Courts (Higher)

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Court of Criminal Jurisdiction guide

The establishment of a NSW Court of Criminal Jurisdiction was authorised by King George III, through the First Charter of Justice (Act 27 Geo.III c.2) 1787

Criminal court records index 1788–1833

A valuable resource relating to the NSW colonial justice system and for research into criminals, convicts and crimes during the early years of the Colony

Criminal depositions (Deposition Books) index

Includes Quarter Session court lists for criminal cases that were not punishable by the death penalty. The index covers Country Quarter Sessions cases for the period 1849 to 1949, and Sydney Quarter Sessions cases for the period January 1839 to September 1921. Please note that not all case papers have survived.

Criminal indictments index 1863-1919

Includes criminal cases tried before the Supreme Court at Sydney and on the Circuit for the period 1863-1919. The Index records: trial number and where tried, name of defendant, offence, date of trial and Judge, verdict and sentence

NRS-845 [2/10415] Depositions and other papers, Sydney and country

Few papers survive for the period 1841-1901

Quarter sessions cases 1824–1837

An index to 6000+ case papers which mostly include name of the person tried, date, place, verdict and sentence

Quarter Sessions guide

The Quarter Sessions court was an intermediate court with greater powers than the local court or bench but not as great as the Supreme Court

Records of the higher courts

Higher courts include the Court of Quarter Sessions, the District Court and the Supreme Court. This webinar explores the records of these courts and how to find them

Supreme Court guide

The Supreme Court heard all matters that were punishable by death until the abolition of the death penalty in 1955

Vice Admiralty Court of NSW, 1787-1911

One of the earliest courts established in New South Wales, the Vice Admiralty Court was an Imperial Court whereby directives, instructions, imperial bills and acts changing its structure or procedures as well as rules, regulations and tables of fees were received via dispatches from the Secretary of State