Agency Details

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Agency ID1502
TitleCourt of Petty Sessions, Innisfail
Agency TypeMagistrates Court
Start Date 13/6/1883
End Date 31/12/1964
Date NotesN/A

Held original jurisdiction in minor criminal cases.

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Series IDTitleFromTo
7493Stock Mortgages Register 25/5/1895 4/8/1938
7494Register of Bills of Sale 1/1/1896 31/12/1928
7472Deposition Book 26/10/1897 6/4/1899
16682Book of Circulars 1/1/1909 31/12/1936
7470Register of Licensed Auctioneers and Commission Agents 1/1/1923 31/12/1929
7456Bench Record and Summons Books 25/5/1923 26/5/1959
7495Register of Liens on Crops 6/3/1925 8/8/1949
7498Index to Bench Record and Summons Books 1/1/1926 30/12/1930
7466Register of Licensed Commission Agents 1/1/1930 31/12/1959
7571Foreign Warrants of Execution Books 25/3/1933 31/12/1964
16679Register of Liquor Licences and Licensed Premises [Innisfail] 25/11/1935 31/12/1961
7462Registers of Applications for Licences under the Liquor Acts [Innisfail] 13/9/1937 31/12/1964
16681Index to Summons Court 1/1/1939 31/12/1959
7496Register (Unidentified) 11/10/1941 8/11/1952
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Controlling Agencies

Agency IDTitleFromTo
107Colonial Secretary's Office 13/6/1883 29/7/1896
123Home Secretary's Office 29/7/1896 27/1/1904
19Department of Justice (I) 27/1/1904 31/12/1964
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Controlled Agencies

Details of controlled agencies do not exist or are unavailable.
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Previous Agencies

Agency IDTitle
1119Licensing Court, Innisfail
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Subsequent Agencies

Related Agencies

Agency IDTitleRelationship
615Coroner's Court, InnisfailMagistrates Court
1782Small Debts Court, Innisfailminor court
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Finding Aids

This agency has no finding aids.
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Publication Notes
This agency has no publication notes.
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Information Sources

Imperial Act 27 George III
An Act for regulating the police in the towns of Parramatta, Windsor, Maitland, Bathurst and other towns respectively and for removing and preventing nuisances and obstructions and for the better alignment of of streets therein (2 Victoria, No 2)
An Act to adopt and apply certain Acts of Parliament passed for facilitating the performance of duties of justices of the peace and for protecting them from vexatious actions and to prevent persons convicted of offences from taking undue advantage of mere defects or errors in form (14 Victoria, No 43)
Justices Act 1886
Justices Act Amendment Act 1964
Penberthy Fry, T., Australian Courts and Administrative Tribunals, University of Queensland, 1946, p. 139
Frew, J., Queensland Post Offices 1842-1980 and Receiving Offices 1869-1927, Watson Ferguson & Co., 1981
Queensland Government Gazette 1883, Vol XXXII, p1548
Queensland Government Gazette 1964, Vol CCXVII, p827
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Establishing N/A
Abolishing Justices Act Amendment Act 1964
Administered Criminal Code Act 1899 (including Criminal Code)
Criminal Code Amendment Act 1922
Criminal Law Amendment Act 1892, 1894, 1945
Evidence and Discovery Act 1867
Evidence (Attestation of Documents) Act 1937
Justices Act 1886
Oaths Act 1867
Profiteering Prevention Act 1948
Recording of Evidence Act 1962
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Under the First and Second Charters of Justice (proclaimed in 1787 and 1814 respectively under the authority of Imperial Act 27 George III) justices of the peace appointed by the Governor were granted summary jurisdiction to hear petty criminal matters in the first instance without a jury.

The powers of justices of the peace and of police magistrates to sit as petty sessions were ultimately codified in the New South Wales Acts of 1835 (2 Victoria 2) and of 1850 (14 Victoria 43). This latter New South Wales Act ultimately formed the basis of the Queensland "Justices Act of 1886", which legislated for the appointment by the Governor in Council of districts for the holding of courts of petty sessions. The Court of Petty Sessions, Geraldton was proclaimed by the Governor in Council on 13 June 1883.

The settlement of Geraldton was renamed Innisfail on 18 August 1910.

Records from the Court of Petty Sessions, Silkwood were transferred to the Court of Petty Sessions, Innisfail upon this Court being abolished by gazettal proclamation dated 8 October 1942. By a further gazettal proclamation dated 11 July 1946, the Court of Petty Sessions, Silkwood was reconstituted.

Under the "Justices Act Amendment Act 1964", from 1 January 1965 onwards: all courts of petty sessions districts were deemed to be magistrates courts districts, all places previously appointed for the holding of courts of petty sessions were deemed to be places for the holding of magistrates courts, all clerks of petty sessions were deemed to be registrars of magistrates courts.

Under a number of further Acts, the establishment of a place for the holding of a court of petty sessions was deemed to establish a number of further courts, for example, magistrates courts, fair rents courts, small debts courts. This agency definition will however be concerned purely with the court of petty sessions sitting as this court.

Courts of petty sessions had petty criminal jurisdiction and jurisdiction for summary actions of ejectment between lessors and lessees. Petty criminal jurisdiction is a complicated matter of law involving numerous Commonwealth and State statutes but can be briefly described as jurisdiction over summary trials of simple offences and committal proceedings for indictable offences sent to the Supreme Court.

In practice, if not in statute, courts of petty sessions were divided into three courts: police court (prosecutions commenced by police), summons court (prosecutions and proceedings for ejectment commenced by private prosecutors) and traffic court.

Colonial Secretary 13 Jun 1883 - 6 Aug 1896
Home Secretary 6 Aug 1896 - 27 Jan 1904
Attorney General 27 Jan 1904 - 19 Nov 1907
Minister of Justice 19 Nov 1907 - 18 Feb 1908
Attorney General 18 Feb 1908 - 22 Oct 1919
Minister of Justice 22 Oct 1919 - 7 Apr 1920
Attorney General 7 Apr 1920 - 14 Nov 1957
Minister for Justice and Attorney General 14 Nov 1957 - 31 Dec 1964

Magistrates Courts were already in existence when Courts of Petty Sessions ceased to operate in 1964 and they took over most of the functions formerly carried out by the Petty Sessions Courts.
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Preferred Citation

Queensland State Archives Agency ID1502, Court of Petty Sessions, Innisfail
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Last updated 9 September 2016
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( )
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