In Chapter 2, speaking of the relation of law to happiness, Bentham had this to say about procedural law. He called procedural law adjectival law. Saying,
‘The adjective branch of law, or law of procedure, and therein the law of evidence, has everywhere for its object, at least ought to have, the giving effect throughout to the several regulations and arrangements of which the substantive branch or main body of the law is composed.’
In Chapter 3 section 1, Bentham turned his thoughts to the ‘ends of justice’ i.e what the procedure was there for. He said,
‘… Of the ends of judicature, were there none of them but what were capable of being presented in a positive or affirmative shape, the list might be very short.
- In case of wrong supposed to have already been committed:—
- Application of the matter of satisfaction where due,—and in the shape in which it is due.
- In the case where no wrong is supposed to have been committed, but, at the hands of the judge, a service, consisting generally in the conferring of some new right is demanded.
- Collation of right where due, and in the shape in which it is due.
- Reddition of judicial service at large where due, and in the shape in which it is due…..’
‘Referable still to the same two departments, follow in the list of evils incident to judicature, such as may be termed collaterally resulting—evils resulting in a collateral way from the misapplication of the powers of judicature:—
- Delay, where, and in so far as, unnecessary or preponderant.
- Vexation, where, and in so far as, unnecessary or preponderant.
- Expense, where, and in so far as, unnecessary or preponderant.’
‘In the word misdecision, we have a general term, under which any decision, under and by virtue of which any of the above-mentioned evils, mentioned as correspondent, and opposite to the direct negative ends of judicature, are considered as produced.
Given the ends of justice on the occasion of judicature, given in the same degree of detail are the duties of the judge.’
If, as it has been endeavoured to be made, this analysis be found all-comprehensive, every imaginable breach of duty commissible on the part of a judge, as such, will be found referable to one or more of the heads contained in it.’
The early part of this book was published in 1812. The later parts appeared in the Bowring edition of 1843.
Edited for ease of reading.