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to their waiting rooms and lavatories, and thence by a staircase either to the jurors' galleries or to the courts. They too, are provided with their corridor, and with all the modern conveniences which indicate the abode of civilized man.
The ground on which the building is erected, slopes from. north to south with a steep incline towards the river, so that the level of the Strand on the south is eighteen feet below the level of Carey Street on the north.
The courts are on the Carey Street level, so that as one stands on the floor of the Central Hall which is three or four feet above the Strand, the courts on the first floor are some fifteen feet higher. Taking each row of courts as it runs alongside of the Central Hall, we find a corridor for the bar on one side and a corridor for the judges on the other side. That for the bar admits direct to each court; that for the judges is so artanged that on one side of it there are the private rooms occupied by the judges and their personal officers, and on the other' are doors giving immediate access to the bench in each court, so that each judge can communicate with every other judge without more trouble than that of sending a message or making a short'excursion along a private way. There are entrances to the building on the Carey Street front which are set apart for the judges and which afford a direct and private entrance to their own special corridor. Every court is, as far as possible, removed from the noise of the street traffic outside, andao window giving light to a court looks out on the street.
The courts receive light principally through the roof, and where there are windows they look out on a “well” lined with white glazed bricks; and by this means, not only is the greatest amount of light possible obtained, but air for the purpose of ventilation is also afforded.
INTERNAL ARRANGEMENT.—The arrangements of the courts differ considerably. Taking first of all the court which is understood to have been originally intended for the Master of the Rolls, the scheme is as follows:
The judge's seat is on a high platform, under a graceful oak canopy, and on either side are two oak stalls, probably intended for distinguished visitors to the bench of the Chancery Division.
On a lower platform is a long table, destined for the registrar and judge's officers. Below this are the solicitors seats, facing the counsel and provided with a long table furnished with inkstands. There is room on shelves behind the seat, for hats, books and papers. The Queen's Counsel seats are immediately in front, within about fourteen feet of the judge, and extremely convenient for addressing him. The desks in front of these seats are sloping and slide forward. They appear to present rare facilities for papers slipping down among the leader's feet. But the worst arrangement in this part of the court is that of the queen's counsel seats, which lift up like the seats of stalls in cathedrals.,
“It is not, however,” said a barrister to us, “the lifting up but the coming down of the seat which is the point of difficulty.” The seats are very heavy and they are apt to come down with a crash which will have a fearful effect upon a nervous judge or counsel. One witty correspondent in writing upon this subject some years ago before the courts were occupied, said: “It will be necessary to put the learued leaders through a course of seat drill, training them to use the utmost caution in the descent of their seats.”
The first row of seats for the outer bar in this court is precisely similar to the leader's seat, and behind this are four seats for the bar, ascending by steps, and behind them is the gallery for spectators. The short-hand writers' seats are on the right and left of the registrar's platform on the level of the floor.
The walls are lined with book-shelves, and the court is lighted by three two-light windows on either side and from the roof. The ventilation is secured by open panels in the roof.
Taking next a court intended for one of the courts of the other divisions, we find different arrangements as regards the solicitors seats. Here the solicitors sit with their backs to the counsel and facing the judge. In front of them are two tables. The jury box is on the left of the judge. It contains three rows of seats and there is a separate entrance for the jurymen. The witness box is on the right of the judge, immediately facing the jury. The arrangements as to seats for counsel are similar to those in the court last described, but there are cight
rows of seats. The court is lighted from a cupola in the roof.
The general effect of the courts is admirable. The proportions are good, although much smaller than the ordinary court rooms in the United States, and the fittings are all of solid oak, frequently carved and ornamented very elaborately. The acoustic properties are good, but the great distance which some of the counsel are from the jury box, inakes it difficult for them to hear. In England it is not thought necessary for counsel to be so near the jury that they can touch them with their hands, or wink at them as they make telling points.
The western portion of the building takes up two thirds of the whole space. The great quadrangle round which the eastern portion stands, measures about 300 feet in length by about 100 feet in breadth: In this portion of the building, which begins on the south side of the Strand, and starting from the clock tower which forms so conspicuous a feature in the building, runs up the whole length of Bell Yard and some distance along Carey Street on the north, are grouped on four floors some of the most important offices in connection with the courts. Facing Bell Yard we find the whole of the top floor occupied by the chancery taxing masters.
