State Records Office of WA SROWA

Government of Western Australia, Department for Culture and the Arts.

Series S49 - REGISTERS - CRIMINAL RECORD BOOKS

Identity area

Reference code

AU WA S49

Title

REGISTERS - CRIMINAL RECORD BOOKS

Date(s)

  • 1830-10-01 - (Creation)
  • 1830-10-01 - 1987-12-31 (Accumulation)

Level of description

Series

Medium

Format

Volumes

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 1850's 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.

Name of creator

AU WA A102 - COURT OF GENERAL QUARTER SESSIONS OF THE PEACE (1830-01-01 - 1861-01-01)

Administrative history

On 9 December 1829, Captain Stirling appointed Justices of the Peace to deal with civil and criminal matters. The greater part of their work was in connection with criminal offences and they held Courts of Petty and Quarter Session as in England. Quarter Sessions were held early in January, April, July and October in each year, the first sitting being in 1830.

The Quarter Sessions Act 1832 conferred on the Court power to hear and determine all felonies and misdemeanors committed in the colony, including forgery and perjury.

The Court of Quarter Sessions first sat in the office of the Deputy Harbour Master at Arthur's Head, Fremantle, and later in another room in Fremantle. It was not until the Courthouse was built in Perth in 1837 that Quarter Sessions were held in the capital.

The Court of Quarter Sessions and the Civil Court of Western Australia were amalgamated into the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1861.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Registers of Calendar of Prisoners at various Court sittings in the Supreme Court and country centres. Registers for each sitting of the Supreme Court criminal sittings, also some quarter sessions for country areas. Shows case number, name, crime or offence, date of committal, date of trial, plea, verdict, sentence, any remarks. Case number = file number (WAS 122).

When it shows nolle prosequi entered, usually the case has not been registered with a number ie, the Crown has chosen not to proceed with the indictment.

For lists of nolle prosequi entered see nominal index for Vols 2-5 under "N". See also front of Vols 4 and 5 for page reference to nolle prosequi. Further details of nolle prosequi entries can be found on consignment listing (Cons 3473 and Cons 3649).

Occasionally depositions (statements of witnesses taken by police when complaint was initiated) are listed at the end of sittings.

Vol 1 is indexed by Index - Criminal Sessions (WAS 192) from 1861-1900. The early part of the volume, 1830-1861, is not indexed.

Vols 2-5 have a nominal index at the front. (Note: People are sometimes indexed by their first name instead of/as well as their surname. At front of Vols 4 & 5 is a list of country sessions with page references.

For information concerning sentence, date of discharge, prison where sentence served see Acc 1156 V23, convict records (described on AN 358/1 page 8). For 1861-1914 only.

Accruals

System of arrangement

Numerical

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Open

Conditions governing access (legacy)

Open access

Conditions governing reproduction

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Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Related units of description

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1830-01-01 -

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1830-01-01 -

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1973-01-01 -

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1898-09-21 -

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1830-01-01 -

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1861-01-01 - 1900-01-01

Identifier

Category of relationship

Related

Description of relationship

Dates of relationship

1849-01-01 - 1878-01-01

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Description control area

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Sources

Archivist's note

Range Control Symbol = 1 -
Physform2 = 9
Copies: Microfilm copies of Cons 3422 are available in the State Records Office of Western Australia

Accession area