HC Deb 01 April 1828 vol 18 cc1430-1
Mr. Secretary Huskisson

rose to move for leave to bring in a bill "to provide for the Administration of Justice in New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. The important colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land were now regulated, in what related to the administration of justice, by an act passed in the year 1821. His object, in the first instance, was to provide for the continuance of certain powers contained in that act, which were about to expire; and, in the next, to provide for future alterations in the administration of justice. From the peculiar situation in which the population of those colonies were placed, about two-thirds of the inhabitants having forfeited their civil rights, it was difficult to have the law administered in the manner which prevailed in this country, by means of grand and petty juries. It had been found necessary, therefore, to suspend the system pursued' in this country, and provide a jury of a peculiar description, suited to the nature of the population. This suspension of the English system he intended, in the new bill, to continue, but to make provisions that would gradually, should circumstances permit it, assimilate the administration of justice in the colony to that of England. The colonies were not in a situation to admit of thus receiving a legislative assembly, but on the plan pursued with respect to Canada, before it had a legislative assembly, he proposed that they should have a legislative council, to be composed of twelve or fifteen persons, who would be entitled to vote on all matters connected with their expenditure, and, indeed, concerning their affairs generally. This would lead the way in time to the establishment of institutions in those colonies similar to those of the people from whom the inhabitants sprung.

Leave was given to bring in the bill.