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LEGAL EDUCATION. III.-BY MR. FREDERICK J. MUNBy. (Chairman of the Yorkshire Board of Legal Studies) > In The Lau Journal.
On the occasion of a meeting of the Legal Education Committee last spring, my old friend, the late Mr. Robert Ellett, remarked to me that “a good deal has been done since you read papers on Legal Education in the Provinces”; and we recalled the meeting of the Law Society in Dover, on the day when war was declared in South Africa, and he was vice-president of the Law Society. I reminded him how our good treasurer, the late Mr. Pennington, then said he “foresaw a vista of Provincial Law Societies coming for grants to the Council in Chancery Lane,” and how some years later they had come, but on the invitation of the Law Society itself. The changed attitude of the Law Society in the new century towards legal education and their expenditure of money in this direction have effected great things, and have brought lustre to their proceedings. They have also brought to their aid a “Society of Public Teachers of Law,” which was deservedly inaugurated with great éclat in the Law Society's splendid Hall; and their influence for good is creating an attraction which is giving new life to our branch of the profession. Alongside of this movement have grown up the provin. cial universities, and following the lead of Liverpool, and under the influence of the late Mr. Jevons, have sprung up Boards of Legal Studies, which have not only taken full advantage of all the new universities can give, but have given to the universities a character and stability by the creation of Law Departments, or Faculties of Law, which at least enable the universities to confer the honorary degrees of LL.D. and D.C.L., the value of which will 6f course increase with the reputation, which time will give, to the Law degrees of merit in the respective universities. Here, then we find our schools of law. Yet some will rightly say, “But, after all, the education of an articled clerk is, and will remain, a personal matter between him and his principal, who is bound by personal covenant to look after the clerk’s education.” That is true; but he is a bold man who can enter into that covenant regardless of the school of law within his reach. And the great merit of the situation now evolved, as above described, is that the solicitor, so bound by covenant, may not only fulfil that covenant indirectly through the Law School, but he also retains at least a share in the regulation and control of the clerk's education there. Every country solicitor is, or may be, a member of his local Law Society, and every Law Society (at least in Yorkshire) sends, or may send a representative or representatives to sit on the Council of the Board of Legal Studies of the county or district. The grants made by the Law Society are made not to the universities direct but to the several Boards of Legal Studies, who subsidise the universities; and, by their representatives on the Law Committees of the Universities, these Boards maintain the interest and conserve the rights of the individual solicitor. Albeit, many solicitors are still a long way from realising all this; and no doubt the practical difficulty faces them of fitting the clerk's attendance at the university with his duties in the solicitor’s office. Among those solicitors who appreciate university training opinions vary as to the period in which the clerks should attend at the universities. Acting on the advice of the Public Teachers of Law, the Law Society, under the authority of a Judge's order, have set on foot this year a new plan by which, in the Law Society’s own school, a year's attendance, followed by examination duly passed before articles, will secure the clerk's exemption from one year of his five years' service under articles. The intention is that in any other Law School approved by the Law Society, the same exemption shall in the same way be secured; and it goes without saying that the Law Society will approve, as a law school, the Law Faculty, or Law Department, of every university in England and Wales. In Yorkshire this régime is so far acceptable that a great effort was made to have it in working order at the Universities of Leeds and Sheffield during the academical year now commencing. In this the Yorkshire Board have been dis
appointed, the necessary Judge's order is not yet obtained, and the curriculum is not yet finally settled. In this the Law Society reasonably claim to have a voice, and it is obviously desirable that all such curricula should coincide with that of the Law Society in its own Law School; but the Law Society claim also a control in the examinations at the close of that curriculum. While this may be proper in relation to the examinations in any approved Law School (if such there be) independent of any university, it needs to be remembered that the examinations of a university must be consistent with its general management and its dignity. And therein comes further evidence of the value of the established Boards of Legal Studies.
The experience thus gained goes to prove the value of the Law Society to the new universities and the value of the universities to the Law Society; and it further proves the influence of the provincial solicitors in the counsels of the Law Society. Indeed, the outcome of these considerations appears to be that the greater the number of provincial solicitors who are members of the Law Society the more effective will be the education of their articled clerks, and the more money will be available for that education; and a further fact is worth remembering, namely, that if every solicitor out of every guinea he receives as a premium with his clerk would give a shilling to the treasurer of the Board of Legal Studies in his county or district, that Board would have a steady income for the prosecution of the important work in which so much progress has evidently been made.
