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though they offer suggestions which will have the careful consideration of His Majesty's Government for the amendment of the present system of Colonial Appeal on matters of detail."

“9. The result of the Conference has been to shew that no farreaching alteration in the present Tribunal is desired, or would be considered satisfactory by the Colonies generally, and so long as the Colonies are of that opinion, His Majesty's Government do not propose to make any material changes for the establishment of an Imperial Court of Appeal.”

“ 10. In conclusion I have to thank your Government for the readiness with which they complied with the desire of His Majesty's Government that they should send to this country a delegate to confer with His Majesty's Government upon this very important question; and I would ask your Ministers to consider the point suggested by the delegates-namely, whether any, and if so what amendments are desirable in the present procedure under which appeals lie from your Colony to His Majesty in Council which will tend to simplicity, the avoidance of unnecessary delay, and the reduction of the cost of appeal.”



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An ex-minister of Justice, then Chief Justice of Canada, Sir Charles Fitzpatrick, on October 21st, 1914, addressed the American Bar Association on “ The Constitution of Canada," and gave his opinion as follows :—“In no part of the King's Dominions has greater service been rendered by the Judicial Committee than in Canada, particularly since Confederation. . . Since 1867, the Judicial Committee has been called upon in scores of cases to trace out the line of demarcation between Federal and Provincial Jurisdiction, and it must be truthfully said that the result has been eminently satisfactory. Removed, as the majority of Judges are, from all local strifes, desirous as they are to distribute the most impartial Justice, it is not surprising that the right of appeal to the King in His Privy Council is one of the privileges most highly prized by the people of the Dominion. I do not mean to say that there has not been exception taken to the freedom with which appeals may be carried to the Privy Council in ordinary civil matters, but whatever view may obtain in other parts of the Empire, so far as Canada is concerned, I think I may safely say that, amongst lawyers and Judges competent to speak on the subject, there is but one opinion, that where constitutional questions are concerned an appeal to the Judicial Committee must always be retained."


What is the position in 1925 ?

Experience, the interchange of views through personal contact of English and Canadian Judges, lawyers and statesmen, have brought this remarkable result that His Majesty the King, on the 2nd May, 1925, on the recommendation of the Lords of the Judicial Committee, was pleased to approve new Rules of Practice and Procedure in accordance with which the general appellate jurisdiction of His Majesty is to be exercised from the 1st of January, 1926.

Rule 2 reads as follows:

All appeals shall be brought either in pursuance of leave obtained from the Court appealed from, or, in the absence of said leave, in pursuance of special leave to appeal granted by His Majesty in Council upon a Petition in that behalf presented by the intending appellant."

This indeed is more than evolution, it nearly amounts to a revolution! What a contrast with the British attitude of 1876! Even, where, as in Quebec, an appeal exists de plano to the Privy Council in certain cases, it will now be necessary to obtain, in all such cases, leave to appeal from the Colonial Court appealed from. It is to be hoped that our Courts will discourage such applications, and, by their decisions, will help the Privy Council to adopt a policy restricting the exercise of the prerogative to very important constitutional cases. They should consider as final the judgments of our Supreme Court in all cases where the interest of the general public is not concerned, or at least, follow strictly the rule laid by Lord Fitzgerald in Prince v. Gagnon' and limit the exercise of the prerogative to cases involving matters of public interest, or some important question of law, or one affecting property of considerable amount, or when the case is otherwise of some public importance or of a very substantial character. In private litigation leave to appeal should be curtailed, as the costs are so high that even the successful party considers a favourable judgment of the Privy Council an expensive luxury.

This would be a final vindication of the views of Edward Blake and prove again the intelligence, the great and skilfull diplomacy of those who preside over the destinies of the British Commonwealth. We can well repeat to-day what was said by an American editor:

There is not at the present moment any more effective institution in the whole world of political fabrics than the British Empire. Whatever its machinery lacks appears to be supplied by its spirit. The defects of its body are made up for by the unity of its soul.”

(1892) 8 A. C. 103.


When the Honourable the Minister of Justice, a few days ago, asked me to represent him at this gathering, I at once made introspective examination of my past views in respect to the Canadian Bar Association, and I came to the conclusion that I ought to make, on this occasion, a full and public confession of my utter lack of faith not only in the usefulness but also in the life prospects of the Association, in the early days of its existence.

Indeed, I was then among a group of none too modest and sceptical bystanders who frowned upon its cradle and predicted for its parents hopes disappointed, labour in vain and early sorrow.

Nor shall I conceal the reasons for these fears if only to palliate the offence, and, in terms of 'assizes,' justify a suspended sentence. We were vaguely apprehensive of a gentle and mild-mannered invasion, which, in due course of time and by degrees almost imperceptible, might offer a sacrifice of our magnificent system of codified Civil Laws upon the altar of uniform legislation.

