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GUIANA, TRINIDAD AND ST. LUCIA.

COPIES of the ORDERS IN COUNCIL of the 230 April and 20th June

1831, for the ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE in British Guiana, Trinidad and St. Lucia.

Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be Printed, 8 May 1832.

AT the Court at St. James's, the 23d day of April 1831;
Present, THE KING'S Most Excellent MAJESTY in Council.

W!

HEREAS His Majesty's Court of Criminal and Civil Justice in

Demerara and Essequibo, and His Majesty's Courts of Civil Justice and of Criminal Justice respectively in Berbice, and His Majesty's Courts of Criminal Trial, and of First Instance of Civil Jurisdiction respectively in Trinidad, and His Majesty's Royal Court in the island of St. Lucia, are respectively holden by Judges the majority of whom in each of such Courts are persons unlearned in the law : And whereas it is fit that the said Courts respectively should henceforth be holden by persons of competent legal education ; it is therefore ordered by The King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice of His Privy Council, that henceforth the Court of Criminal and Civil Justice of Demerara and Essequibo, and the Court of Civil Justice and the Court of Criminal Justice of Berbice, and the Court of Criminal Trial, and the Court of First Instance of Civil Jurisdiction in the island of Trinidad, and the Royal Court of St. Lucia, shall be respectively holden by and before three Judges and no more; that is to say, each of the said Courts shall be holden by and before the President for the time being of the Court of Criminal and Civil Justice of Demerara and Essequibo, and the Chief Judge for the time being of Trinidad, and the First President for the time being of the Royal Court of St. Lucia, or by and before the persons who, during the vacancy of any such offices, or during the absence or temporary incapacity of any of the said Judges, may have received a provisional or temporary appointment to act as and in the place and stead of any such Judges or Judge.

And it is hereby further ordered, that no Judge in any of the several Courts aforesaid, and no Vice-President thereof, shall be the owner of any slave, or shall have any share or interest in, or any mortgage or security upon any slave, or shall be proprietor of or have any share or interest, or mortgage or security upon any land cultivated by the labour of slaves, or shall be or act as the manager, overseer, agent or attorney of, for, or upon any plantation or estate cultivated wholly or in part by the labour of slaves.

And it is further ordered, that for the purpose of holding the respective Courts aforesaid, the said three Judges shall from time to time repair to the said respective colonies of Demerara, Berbice, Trinidad, and St. Lucia.

And it is further ordered, that two sessions at the least shall be holden in each year of each of the said Courts, and that the times of holding such sessions in such respective colonies, and the duration thereof in each, shall be determined by proclamations to be from time to time for that purpose issued in the said respective colonies by the respective Governors thereof.

And it is further ordered, that the Governors of the said respective coionies shall, and they are hereby authorized to arrange with each other the times of holding such sessions as aforesaid in such manner as may best promote the administration of justice therein, and the common convenience of the said respective colonies; and in case of any difference of opinion between sucn Governors as to the time of holding any such sessions, or as to the duration thereof, the judgment of the Governor of British Guiana shall prevail and be

observed until His Majesty's pleasure therein shall bave been signified through one of His principal Secretaries of State.

And it is further ordered, that in each of the said Courts the President for the time being of the Court of Criminal and Civil Justice of Demerara and Essequibo shall preside and take precedence over such other two Judges as aforesaid; and the said Chief Judge of Trinidad shall in like manner, in each of the said Courts, take precedence over the First President of St. Lucia.

And it is further ordered, that in each of the said Courts the said three Judges shall in all civil cases have, possess, exercise and enjoy such and the same jurisdiction, powers and authority in every respect as the present Judges of the said Courts now have or lawfully possess, exercise or enjoy, and that the decision of the majority of such three Judges shall in all civil cases at any time depending in either of the said Courts, be taken and adjudged to be and shall be recorded as the judgment of the whole Court.

Provided nevertheless, and it is further ordered, that upon the trial of any persons or person in any of the said Courts for any crime or offence with which they, he or she may be charged, three Assessors shall be associated to the said three Judges, in the manner hereinafter provided for, which Assessors shall be entitled to deliberate and vote with such Judges upon the final judgment to be pronounced in every such criminal case; and no person shall be convicted of any crime or offence, or adjudged to suffer any punishment by any judgment or sentence of any of the said Courts, unless a majority of the total number of such Judges and Assessors shall in open Court vote in favour of such judgment or sentence.

