Agency Details

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Agency ID738
TitleCourt of Petty Sessions, Rockhampton
Agency TypeMagistrates Court
Start Date 16/9/1858
End Date 31/12/1964
Date NotesN/A
Abstract

Held original jurisdiction in minor criminal cases.

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Series

Series IDTitleFromTo
18995Register of Fines Collected 1/1/1863 31/12/1863
6540Register of Correspondence, Intestate Estates 25/1/1869 27/12/1876
6527Magisterial Enquiries Into Cause of Death 7/4/1870 16/11/1874
6541Letterbook 14/5/1872 26/8/1876
6534Bench Record and Deposition Books 1/4/1873 30/6/1885
6531Bench Books 26/1/1875 16/4/1877
6529Electoral Registers [Blackall and Leichhardt Electoral Districts] 7/10/1879 6/7/1886
20748Bills of Sale Registers - Court of Petty Sessions 21/10/1895 15/11/1950
20449Stock Mortgages Registers - Court of Petty Sessions 1/1/1897 31/12/1955
6535Bench Record and Summons Books 9/3/1909 24/3/1922
20424Liens on Crop Registers 1/1/1915 31/12/1961
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Controlling Agencies

Agency IDTitleFromTo
1161Colonial Secretary's Office, New South Wales 16/9/1858 10/12/1859
107Colonial Secretary's Office 10/12/1859 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

Details of previous agencies do not exist or are unavailable.
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Subsequent Agencies

Related Agencies

Agency IDTitleRelationship
737Children's Court, RockhamptonMagistrates Court
1815Small Debts Court, Rockhamptonminor 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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Remarks

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 Vcitoria, No 43)
Justices Act 1886
Justices Act Amendment Act 1964
New South Wales Government Gazette 1858, Vol II, p. 1517
Queensland Government Gazette 1964, vol CCXVII, No 41, p. 827
Penberthy Fry, T., Australian Courts and Administrative Tribunals, University of Queensland, 1946, p. 139
Queensland Government Gazette 1921, Vol CXVI, No 43, p. 501
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Legislation

Establishing N/A
Abolishing Justices Act Amendment Act 1964
Administered 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)
Criminal Code Act 1899 (including Criminal Code)
Criminal Code Amendment Act 1922
Criminal Law Amendment Act 1892, 1894, 1945
Evidence (Attestation of Documents) Act 1937
Evidence and Discovery Act 1867
Imperial Act 27 George III
Justices Act 1886
Oaths Act 1867
Profiteering Prevention Act 1948
Recording of Evidence Act 1962
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Description
ESTABLISHMENT:
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, Rockhampton was proclaimed by the Governor in Council on 16 September 1858.

Records from the Court of Petty Sessions, Mount Usher were transferred to the Court of Petty Sessions, Rockhampton upon this Court being abolished by gazettal proclamation dated 3 February 1921.

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.

FUNCTIONS:
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.

PORTFOLIO CONTROLLING:
Colonial Secretary 16 Sep 1858 - 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

NOTE:
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 ID738, Court of Petty Sessions, Rockhampton
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Last updated 9 September 2016
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0) ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/ )
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