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Philip Dru: Administrator

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<SPAN name="XXX"></SPAN> <h1 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">Chapter XXX</h1> <h2 align="center" style="margin-top: 2em;font-variant: small-caps">A New Code of Laws</h2> <p>Dru selected another board of five lawyers, and to them he gave the task of reforming legal procedure and of pruning down the existing laws, both State and National, cutting out the obsolete and useless ones and rewriting those recommended to be retained, in plain and direct language free from useless legal verbiage and understandable to the ordinary lay citizen.</p> <p>He then created another board, of even greater ability, to read, digest and criticise the work of the other two boards and report their findings directly to him, giving a brief summary of their reasons and recommendations. To assist in this work he engaged in an advisory capacity three eminent lawyers from England, Germany and France respectively.</p> <p>The three boards were urged to proceed with as much despatch as possible, for Dru knew that it would take at least several years to do it properly, and afterwards he would want to place the new code of laws in working order under the reformed judiciary before he would be content to retire. The other changes he had in mind he thought could be accomplished much more quickly.</p> <p>Among other things, Dru directed that the States should have a simplification of land titles, so that transfers of real estate could be made as easy as the transfer of stocks, and with as little expense, no attorneys&#8217; fees for examination of titles, and no recording fees being necessary. The title could not be contested after being once registered in a name, therefore no litigation over real property could be possible. It was estimated by Dru&#8217;s statisticians that in some States this would save the people annually a sum equal to the cost of running their governments.</p> <p>A uniform divorce law was also to be drawn and put into operation, so that the scandals arising from the old conditions might no longer be possible.</p> <p>It was arranged that when laws affecting the States had been written, before they went into effect they were to be submitted to a body of lawyers made up of one representative from each State. This body could make suggestions for such additions or eliminations as might seem to them pertinent, and conforming with conditions existing in their respective commonwealths, but the board was to use its judgment in the matter of incorporating the suggestions in the final draft of the law. It was not the Administrator&#8217;s purpose to rewrite at that time the Federal and State Constitutions, but to do so at a later date when the laws had been rewritten and decided upon; he wished to first satisfy himself as to them and their adaptability to the existing conditions, and then make a constitution conforming with them. This would seem to be going at things backward, but it recommended itself to Dru as the sane and practical way to have the constitutions and laws in complete harmony.</p> <p>The formation of the three boards created much disturbance among judges, lawyers and corporations, but when the murmur began to assume the proportions of a loud-voiced protest, General Dru took the matter in hand. He let it be known that it would be well for them to cease to foment trouble. He pointed out that heretofore the laws had been made for the judges, for the lawyers and for those whose financial or political influence enabled them to obtain special privileges, but that hereafter the whole legal machinery was to be run absolutely in the interest of the people. The decisive and courageous manner in which he handled this situation, brought him the warm and generous approval of the people and they felt that at last their day had come.</p>
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