At the south end of the same portion of the building are placed the offices of the Masters of the Queen's Bench Division on the court floor and the floor next above it, and the central nffice is placed on the ground floor.
At the north, on the court floor and the floor next above are the offices of the chancery registrars, and on the ground floor those of the chancery paymaster and the branch office of the Bank of England.
At the north side of the great quadrangle and on its western side, and also on the western side of the Central Hall on the two uppermost floors, are the offices of the chief clerk of the judges of the chancery divisions. At the north end of the great quadrangle is the bar room (not tap room), on which the late Mr. Street, the renowned architect, expended ornamentation with a profusion not to be found elsewhere in a building by no means deficient in ornament. Above the bar room are the lunacy rooms.
The original project for the building comprised more than nine hundred apartments, including twenty-two court rooms, but parliament modified that scheme, and the estimate was reduced and the amount of room restricted.
Great difficulty was found in providing for all of the officers of the probate, divorce and admiralty division, and for several others; and many rooms originally designed for waiting and consultation rooms have, we are informed, been taken possession of in order to accommodate the demands of the public.
COURT ROOMS AND ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE BAR.—The first feeling that one experiences in going into the court rooms, is one of surprise at their modest proportions, and this is not materially diminished when one passes into the three larger ones, two of which are at the south and the thlad at the north end of the Central Hall. It was at first intended that there should be four such larger court', but the original plans in this respect have been modified, and what would have been the fourth one has principally been converted into a broad vaulted chamber, which is no doubt intended to give a means of communicating with some additional buildings: These, our informant said, it may surprise some to hear, will be built at the northwest corner of the present buildings, and plans for them have, indeed, already long ago been prepared.
The whole of the present nineteen courts are on the same floor, and are built, so to speak, in pairs.
Facing the judge's seat in each court, is the gallery for the public, and in the smaller courts, there is certainly not room for more than forty persons in these galleries. This is much to be regretted, as there are cases in which we cannot but think that it is a matter of the highest importance that there should be room for at least two or three times that number. However this may be, the design of all courts is to accommodate the parties who have business to transact, and not the public in general. On a line with the galleries for the public. are the galleries for jurors, in one court to the right of the judge's seat, and in another to the left.
The judges' seats are somewhat peculiar, and as we should think, likely to prove uncomfortable; they resemble such as
are found in college chapels for heads of houses, but are much narrower.
On a line with the seats for the judges in the smaller courts will be found on either side of-them four or five seats petitioned off. These again, though they have no canopy over them as the judges' seats have, have a quasi ecclesiastical look that seems much out of place. Immediately in front of the bench, are the seats for the officers of the courts.
In the common law courts, the tables for solicitors are placed so that they face the judge, but in the chancery, the solicitors appear to sit with their backs to the bench: :und turn around in order to address the court.
The bar have but little reason to complain of the amount of space allotted to them, as the whole body of the courts seems to be absolutely given up to them. By the relegation of the public and the jurors to galleries, counsel are able to pass in and out of all the courts with the greatest fieedom.
The short-hand reporters and the reporters of the daily papers have not been forgotten. Their seats are at the sides of the courts, between those of the Masters and the Queen's Counsel, but at right angles to them. They are, therefore, exceedingly well placed-for hearing. The fittings of the interior of the courts are all oak, presenting a very solid and handsome appearance, the oak wainscoting going all around them to the height of some ten feet.
VENTILATING AND Lighting.-Great attention has been paid to the ventilation and lighting of the courts, and the arrangements appear to be excellent. The royal courts of Cook County may well pattern after them.
We counted sixteen small courts all arranged alike except that those on the east side are wider than those on the west by some two feet. The three larger ones would appear about half as large again. There are book cases in all of them, in which many of the later acts of Parliament and recent decisions of the courts of last resort are kept for the use of the court and bar.
CONSULTATION Roos.-Outside the courts but on the same floor, there are some ten consultation rooms, ind robing rooms