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BENTHAM, Jeremy.

Justice and Codification Petitions:

Being Forms Proposed for Signature by all persons whose desire it is to see Justice No Longer Sold, Delayed, or Denied: and to obtain a possibility of that Knowledge of the Law, in proportion to the want of which they are subjected to Unjust Punishments, and Deprived of the Benefit of their Rights. Drafts for the above proposed petitions.

London: Robert Heward, 1829 Stock Code: 118356
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Presentation copy inscribed by the author

First edition, presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the title page, "To John Galletly Esq. Dundee. from Jeremy Bentham, Queen's Square Place, Westminster, 21 Dec 1829". Bentham dedicated the final years of his life to perfecting his theory of codification, with the hope that his petitions for administrative and legal reform would be passed in the House of Commons. "Bentham, fearful that the 'Full-length Petition for Justice', given that it would have to be copied onto parchment, would prove too bulky for 'its being carried about for signature', and too expensive to be engrossed, had, therefore, produced the 'Abridged Petition'. The 'Abridged Petition' had the further advantage that it was more likely to be read and signed by a greater number of persons than the 'Full-length Petition'. The same considerations had then led him to produce the 'More Abridged Petition'... In effect, the work was a restatement of the proposals for the judicial establishment and its associated procedure which Bentham had elaborated in the constitutional code, with some amendments to render it compatible with the existing political system, together with illustrations of English practice drawn from Rationale of Judicial Evidence" (Schofield, p. 321). When his parliamentary ally and mouthpiece, the MP Daniel O'Connell, failed to present Bentham's notice to the House on 8 July 1830, Bentham's attempt to introduce codification into the United Kingdom was ultimately rendered unsuccessful.

John Galletly (1793-1839) was a solicitor and the secretary and treasurer of Dundee's Political Union whose political principles were of the Benthamite school. Closely involved in the local reform movement, he often used his position as the editor of the Dundee Advertiser to support municipal reform initiatives.

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Octavo. 20th-century quarter white and blue paper boards, contemporary paper label to spine printed in black, edges uncut. partially unopened.


Spine ends and corners lightly rubbed, tail of spine a little bumped, paper spine faded, endpapers foxed, a very good copy.


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