Dalhousie Law Journal


penal colony, Australia, Newfoundland, legislation, Francis Forbes, legal history, law reports


The author reports on the existence and contents of a manuscript copy of a selection of judgments by Sir Francis Forbes while he was Chief Justice of Newfoundland from 1817-1822. The manuscript found its way into the State Library of New South Wales sometime after Forbes' translation to New South Wales as its first Chief Justice in 1823. The author comments on the insights these manuscript reports afford of the early legal history of Newfoundland as it developed into a British colony. In particular, he draws attention to the significance of twenty-nine judgments in the manuscript but not available in any published series of case reports.

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