the country, criminal as well as civil, coherence and uniformity without endangering the necessary independence of the inferior tribunals."* It even gives the Crown prosecutor discretion to summon, at the expense of the prosecution, witnesses for the defence, where he shall think that their testimony will serve to discover the truth. The only objectionable features in the code itself are -the absence in the correctional tribunals of a jury, which should always be interposed between the executive and the accused in the final trial of all but the most trifling offences; the rule which allows the majority of a jury to convict ;† and the absence of any discretion to grant bail, in cases where the charge involves an infamous and afflictive punishment. ‡

For the abuses which reflect such discredit upon the procedure, and which were so prominent in the case of Armand, the system constructed in the Code Napoleon is clearly not responsible. They are due partly to the social and political conditions in which France has existed since that code was promulgated, partly to the fact that when that system was first established it was supplemented by no rational or precise rules of evidence, and partly to the character of the French people. The system itself is in many respects far more philosophical and consistent than our own. If it were transplanted with some modifications into this country, there can be no doubt that it would prove more efficient, more exact, and even more humane than ours. We should of course apply to its machinery all the rules of evidence which we have so carefully devised, and so jealously preserve, in our criminal procedure. But it must be remembered that most of these rules, essential as they are to a just and impartial administration, have only been

*Macqueen Reports House of Lords, Vol. II. Account of Court of] Cassation. † Code d'Instruction Criminelle, Art. 317.


Art. 113.

established even in this country by the decisions of our judges within the last century. They were wrought with infinite patience and determination out of rules of practice equally harsh and irrational with those that now obtain in France, by a Bar who here only reflected the temper and feelings of the English people. There is, indeed, but one lesson to be learnt from a study of the French procedure: that, however perfect theoretically a system of criminal jurisprudence may be, its administration can never be pure, upright, and incorruptible, unless it be open to the freest inspection and criticism, and carried on under a sense of responsibility to the people.

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There remains still the civil phase of this curious trial, which is more extraordinary than all. The accuser claimed 50,000 francs compensation for the injuries which he had alleged to have been inflicted. But as a partie civile, or indeed as a simple informer (denonciateur), the accuser is liable to be condemned in damages himself if he fail to establish the charge. The Code d'Instruction Criminelle provides that "when the accused has been declared not guilty the President shall announce that he is acquitted of the charge, and shall order him to be set at liberty, if he is not detained for any other cause. It then directs by the same article that "the court shall decide as to the damages (dommages intérêts) respectively claimed." And by another article (the 366th) it declares that "in the case of absolution, as in that of acquittal or condemnation, the court shall decide as to the damages claimed by the partie civile or the accused." The accused is "absolved" when he has been found guilty, (coupable) of an act which is not forbidden by a penal law (Article 364). Such an act though not constituting a penal offence may constitute a civil injury; and in such a case it would be quite consistent that the court should give damages for the civil injury, though the accused were absolved as to the penal charge, if it appeared that the act done had been injurious to the partie civile. It appears, however, that the question of damages is so entirely left to the discretion of the

* Code d'Instruction Criminelle, Art. 358.

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