State Archives Collection
Making history every day
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
This is a valuable resource relating to the New South Wales colonial justice system and will be of benefit to those of you researching criminals, convicts and crimes committed during the early years of the Colony
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.
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
Few papers survive for the period 1841-1901
The case papers are numbered and arranged chronologically and usually include the name of the of the person tried, date, place, verdict and sentence. They generally contain the indictment which gives a statement of the crime and circumstances.
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
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.
The Supreme Court heard all matters that were punishable by death until the abolition of the death penalty in 1955
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