And it is further ordered, that in each of the said Courts the said three Judges and Assessors shall in all criminal cases have, possess, exercise and enjoy such and the same jurisdiction, powers and authority in every respect as the present Judges of the said Courts now have or lawfully possess, exercise or enjoy, and that the decision of the majority of the total number of such Judges and Assessors shall in all criminal cases at any time depending in any of the said Courts, be taken and adjudged to be and shall be recorded as the judgment of the whole Court.

And it is further ordered, that the Governor of each of the said colonies shall by proclamations to be by him from time to time for that purpose issued within the same, make and prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to determine the qualifications of such Assessors, the mode of convening them, the penalties to be inflicted on persons refusing to act as such Assessors when thereunto lawfully required, and the mode of challenging such Assessors, and what shall be lawful ground of challenge, and how the validity of any such challenge shall be determined, together with every other matter and thing which may be necessary to the effective discharge by such Assessors of the duty hereby committed to them; and every such proclamation shall forthwith be transmitted by such Governor for His Majesty's approbation, and shall in the meantime, and unless disallowed by His Majesty, and until such disallowance shall be made known to such Governor, be of the same force and effect as if the same had been contained in this present order.

And it is further ordered, that none of the Judges nor any Vice-President of either of the said Courts respectively, shall be liable to challenge or recusation in or upon any action, suit or proceeding, civil or criminal.

And it is further ordered, that during the absence of any of the said Judges from the colony to which he may belong, for the purpose of holding such sessions as aforesaid, the Supreme Court of such colony shall be holden by a single Judge, to be called the Vice-President of such Court, and it shall be the duty of such Vice-President to hear and determine all such interlocutory matters arising in or upon any civil or criminal suit, action or proceeding depending in the said Court, as may be brought before him, and also to inquire into and report to the said Judges in any such sessions as aforesaid upon any questions which may by such Judges at such their sessions have been specially referred to any such VicePresident; and in the exercise of such jurisdiction, such Vice-President shall and he is hereby required to conform himself to and observe

any such general rules or orders of Court as may be made for his guidance in the manner hereinafter mentioned.

And it is further ordered and declared, that it shall be lawful for the said Supreme Courts respectively to review, reverse, correct or confirm, as occasion

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may require, any judgment, sentence, rule or order which may be made, given
or prononnced by any such Vice-President as aforesaid, in the exercise of the
jurisdiction hereby vested in him, and that in the exercise of such jurisdiction,
such Vice-President shall act alone and without any colleague or assessor, and
shall have all such and the same powers and authority in that behalf as now

or is vested in the said Courts respectively for the said respective
purposes.

And it is further ordered, that it shall and may be lawful for the Judges of
the said Courts respectively, and they are hereby authorized and required to
make and establish such rules, orders and regulations as to them shall seem meet
concerning the forms and manner of proceeding to be observed in the said
Courts respectively, and the practice and pleadings in all actions, suits and other
· matters both civil and criminal, to be therein brought, and concerning the duties
and jurisdiction of the said respective Vice-Presidents, and concerning the pro-
ceedings of the executive and ministerial offices of the the said Courts respec-
tively, and concerning the process of the said Courts, and the mode of executing
the same, and concerning the admission of advocates, barristers, attornies,
solicitors, notaries and proctors in the said Courts respectively, and concerning
all other matters and things which relate to the conduct and dispatch of
business in the said respective Courts; and all such rules, orders and regula-
tions from time to time to revoke, alter, amend or renew as occasion may
require. Provided always, that no such rules, orders or regulations shall be
repugnant to this present order, and that the same shall be so framed as to pro-
mote, as far as may be, economy and expedition in the dispatch of the business
of the said Courts respectively, and that the same be drawn up in plain, suc-
cint and compendious terms, avoiding all unnecessary repetitions and obscurity,
and be promulgated in the most public and authentic manner in the colonies to
which the same may respectively refer, for 14 days at least before the same shall
be binding and take effect therein; and provided also that all such rules, orders and
regulations shall forthwith be transmitted to His Majesty, under the seal of the
Court, by the Governor for the time being of such colony, for His approbation or
disallowance.

