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New South Wales.

Captain Phillip's expedition arrived at Botany Bay on the 18th January, 1788, and formal possession of Sydney Cove was taken on the 26th January, which is observed in Australia as “Foundation Day,” though the proclamation of the colony did not take place until the 7th February. The Governor's commission and proclamation embraced the present colony of New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, and Queensland, as well as part of New Zealand and of the Western Pacific. The early government was little in accord with the principles applicable to free settlements, and much that was done in the name of authority had a very slender basis of law to support it. The uncertainty as to the legality of the government was met by the Statutes of 4 Geo. IV., c. 96, with the Charter of Justice of the 13th of October, 1823, and 9 Geo. IV., c. 83. Although the Act under which the colony was founded (27 Geo. III., c. 2) contemplated the establishment of “a colony and civil government,” the true foundation of civil as distinguished from military government dates from 1823. A Supreme Court with the ordinary adjuncts of a common law court as contrasted with those of a court martial was established, and the Ordinances of a Council, equipped by Statute with legislative power, took the place of the doubtful regulations of the Governor. In 1829 the Australian Courts Act, 1828 (9 Geo. IV., c. 83), superseded the temporary provisions of the Act of 1823; and while confirming the Supreme Court and the Legislative Council, the Act also set at rest doubts concerning the law in force in the colony. Section 24 of the Act provided “that all Laws and Statutes in force within the Realm of England at the time of the passing of this Act (not being inconsistent herewith, or with any Charter, or Letters Patent, or Order in Council which may be issued in pursuance hereof) shall be applied in the Administration of Justice in the Courts of New South


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Wales and Van Diemen's Land respectively so far as the same can be applied within the said colonies.” This has been construed as not applying merely to procedure on the one hand nor introducing the whole law of England on the other, but putting the colony in the same position as if it had been founded on the 25th July, 1828. The law enacted in the colony includes:

1. Laws and Ordinances made by the Governor and a nominee Council established by Royal Warrant coming into operation in 1825 under the authority of 4 Geo. IV., c. 96, continued by 9 Geo. IV., c. 83.

2. Laws made by the Governor and a Legislative Council, one third nominee, two thirds elective, established by 5 and 6 Vict., c. 76. The Constitution and powers of the Council were affected by 13 and 14 Vict., c. 59.

3. Laws made by the Queen and a Legislative Council (nominated), and Legislative Assembly (elective), established by 18 and 19 Vict., c. 54 (empowering the Queen to assent to the New South Wales Act, 17 Vict., No. 41).

4. Orders, Rules, and Regulations made by various authorities in pursuance of powers conferred by the Legislature of the Colony.

New South Wales has never been a member of the Federal Council of Australasia.

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