The First Attempt to Codify English Criminal Law [Great Britain]. [Commissioners on Criminal Law]. First [-Eighth] Report from His Majesty's Commissioners on Criminal Law. London: [Printed by W. Clowes and Sons, for H.M. Stationery Office], 1834-1845. Eight books bound as two volumes. Complete set. Folio (13-1/4" x 8-1/5"). Softbound volumes bound into later library buckram, red and black lettering pieces, raised bands, black-stamped ornaments and library initials and hand-lettered sub-titles to spines, blind-stamped library name to front boards, endpapers added. Light shelfwear and soiling, library stamps to endleaves and title page of Report at beginning of each volume. Moderate toning, a few loose leaves and signatures, minor chips and tears to a few leaves, manuscript table of comments in contemporary hand to front endleaves and underlining and annotations in a few places in each volume, early owner signature (of S.C. Denison, Inner Temple) to front endleaves of each volume and some of the title pages. A scarce complete copy. $3,500. * Only edition. Influenced by Bentham and produced by a team led by Thomas Starkie [1782-1849], Henry Bellenden Ker [1785?-1871] and William Wightman, the royal commission's highly regarded reports were the first attempt to codify English criminal law. The commission's First Report (1834) discussed the advantages of codification and the best ways to codify English law. The following four reports (1836-1843) consider capital punishment, procedures for the trial of juvenile offenders, homicide, offenses against the person, theft, fraud, criminal damage, burglary, offenses against the executive power and the administration of justice, forgery, offenses against the public peace, treason and other offenses against the state and religion, libel, coinage offenses and offenses against the revenue. The Seventh Report (1843) contains a draft code of the substantive criminal law incorporating revisions to the previous reports The Eighth Report (1845) is a draft code of criminal procedure. Though never adopted, the reports recommended many reforms that were ultimately enacted. They also established a precedent for codifying English criminal law. A second code, by James Fitzjames Stephen, was presented to Parliament between 1877 and 1881; a third, initiated by the Law Commis.
Book number 69642