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2-361 (Original)

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addressee author,male,Therry, J.,un
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Bennett, 1979
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The establishment of a Circuit Court is analogous to the institution of the Court of Assize in England, which is composed of two judges of the superior courts of common law, who are twice sent every year on circuits all round the kingdom, to whom the duty is confided of superintending the trial of matters of fact as well as that of deciding matters of law, and transacting other judicial business. If in England, where time and distance are wonderfully shortened by steam and railway communication, it is still deemed a great advantage that Circuit Courts should be held, in order that the administration of the laws might be brought home to all the inhabitants of the land, of far greater necessity and advantage may it be deemed that in this remote district from the seat of government, this venerated institution of our native land should be established. [189]
Whether this court, as a Circuit Court, should be continued or whether, for it, in progress of time, in this district, rapidly rising into importance - a Resident Judge should be substituted, I will obtrude no opinion: - but it is, at least, just and necessary, that there should exist some court here, in which all the laws to which the members of this community are amenable should be administered. Its establishment is the right of the community, in analogy to the principle and practice in England of bringing the administration of the laws to the people's homes.
It is, moreover, a convenience and advantage in point of economy. Indeed, from the impediments which great expense, and the long absence of witnesses from home have hitherto presented, it is to be apprehended this great evil has arisen - that only some cases of aggravated crime have been subjected to trial in Sydney, whilst many offences that merited exemplary punishment have been committed from the prospect of impunity on which those who committed them calculated, by reason of the difficulties in the way of trial created by the causes to which I have adverted. It cannot be commended, yet it cannot be wondered at, that many would prefer that serious injuries, to property and even to person, should altogether go unpunished, rather than be subjected to the law's delay and the law's expense, and the inconvenience of long absence from home, incident of necessity to a journey to Sydney. The establishment of this court removes all difficulties and inconveniences of this nature.
The half-yearly appointed sittings may now be useful, not only for the punishment of crime, but for what is more desirable, for its prevention, - by deterring those who may be now hesitating on the brink of crime from plunging into its commission, when they are aware and assured that there is now as easy a mode and as effective a machinery for bringing criminals to justice in Brisbane, and thoughout the wide district of Moreton Bay, as exists in Sydney, - and that punishment will follow as quickly and as certainly on the track of guilt as in any town or county in the great country from which we have all come. The hope of impunity, then, from delay, distance, and expense, that the criminal may hitherto have indulged in, expires at the creation of this court today.