On the ‘intricacy of our legal process’

  • Gareth Jones


We have now gone through the whole circle of civil injuries, and the redress which the laws of England have anxiously provided for each. In which the student cannot but observe, that the main difficulty which attends their discussion arises from their great variety, which is apt to at our first acquaintance to breed a confusion of ideas, and a kind of distraction in the memory: a difficulty not a little increased by the very immethodical arrangement, too justly complained of in our ancient writers; but which will insensibly wear away when they come to be re-considered, and we are a little familiarized to those terms of art in which the language of our ancestors has obscured them. Terms of art there will unavoidably be in all sciences; the easy conception and thorough comprehension of which must depend upon frequent use: and the more subdivided any branch of science is, the more terms must be used to express the nature of these several subdivisions, and mark out with sufficient precision the ideas they are meant to convey. This difficulty therefore, however great it may appear at first view, will shrink to nothing upon a nearer approach; and be rather advantageous than of any disservice, by imprinting a clear and distinct notion of the nature of these several remedies.


Legal Process Sufficient Precision Distinct Notion Substantial Justice Ancient Writer 
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  1. 1.
    William Hawkins, An Abridgement of the First Part of My Lord Coke’s Institutes; with some additions (London, 1711), preface.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gareth Jones
    • 1
  1. 1.Trinity CollegeCambridgeUK

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