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did not bind another, though one cannot
but fuppofe that the determination of a for-
mer committee would, in all cafés, have
fome, and, in most, a very considerable
weight, in the decision of a subsequent
committee on the fame point. To reason
otherwise, would be to maintain that Mr.
Grenville's act, under the veil of an im-
partial and steady judicature, was meant
to put every thing afloat which had once
been settled, and render inefficacious the
most falutary law, which ftands as a bul-
wark of defence for the rights of election
against the despotism or intrigue of a power-
ful or infidious minifter, In law, as in

other sciences, perfection is to be attained

only by gradual means. By the 10 and it

W. 3. c. 7. it is enacted that the deter-

mination of the house of commons 'upon

the right of election should bind the re-

turning officer in taking the poll. That

statute is enlarged by the 2 G. 2. c. 24.

whereby the last determination of the house

of commons is made conclusive upon the

house as to the right of election : And

though the 10 G. 3. c. 16. (amended by II

G. 3. C. 42. and made perpetual by 14 G.

3. C. 15:), which establishes the new judica-

ture, does not transfer to committees the

fame power of specially determining on the


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right of election; yet by 28 G. 3. C. 52. a felect committee chosen under the io G. 3. (under the restrictions therein mentioned) is trusted with the power of binding by its decifion the right of election, and of appointing a returning officer, where the right is litigated. And by the same act, fuch committee is authorised to give costs upon

frivolous and vexatious petitions and defences. These ads, fo far as they relate to the practice or regulation of the new judicature, are added in the Appendix; but the 10. G. 3. C. 16. which is the foundation of the whole, is so printed, as to exhibit, by a marginal abridgment, of the subsequent acts, every variation made in any section of that act down to the present period. The statutes relating to the subject, where it was thought improper to copy them literally, will be found to be accurately abstracted, and will, in most cafes, be found to supply the want of the Itatute book itself. Some statutes afterwards repealed, or new-modelled, are briefly stated for the better understanding of subsequent acts made in pari materiá. In referring to the Journals, the author has contented himself with a few precedents to the fame point, except on questions of any nicety or doubt. It was his original inten


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tion to have comprized in this book the Scotch Law of Elections ; but as that fub

ject is already treated upon at large by a Wight on Elec- more experienced and able pen, he has

omitted the Scotch cases, except where adduced to prove or illustrate general positions. Matters of evidence are incidenta ally mentioned as they grow naturally out of the subject. To have gone into the doctrines of evidence more at large, would have been to have added a fupplemental treatise larger than that upon the principal subject. The law books, therefore, must be referred to for such information, though practice and found observation only can give a ready discrimination in this comprehensive and difficult part of the law. On such parts of the subject as relate to the power of the house of commons in some instances of incapacitating their own members, which cannot be measured by any rule exactly defined, the author has contented himself with the statement of precedents, or has rested his observations upon analogous reasoning.

The leisure of an earlier period enabled the author to compile and arrange the materials of this little work principally with a view to his own amusement. It has gra


dually ripened into a treatise, which, in the judgment of some professional friends, might become useful in election business.

If it should conduce, in the most trifling degree, towards so desirable an end as to facilitate the duties of the committee and bar, his wishes will be fully gratified.


Wherever the 28 G. 3.6. 36. is mentioned, the reader must observe, that that Axt will not take effect (if af all) until roth July 1790.

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