Page:The Green Bag (1889–1914), Volume 25.pdf/472

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

Reviews of Books judgments reflect, in fact, the strength of the English judiciary of today. In the brief period since the passage of the Workmen's Compensation Act a sensible, logically consistent body of law has formed itself, in close touch with the common understanding of men and in harmony with the plain, unperverted, layman's interpretation of the legis lative intent. In judgments like these, doubtless, least embarrassed by the deadening weight of legal tradition, we may expect to find the greatest vitality; it is judgments of this sort that put most life and vigor into unwritten law.

THE SLATER TRIAL AGAIN Trial of Oscar Slater. Edited by William Roughead, Writer to the Signet. Notable Scot tish Trials Series. William Hodge & Co., Edin burgh and Glasgow. Pp. lxxviii, 29K + 23 (ap pendices), (os. net.) THE Slater trial, though it attracted attention in Scotland because of its sensationalism, would perhaps not be so memorable if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had not aroused public interest in it and given it a notoriety that has made it almost as well known as the Beck case. The present work covers more ground than Sir Arthur's dramatic narrative (25 Green Bag 338), and while not more readable, offers more copious details to an appetite hungry for the facts of a curiously confused if not spectacular cause celebre. The editor of the volume, which gives the docu ments of the case and sets forth the testimony of the witnesses in full, does not permit himself to speak disparag ingly of the Lord Advocate's conduct of the prosecution, but he maintains an attitude of discreet scepticism toward the findings of the jury, and directs the reader's attention to the dangers of evi dence of identity based on personal impressions, if not corroborated by


other evidence. The volume forms a dignified report of a criminal trial, and the thoroughly competent manner in which its materials have been prepared and arranged make it a model for books of its class. But after giving our atten tion to this long and complicated case we leave it with feelings somewhat akin to those which the jury must have experi enced after sentence had been pro nounced: "Lord Guthrie thanked the jury for their attendance at that long and complicated trial, and said they would be excused from jury service during the next three years." Only it seems as if they had earned the right to be excused for a very much longer time.

AN ARGUMENT AGAINST THE MONROE DOCTRINE The Monroe Doctrine: An Obsolete Shibboleth. By Prof. Hiram Bingham. Yale University Press, New Haven. Pp. 112 + appendix and index 42. (*1.15 net.) THE particular merit of this book, which is an enlargement of an article published in the Atlantic Monthly (25 Green Bag 314) is the force with which it directs attention to actual conditions of public Opinion in South America. It serves to exhibit clearly the difficulties in the way of a cordial understanding with Latin America that are destined to continue while our Government keeps on claiming to be sovereign of the western hemisphere. The author writes rather to interpret the alien point of view of Latin America, of which he has made a close study during residence and travel, than to examine questions of domestic policy from the standpoint of a native citizen. He suggests, to take the place of the Monroe Doctrine, the possibility of a concert of the American nations, in which powers we do not now see fit to honor with an ambassador would par