It will be gratifying if this review of the present situation leads to an extension of learning among articled clerks and law students who are as yet outside the influence of a university, by the universities manifesting their readiness to carry their teaching outside their own borders, as the Board of Legal Studies may advise, and by the cultivation of the university spirit among students, which the Law Society is well able to encourage.
FIRST DIVISION COURT, COUNTY OF PEEL.
FREDERICK. M. MORSON V. CORPORATION OF THE CITY OF TORONTO.
Written argument on behalf of the plaintiff, dealing with the provisions of the Ontario Assessment Act so far as they affect the case of the plaintiff.
R. A. Reid, D.C.L., counsel for the plaintiff.
1. The above named plaintiff, Frederick M. Morson, is the Junior Judge of the County Court of the county of York, and was so appointed by the Government of Canada by Orderin-Council at a fixed salary, and resides in the city of Toronto in the provincé of Ontario. 2. He receives from the Government of the Dominion of Canada a certain fixed salary payable monthly as remuneration for his services to the Government of Canada as such Judge, and has occupied this position for a number of years, and is engaged in no business, profession or calling of any nature or kind other than being in the employ of the Government of the Dominion of Canada, and the said plaintiff has no income of any nature or kind except the remuneration which he receives from the Government of the Dominion of Canada under his said appointment as County Court Judge. 3. The said plaintiff was assessed in the year 1911 by the said city of Toronto, assuming to act under and by virtue of the provisions of the Assessment Act of Ontario, levying and assessing upon him the sum of $65.21, being an assessment for taxes on the remuneration derived by the said plaintiff as compensation for his services as Junior Judge of the County Court of the county of York, and which said remuneration is paid to him by the said Government of the Dominion of Canada as aforesaid. 4. The said plaintiff has paid the said taxes so assessed upon him as aforesaid in respect of his said remuneration under protest, and has brought an action for the recovery of the amount so paid by him against the said City of Toronto, and claims that he is not liable to be assessed on said remuneration in the manner and under the circumstances aforesaid on the ground that such remuneration is received by him by virtue of his said position as County Court Judge engaged in the service of the Government of the Dominion of Canada, and, as such, is not assessable by the city of Toronto for municipal or any other purposes.
(a) If the opinion of the Court should be that the plaintiff is rightly assessed on said income, judgment is to be given for the defendant.
(b) If the opinion of the Court should be that he is not rightly assessed on said income for the reasons hereinafter stated, then judgment is to be for the plaintiff.
The defendant assumes to tax the remuneration of the plaintiff under and by virtue of the Ontario Assessment Act, R. S. O. 1897, ch. 224, as amended by ch. 23 of the Ontario Statutes for 1904, being the new Ontario Assessment Act, and which is still in force. It is the imposition of this income tax which the defendant objects to on the ground that he is the junior Judge of the County Court of the County of York, appointed as such by the Government of Canada, and exempt from income tax, and he further contends that the Act does not, and did not, intend to tax Judges' salaries, but that it is only the Municipality that assumes they have the right to do so under the Act. This part of the argument for the plaintiff deals only with the Assessment Act referred to, and on this branch of the case it is contended for the plaintiff that a “Judge’ is not a “person’ within the meaning of any part of that Act, relating to the taxation of income, that the remuneration or allowance which a Judge receives is not “income * within the meaning of section 2, sub-section 8 of the said Act, and that if it was intended to tax the remuneration of the “judiciary,” or the “Judges of the Courts” as income, they should have been specially mentioned in the Act. Let us turn for a moment to section 2, sub-section 8 referred to, which is the section defining the meaning of “income * and see what is said. The section has not been altered or amended since 1904, and is as follows:
8. “Income * shall mean the annual profit or gain “or gratuity (whether ascertained and capable of computation as being wages, salary or other fixed amount or unascertained as being fees or emoluments, or as being profits from a trade or commercial or financial or other business or calling) dir