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2-186 (Original)

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addressee,male author,male,Burton, E.S., Chief Justice,un
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Government English
Imperial Correspondence
Bennett, 1979
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2-186.txt — 3 KB

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Courts exercising summary jurisdiction, not contemplated by the Imperial Parliament, have by several successive local enactments grown up and have been at length established by the local Act 3 Will. IV No. 3; to which a summary jurisdiction has been granted, and a power to inflict different degrees of punishment; which, however beneficial under proper restraint in its operation and necessary in a colony constituted as New South Wales yet as the authority for instituting them may be questionable, it is proper to point attention to the subject, in order that, if necessary, legal sanction and confirmation may be obtained. [...] [101]
From (section 19 of 4 Geo. IV c. 96) it would appear to be the clear intention of the Imperial Parliament to confine the summary punishment of convicts, to Courts of Quarter Sessions. However an Act was passed by the local Legislature 6 Geo. IV No. 5, on the 8th of February 1825, giving to the several and respective Justices of the Peace power and authority in a summary way to take cognizance of all and every complaint made against any male offender for misbehaviour or disorderly conduct, during his term of transportation &c. and to sentence to a public treadmill not exceeding 10 days, by whipping not exceeding 50 lashes, solitary confinement on bread and water not exceeding 7 days, or confinement and hard labour not exceeding three months.
On the 25th of June 1828, was passed the statute 9 Geo. IV c. 83 which came into effect in the colony on the 1st of March 1829.
This latter statute in so far differed from that which preceded it, as that it did not in its provisions confer the summary jurisdiction on the Courts of Quarter Sessions, but authorized the Governor to do so, by Ordinances to be made with the advice of the Legislative Council. But no authority was given to confer the summary jurisdiction on any other persons.
On the 19th of February 1829 an Act was however passed by the local legislature (10 Geo. IV No. I.) reciting the statute and that it would take effect on the 1st of March 1829, and making provision for the exercise of the summary jurisdiction of the Courts of Quarter Sessions then existing to the full extent of the terms of the 19th Section of the expired Act, and then proceeded to provide (sec. 2.) "That in cases where any Court of General or Quarter Sessions should not be appointed to be holden within one week after complaint should be preferred against any such offender as aforesaid, at any place not more than 20 miles distant from the place at which the offence should be charged to have been committed, then in every such case all and every the powers authorities and jurisdiction in the said Courts of General or Quarter Sessions should be and were thereby vested in any one or more Justice or Justices of the Peace."
Another local Act, the 11th Geo. IV No. 13, was also passed 20th May 1830 which enacted that any two or more Justices of the Peace, assembled and sitting in open court within any part or place of the colony, and in certain cases one Justice should have and exercise the like summary jurisdiction power and authority over felons and offenders as Courts of General and Quarter Sessions.
And finally, By the local Act 3 Will. IV No. 3, passed 24th August 1832, a Court of Petty Sessions was established, to be holden before any two or more justices, and authority given to such justices, and in some cases to one Justice to take cognizance in a summary way of such offences, and defining the punishments to be inflicted.