Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/836

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814
STATUTE MERCHANT—STAUNTON, SIR G. T.


of the Scottish parliament may in certain cases cease to be binding by desuetude. "To bring an act of parliament like those we are dealing with" (i.e. the Sabbath Profanation Acts) "into what is called in Scots law the condition of desuetude, it must be shown that the offence prohibited is not only practised without being checked but is no longer considered or dealt with in this country as an offence against law" (Lord Justice General Inglis in Bute's case, 1 Couper's Rep., 495). Acts of the imperial parliament passed since the union extend in general to Scotland, unless that country be excluded from their operation by express terms or necessary implication. Scottish acts are cited thus, 1678, c. 10. The best edition is that issued by order of the Treasury, 1844–1875. An edition of the revised statutes has been facilitated by the repeal of obsolete statutes by the Statute Law Revision (Scotland) Act 1906.

Ireland.
Originally the lord deputy appears to have held parliaments at his option, and their acts were the only statutory law which applied to Ireland, except as far as judicial decisions had from motives of policy extended to that country the obligation of English statutes. In 1495 the act of the Irish parliament known as Poynings' Law or the Statute of Drogheda enacted that all statutes lately made in England be deemed good and effectual in Ireland. This was construed to mean that all statutes made in England prior to the 18 Hen. VII. were valid in Ireland, but none of later date were to have any operation unless Ireland were specially named therein or unless adopted by the Irish parliament (as was done, for instance, by Yelverton's Act, 21 & 22 Geo. III. c. 48 (I.). Another article of Poynings' Law secured an initiative of legislation to the English privy council, the Irish parliament having simply a power of acceptance or rejection of proposed legislation. The power of the parliament of Great Britain to make laws to bind the people of Ireland was declared by 6 Geo. I. c. 5. This act and the article of Poynings' Law were repealed in 1782, and the short-lived independence of the parliament of Ireland was recognized by 23 Geo. III. c. 28. The application of acts passed since the union is the same as in the case of Scotland. Divorce acts are still passed for Ireland (see DlvoRcE). Irish acts are cited thus, 26 Geo. III. c. 15 (I.) or (Ir.). The best edition is that issued in twenty volumes pursuant to an order of the earl of Halifax, lord-lieutenant in 1762. A volume of revised statutes was published in 1885. The earliest that is still law is one of 1459.
British Colonies and Dependencies.
Acts of the imperial parliament do not extend to the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands or the colonies, unless they are specially named therein. By the Colonial Laws Validity Act 1865 ("the charter of colonial legislative independence") any colonial law repugnant to the provisions of any act of parliament extending to the colony is void to the extent of such repugnancy, and no colonial law is to be void by repugnancy to the law of England unless it be repugnant to such an act of parliament. For colonies without representative legislatures the Crown usually legislates, subject to the consent of parliament in particular cases. Examples of imperial legislation for the colonies in general are the Colonial Stock Act 1877, and the Colonial Courts of Admiralty Act 1890. For imperial acts dealing with particular colonies may be cited the British North America Act 1867, and the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900. A colony is defined for the purposes of imperial legislation by the Interpretation Act 1889, s. 18. In many of the colonies, as in Canada, the constitutionality of an act of the colonial legislature is, as in the United States, a matter for the determination of the local court or of the judicial committee of the privy council on appeal.
United States.

By the constitutions of many states English statute law, as it existed at the time of the separation from England, and as far as it is applicable, has been adopted as part of the law of the states. The United States and the state are not bound by an act of Congress or a state law unless specially named. The states legislate for themselves within the limits of their own constitution and that of the United States. Here appears the striking difference between the binding force of a statute of the United Kingdom and an act passed by Congress or a state legislature. In the United Kingdom parliament is supreme; in the United States an act is only of authority if it is in accordance with the constitution. The courts may declare an act void if it contravene the constitution of the United States or of a state, so that practically the Supreme Court of the United States is the ultimate legislative authority. The restrictions upon Federal legislation in the constitution of the United States provide against the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus except in case of rebellion or invasion, the passing of a bill of attainder or ex post facto law, the imposition of capitation or other direct tax, unless in proportion to the several states, or of a tax or duty on exports, the preference of the ports of one state over those of another, the drawing of money from the treasury except by appropriations made by law, and the grant of a title of nobility. Constitutional amendments contain further limitations, e.g. the taking of private property for public use without just compensation, and the abridging of the right of citizens on account of race, colour or previous condition of servitude. State legislation is limited by s. 10: "No state shall. .. make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts, pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility." The section further forbids. imposition of duties on imports or exports or any duty of tonnage without consent of Congress. State constitutions often contain further restrictions; among the more usual are provisions against laws with a retrospective operation, or impairing the obligation of contracts, or dealing with more than one subject to be expressed in the title. The time when a statute is to take effect after its passing is often fixed by state constitutions. The statutes of the United States were revised under the powers of an act of Congress passed in 1874 (sess. i. c. 333), and the volume of Revised Statutes was issued in 1875. There was a second edition in 1878 and several supplements have appeared since that date. Many of the states have also issued revised editions of their statutes. The rules of construction are in general agreement with those adopted in England. In some states the referendum has been introduced in certain cases.

Continental European Countries.
In most European countries there is a code, the existence of which. makes the system of legislation hardly comparable to ours. The assent of two chambers and of the monarch, or president, is generally necessary. Greece is an exception; it is the only state in Europe with one chamber.
International Law.
The term "statute" is used by international jurists and civilians. mostly on the continent of Europe to denote the whole body of the municipal law of the state. In this sense statutes are either real, personal or mixed. A real statute is that part of the law which deals directly with property, whether movable or immovable. A personal statute has for its object a person, and deals with questions of status, such as marriage, legitimacy or infancy. A mixed statute affects both property and person, or, according to some authorities, it deals with acts and obligations. Personal statutes are of universal validity; real statutes have no extra-territorial authority. The determination of the class under which a particular law ought to fall is one of great difficulty, and one in which there is often a conflict of legal opinion. On the whole the division appears to have created more difficulties than it has solved, and it is rejected by Savigny as unsatisfactory.
See Story, Conflict of Laws, §§ 12–16; Phillimore, International Law, vol. iv. ch. xvi.; Pillet, Principes de droit international privi,. chs. xi. and xii.  (J. W.) 


STATUTE MERCHANT and STATUTE STAPLE, two old forms of security, long obsolete in English practice, though references to them still occur in some modern statutes. The former security was first created by the Statute of Acton Burnell (1283) and amplified by the Statute of Merchants (1285)—whence its name-and the latter by an act of 1353, which provided that in every staple (i.e. public mart) the seal of the staple should be sufficient validity for a bond of record acknowledged and witnessed before the mayor of the staple. They were originally permitted only among traders, for the benefit of commerce, but afterwards extended by an act of Henry VIII. (1532) to all subjects, whether traders or not. The creditor under either form of security was allowed to seize the goods and hold the lands of a defaulting debtor until satisfaction of his debt. While he held the lands he was termed tenant by statute merchant or by statute staple. In addition to the loss of his goods and lands the debtor was liable to be imprisoned. Statute merchant, owing to the summary method of enforcing payment, was sometimes known as “pocket judgment.” Both were repealed by the Statute Law Revision Act 1863.


STAUNTON, SIR GEORGE THOMAS, Bart. (1781–1859), English traveller and Orientalist, was born near Salisbury on the 26th of May 1781. He was the son of Sir George Leonard