State Records Office of WA SROWA

Government of Western Australia, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries

Series S865 - FILES - SPECIAL CASES STATED - MINING

Identity area

Reference code

AU WA S865

Title

FILES - SPECIAL CASES STATED - MINING

Date(s)

  • 1888-01-01 - 1906-01-01 (Creation)

Level of description

Series

Medium

Format

Files

Status

Context area

Name of creator

AU WA A44 - SUPREME COURT OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA (1861-01-01 -)

Administrative history

A Court of Quarter Sessions was established in Western Australia in 1830 and a Civil Court established two years later. However, as the colony grew and as society became more complex, the judiciary became overtaxed. In the 1850s the equity jurisdiction of the Civil Court was challenged while the courts' jurisdiction in criminal matters was questioned. For these and other reasons, the Supreme Court Ordinance of 1861 was introduced.

The Supreme Court Ordinance (proclaimed on 18 June 1861) provided for a Supreme Court which had the same criminal, common law, and equity jurisdiction as the Courts of Westminister. The Ordinance amalgamated the Court of Quarter Sessions with the Supreme Court and transferred to it a number of functions of the Civil Court. For example, the Supreme Court was empowered to grant probates and letters of administration and given jurisdiction in bankruptcy matters. After 1863, the Supreme Court was also given jurisdiction in matrimonial causes (i.e. divorces).

Under the Ordinance, the officers of the Supreme Court were to be the Chief Justice (Archibald Paull Burt), an Attorney-General, a Master, and a Registrar.

In 1880 a new Supreme Court Act was introduced. The Act which came into force on 1 August 1881, clarified the Court's jurisidiction in admiralty matters and empowered the Chief Justice to make Rules for the conduct of the Court. Provision was also made for the appointment of one or more puisne judges and for the Chief Justice and other judges to sit as a Full Court. Initially, the Full Court could only entertain motions for retrials and pronounce on points of law, but after 1886 it was given the status of a Court of Appeal.

The first sitting of the Supreme Court was held on 3 July 1861 and for the first few years it occupied premises in the Police Court and Gaol Building in Beaufort Street, Perth. In 1863 it moved to the old (1836) Court House in Stirling Gardens and in 1880 moved again to the old (1835) Commissariat Store at the foot of Barrack Street. Despite alterations the Commissariat building was inadequate and in the 1890's work began on a new, purposely-designed courthouse. The new building, completed in 1903, is still the principal seat of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The Wardens' Courts heard cases on the goldfields. Many early Wardens had no legal training, so the Goldfields Acts of 1886 and 1895 made provision for them to reserve points of law for the opinions of the Supreme Court on any case before a Warden's Court. The Warden had to prepare a submission, the special case stated, for the Supreme Court. The case before the Warden's Court could not be concluded until the opinion of the Supreme Court on the "case stated" was received.
The "cases stated" in these files relate to Wardne's Court cases in the following areas:
(i) mining cases under the 1886 Goldfields Act and the 1896 Mines Regulation Act,
(ii) Licensing Court (under 52 Vic., 13 of 1888),
(iii) civil cases where the Warden had also been appointed as Resident Magistrate for the district.
For "cases stated" under the 1895 Goldfields Act and the 1904 Mining Act, see WAS 867 and WAS 869 respectively. Registers - Cases Filed, WAS 882, also lists cases in this series.
The Consignment List gives names of the parties involved and date range of the files. State Archives has allocated control numbers for use when requesting the files.

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Related units of description

Identifier

Category of relationship

Preceding

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1888-01-01 - 1906-01-01

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1896-01-01 - 1903-01-01

Authorized form of name

Identifier

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Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1909-01-01 - 1939-01-01

Authorized form of name

Identifier

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Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1864-01-01 - 1941-01-01

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Archivist's note

Range Control Symbol = 1 - 34

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