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JUSTICE OF THE PEACE,
RESIDENT MAGISTRATE, CORONER,
ALEXANDER J. JOHNSTON,
A Judge of the Supreme Court.
GOVERNMENT PRINTER, WELLINGTON.
“OPTIMA EST LEX, QUÆ MINIMUM RELINQUIT ARBITRIO JUDICIS; OPTIMUS JUDEX, QUI MINIMUM SIBI.'
Bacon. De Augmentis, Aph. 46.
“That system of law is best, which confides as little as possible to the discretion of the Judge; that Judge the best, who relies as little as possible on his own opinion."
The First Edition of this work was compiled at the request of the Governor of New Zealand and his Advisers, for the purpose of supplying a want generally felt and frequently expressed by the Magistracy throughout the Colony.
The legislation of the General Assembly, within a few years after its publication, rendered it of comparatively little practical utility; and the accumulation of Acts directly or indirectly affecting Justices, passed up to the end of the last Session, has been so considerable, that, in bringing out a new Edition, it has been necessary to re-write the greater part of the book, and to make copious additions to both Text and Formulary.
The Author has endeavoured to avoid the imperfections of the First Edition, and has striven to make the present one as perfect as circumstances would permit, in the hope that it will be found a substantially sufficient guide respecting this branch of law for some years to come.
As it seemed desirable to furnish Justices with a complete Index to the Statute Law of the Colony affecting them, advantage has been taken of the opportunity to go further, and supply a desideratum generally acknowledged, by the compilation (with the assistance of Mr. Curnin) of a complete Index to all the unrepealed Ordinances and Acts of the General Legislature of the Colony, and a synoptical view of the unrepealed legislation of the several Provincial Councils.
With reference to the latter, the Author desires to offer his thanks to the Superintendents of the different Provinces, for the courteous alacrity which they have displayed in furnishing him with materials for its construction.
In the annotations to the Criminal Consolidation Statutes, in the Appendix, free use has been made of the published notes of Mr. Greaves, Q.C., the author of the English originals.
It is hoped that the general Index will be found sufficiently copious, even though it has been deemed unnecessary to encumber it with references to the sections of the Statutes as reprinted in the Appendix, in addition to the references which will be found in the margin of the text.
In conclusion, the Author desires to express his thanks to Mr. Didsbury, the Government Printer, for the care and diligence he has shown in carrying the work through the press.
WELLINGTON, New ZEALAND,
May 15, 1870.
TO THE READER.
The reader is requested to notice, that wherever there may be a doubt as to the applicability of the law of England, or the proper interpretation of Colonial enactments, or where the proposition enounced, not being a statutory enactment, has not been judicially affirmed, some such words are made use of as “It would appear," “It seems," &c.
With respect to the Forms,-both those which are adapted from English authorities, and the large number of original ones framed by the Author,—Justices and professional men must remember that they have not, except in the instances in which Forms are provided by the Acts themselves, received any authoritative sanction.
As the work is intended chiefly for non-professional readers, the Author has deemed it undesirable to encumber its pages with references to the Reports. In no case has a positive statement of law been made, the authority for which will not easily be found through ordinarily accessible text-books. In a few instances, where it seemed desirable, reference has been made to particular decided cases or other acknowledged authorities; and with respect to statutory enactments, whether Imperial or Colonial, the Act and sections are mentioned, when necessary, either in the text or the margin. The most useful works of reference are the following:
Stephen's Blackstone's Commentaries ;