But I hasten to proclaim it; these fears were unfounded and they have long ago vanished. Today, the most distinguished Judges on the Bench and the leaders of our Bar, in a Province which you know to have been traditional by necessity and conservative in the real sense by instinct, have become the ardent missionaries, as well as the enthusiastic collaborators, of those who formed and organised the Association, and who by constant endeavour and at great sacrifice to themselves, have not only maintained the Association to a mature life, but, with that inspiration which always comes to broadminded and patriotic men, enlarged its action far beyond and above the range of our ordinary professional pursuits.

The Association was born of a generous and truly Canadian idea. It will live; time will only add to its influence for the profession of law and to its importance throughout the country at large.

That is why the sceptics and the false prophets of the early hour have become the converts of the eleventh; and let me, on behalf of these repenting sinners ex eorum pars magna fui offer here and on this solemn occasion a tardy, but none the less sincere, homage to him whose name is at this moment in everyone's thought, and who with un

1 Address delivered by Mr. N. K. Laflamme, K.C., Bâtonnier-General of the Bar of the Province of Quebec, at the Annual Dinner of the Canadian Bar Association held in Winnipeg on August 27th, 1925.

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tiring effort achieved this great success because he worked for it with the spirit of an apostle and with the persevering courage of a crusader.

But let the Association be Canadian in name and in truth; and may it become a bond of unity which might appear to-day delicate as a silk thread to become in time as solid as a steel bar, and also a strong armature in the complete structure of Canadian nationhood.

It is a truism to observe that Canada is a great country. It is not so often recalled that Canada is a difficult country to govern. Both geographically and ethnically, we meet with obstacles not easy to remove and with problems difficult to conquer. You may glance at the map for a moment and it will tell its own story.

Look to the West, at the gem of this Domin:on, the Province of British Columbia, breathing on the Pacific Ocean, its face towards the Far East, rich in products and in hopes, enjoying a magnificent climate, self-contained and almost self-supporting and separated from the prairies by the gigantic wall of the Rockies.

Then central Canada, of which this City is the metropolis, the land of hard wheat and the land of strong men, isolated from the oceans and endeavouring to solve the many problems arising from short summers and long distances; and far beyond the desolate stretch of land over which we easterners have to travel to reach you, you find the two parent Provinces, one resting on the Great Lakes and the other leaning on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, like two dowagers looking out from the piazza of prosperous homes, with a variety of agricultural products, water powers in abundance, but with great industries which draw too many toilers of the soil to the great centres.

Then, our three sister Provinces on the Atlantic, with coal mines inexhaustible, rich in lumber and fisheries and yet far distant from the great markets; Nova Scotia extends both arms far out to sea, as if calling for assistance from the Mother Country, or beckoning to the New England States.

Nearly fifty or sixty years ago, Statesmen decided to confederate the Canadian Provinces and they signed a solemn parchment; but no contract ever created a nation. Later, great captains of enterprise tied up the interests of these Provinces by constructing three belts of steel rails, but juxtaposing the interests of men does not necessarily unite men themselves.

The object which we all pursue can only come to life by the creation of a true national spirit born of the notion that we have a common country, of the attachment to a native land, of personal sacrifice for the common good and above all, of the willingness of every Canadian to labour with certainty of no reward for himself, provided those

who follow may reap a plentiful harvest of increased happiness in this land of Canada, blessed by Providence and consecrated by the heroism of the early pioneers, not only of those who found historians to record their deeds, poets and orators to recall them and artists to transmit their names to posterity, but chiefly of those whose names are unknown, who lived anonymous lives and died in the wilderness, unknown soldiers, over the remains of whom shall never spread the shadow of an Arch of Triumph.

Let the Canadian Bar Association be a symbol and a living example of how a true national spirit can be created and fostered; then, but only then, may the members of the Canadian Bar have the right to proclaim their pride in our glorious past and look to future days with that optimism born of the sense of duty performed to themselves, their fellows and to the Country.


1. The Unjust Judge.

A Judge without honour or pity
Who feared neither Moses nor Chitty

Was forced to decide

For a lady who cried
With unusual pertinacity:

2. An Ancient Partition Action.

King Solomon's keen erudition
Condemned the poor baby to scission:

They cannot agree

On per tout et per mie,
So it's plainly a case of partition.”

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3. The First Ejectment, B.C. 4004.

There was a sad couple, bereft
Of Eden because of their theft;

Sighed Adam to Eve,

Come, my dear, we must leave ” —
So they both took their leaves and they left.

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