Defects of English Law'Thys ys no dowte but that our law and ordur thereof ys over-confuse. Hyt ys infynyte, and without ordur or end. Ther ys no stabyl grounde therin, nor sure stay; but euery one that can coloure reson makyth a stope to the best law that ys before tyme deuysyd. The suttylty of one sergeant schal enerte [enerve?] and destroy al the jugementys of many wyse men before tyme receyuyd. There is no stabyl ground in our commyn law to leyne vnto. The jugementys of yerys [i.e. the Year Books] be infynyte and ful of much controuersy; and, besyde that, of smal authoryte. The jugys are not bounden, as I vnderstond, to folow them as a rule, but aftur theyr owne lyberty they haue authoryte to juge, accordyng as they are instructyd by the sergeantys, and as the cyrcumstance of the cause doth them moue. And thys makyth jugementys and processe of our law to be wythout end and infynyte; thys causyth sutys to be long in decysyon. Therefor, to remedy thys mater groundly, hyt were necessary, in our law, to vse the same remedy that Justynyan dyd in the law of the Romaynys, to bryng thys infynyte processe to certayn endys, to cut away thys long lawys, and, by the wysdome of some polytyke and wyse men, instytute a few and bettur lawys and ordynancys. The statutys of kyngys, also, be ouer-many, euen as the constytutyonys of the emperorys were. Wherefor I wold wysch that al thes lawys schold be brought into some smal nombur, and to be wryten also in our mother tong, or els put into the
Page:English Law and the Renaissance.djvu/54
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