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enrolment they are delivered into Chancery, and this is

the original Record (s). How passed. Acts of Parliament, ever since the 55 Geo. III. (A. D.

1814) have been divided into the following classes, viz :

1st. Public General Acts.

2d. Local and Personal Acts declared public, to be judicially noticed.

3d. Private Acts printed by the Queen's printer, whereof printed copies may be given in evidence; and Private

Acts not so printed. Promulgation of Anciently, after every session of Parliament, the King

was accustomed to command the Sheriffs to proclaim the several acts passed during that session, in their respective Counties, -and to cause them to be duly observed : since the art of printing has been common, however, that custom has been discontinued. Formal promulgation of an act is not necessary to give it the force of law, because every man is supposed to have been present by his representatives, when it was determined. But copies of it, notwithstanding, are always printed at the Queen's press, and transmitted to the Chief Magistrates, Sheriffs, and Clerks of the Peace, throughout the kingdom, for their particular information and guidance*.

For the purpose of private information regarding any act, the king's printer is permitted to sell copies of it to individuals (for his own emolument) for three perce per printed sheet.

The promulgation of the Provincial statutes is regulated by the 44 Geo. III. ch. 5, s. 3, which provides that the clerk of the House of Assembly shall, as soon as possible. after receiving the printed statutes, for the current year,

(s) Dwar. 247.

of Public Statutes 5,500 are thus printed and distributed; of Private Acta the number is limited to 306. (C. J, 3 & 9, June, 1801.)

Provincial Stat

send four copies of them to each member of the Legisla- Promulgation of tive and Executive Council, to each of the Judges of the utes. Queen's Bench, and the like number to the Attorney General, and also twenty copies to each member of the House of Assembly, to be by them distributed in such manner as will best tend to promulgate a general knowledge of the laws.

A law once made cannot be amended, or dispensed Authority of an with, but by going through the same forms, and by the ment. same authority, by which it was enacted. The King himself cannot dispense with any penal statute, without the consent of Parliament. An Act of Parliament, therefore, having the power to bind every person in the realm (even the King himself, if he be named therein) is the highest authority which this kingdom acknowledges.

Act of Parlia

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On Private Bills..




Private Bills are the ancient petitions of private persons, in a new shape, the last remnant of the old petitions to the King, in his Great Council of Parliament, for that redress and assistance which the ordinary courts had failed to administer, or were not empowered to grant. The ancient petitions have, by gradual and imperceptible changes from the time of Henry IV. grown up into the modern shape of Private Billst. These were followed by the introduction of powers into the settlements of Real Estates, which grew out of the Statute of Uses (27 Henry VIII. ch. 10), and were the invention of Conveyancers, to countervail the necessity for frequent applications to Parliament. With

Private Bills.

* The practice of the House of Lords with respect to private bills, formerly differed in many points from that of the House of Commons; but on the 16 August, 1838, with the view of approximating as much as possible the practice of the two Houses, the Standing Orders of the Lords were materially revised. But not having been able to obtain a copy of this amended edition, I have merely noticed the most distinguished features in the practice of that House.

| Report on Public Petitions, 1832. Appendix 3, “Evidence of Sir Francis Palgrave," p. 22. The distinction between Public and Private Acts of Parliament has been often, though erroneously, attributed to Kichard III., but many instances of the passage of such acts are to be met with in the Rolls of Parliament, at a much earlier date.

vate Bills.

out the aid of the modern power of sale and exchange, partition, leasing, jointuring, &c., the applications for Private Bills would be innumerable.

Private Bills, within the meaning of the Standing Order What are Priof the 15 February, 1700, may be classed as follows :

1st. Bills for effecting any local purpose, as inclosure, drainage, road, bridge bills, &c., or for building churches, prisons, &c., or for making docks and harbours, or for improving cities, towns, and fisheries, in particular places.

2nd. Bills which have only a personal operation, as naturalization, divorce, name, or estate bills; and all bills affecting any institution, company, or corporation.

3rd. Bills which, though not strictly of a local or personal nature, have only a special operation, as bills for regulating the trade of pawnbrokers, the leases of bishops, or the office of coroners.

Butin any case where, from the mixed nature of the bill, Bills of a mixed it is impossible to class it either as public or private, it must be determined and regulated by the particular circumstances of the case, and the usage of the House in similar instances. Sometimes when they would admit of separation, the House has ordered them to be divided into separate bills (a). But in some cases they cannot be divided, and bills of this epicene nature generally originate on petitions, but in their subsequent proceedings are treated as public bills (6). .

By a Standing Order of the House of Commons (c) all Notice to be Private Bills requiring notices of the intention to apply application for,

in certain cases. ; for the same are classed as follow :-(and compliance with all the Standing Orders regulating such notices must be proved before the Committee on Petitions for Private Bills.)

www: wint nature.

given of intended

(a) C. J. 4 and 6 February, 23 and 24 March, 1795. Brigstock inclosure, and lands to the Earl of Ossory.

(6) C. J. 13 May, 1811, Sullyard's estate. 28 June, 1815, Meux & Co. . (c) S. O. H. of H. of C, 1837.


Bills requiring 1st Class.-Bills for inclosing, draining or improving lands:

Making or altering a Burial Ground:... .9
Building, enlarging, repairing or maintaining a

Church or Chapel :
Paving, lighting, watching, cleaning, of improving

Cities, or Towns :
Erecting, improving, repairing, maintaining, or regu-

lating Town Halls, Market Places, or Markets : Constituting any Local Court, (as Courts of Requests,

The payment of any Stipendiary Magistrale or other.

Public Officer:
Bills relating to Poor Rates, or the maintenance or

employment of the Poor:
2nd. Class*.--Bills for making, varying, extending, or en- i

larging any Public Works, such as Bridges, Turns, pike Roads, Cuts, Canals, Reservoirs, Aqueducts, Waterworks, Navigations, Tunnels, Archways, Railways, Piers, Ports, Harbours, Ferries, i

and Docks : 3rd. Class.- Bills regulating County Rates, Gaols, or, :

Houses of Correction, or for confirming or prolonging the term of Letters Patent; or Bills to continue : or amend any former act, passed for any of the purposes included in this or the two preceding classes, where no extension of time, or power to .

take Land is required : Other Private No notice is required to be given of the intention to

Bills require no

* By the Standing Orders of the House of Commons, the greatest attention is given to the passage of bills of this class,--that measures calculated to be so important in their effects may not pass the House without having reeeived the most serious consideration ; for, besides the strict regulations that are required in notices of the intended applications for such bills (contained in the following page) it will be seen that there are further orders the compliance with which must be proved before the committee on the bill ; and that on such bills being reported from the committee, the report is ordered to lie on the table, until the expiration of seven days, when an order will be made for taking it into further considera. tion; after which the bill will be ordered to be ingrossed, as in other cases.

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