And whereas it may be expedient to establish within the said colonies Courts
having jurisdiction in civil cases of small amount and in cases of breaches of the
peace, assaults and other petty offences; it is therefore further ordered, that it shall
belawful for the Governor of each of the said colonies respectively, with the advice
of the Court of Policy in the said 'colony of British Guiana, and with the advice
of the Council of Government in the said colonies of Trinidad and St. Lucia,
by any laws and ordinances to be from time to time made for that purpose, to
erect, constitute and establish Courts having jurisdiction in civil and criminal
cases within the said respective colonies, provided that the jurisdiction of such
Civil Courts shall not be extended to any case wherein the sum or matter in dis-
pute shall exceed the amount or value of 201. sterling money, or wherein the
title to any lands or tenements, or the title of any person to his or her freedom,
or any fee, duty or office may be in question, or whereby rights in future may be
bound; and provided also, that the jurisdiction of such Courts in criminal cases
shall not be extended to any case wherein any person may be accused of any
crime punishable by death, transportation or banishment; and that it shall not
be lawful for any such Criminal Court to inflict any greater or other punishment
than imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding three
months, or fine not exceeding 20 l., or whipping not exceeding 39 stripes, or
any two or more such punishments within the limits aforesaid.

And it is further ordered, that the Judges of the said Supreme Courts of the said colonies respectively shall be and they are hereby authorized to make, ordain 'and establish all necessary rules, orders or regulations respecting the manner and form of proceeding to be observed in the said Petty Courts, and respecting the manner and form of carrying the judgments and orders of such Courts into execution, with all such other rules, orders and regulations as may be necessary for giving full and perfect effect to the jurisdiction of such Courts respectively, and such rules, orders and regulations from time to time to revoke, alter and renew as occasion may require.

And it is hereby further ordered, that it shall and may be lawful for any person or persons, being a party or parties to any civil suit or action depending in any of the said Supreme Courts of any of the said colonies, to appeal to His

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Majesty, His heirs and successors, in His or their Privy Council, against any final judgment, decree or sentence of any of the said Courts, or against any rule or order made in any such civil suit or action having the effect of a final or definitive sentence, and which appeals shall be made subject to the rules and limitations following ; that is to say, in case any such judgment, decree, order or sentence shall be given or pronounced for or in respect of any sum or matter at issue above the amount or value of 5001. sterling; or in case such judgment, decree, order or sentence shall involve, directly or indirectly, any claim or demand to or question respecting property or any civil right amounting to or of the value of 500l. sterling; or in case such judgment, decree, order or sentence shall determine or affect the right of any person to his or her freedom, the person or persons feeling aggrieved by any such judgment, decree, order or sentence, may within 14 days next after the same shall have been pronounced, inade or given, apply to such Court by petition for leave to appeal therefrom to His Majesty, His heirs and successors, in His or their Privy Council; and in case such leave to appeal shall be prayed by the party or parties who is or are directed to pay any sum of money or perform any duty, such Supreme Court shall and is hereby empowered either to direct that the judgment, decree, order or sentence appealed from shall be carried into execution, or that the execution thereof shall be suspended pending the said appeal, as to the said Court may each case appear to be most consistent with real and substantial justice; and in case such Supreme Court shall direct such judgment, decree, order or sentence to be carried into execution, the person or persons in whose favour the same shall be given, shall before the execution thereof enter into good and sufficient security, to be approved by the said Supreme Court, for the due performance of such judgment or order as His Majesty, His heirs and successors, shall think fit to make thereupon; or in case the said Supreme Court shall direct the execution of any judgment, decree, order or sentence to be suspended pending the said appeal, the person or persons against whom the same shall have been given, shall in like manner upon any order for the suspension of any such execution being made, enter into good and sufficient security, to be approved oy the said Supreme Court, for the due performance of such judgment or order as His Majesty, His heirs and successors, shall think fit to make thereupon; and in all cases security shall also be given by the party or parties appellant, to the satisfaction of such Court, for the prosecution of the appeal and for the payment of all such costs as may be awarded by His Majesty, his Heirs and successors, to the party or parties respondent; and if such last-mentioned security shall be entered into within three months from the date of such petition for leave to appeal, then, and not otherwise, the said Supreme Court shall allow the appeal, and the party or parties appellant shall be at liberty to prefer and prosecute his, her or their appeal to His Majesty, His heirs and successors, in His or their Privy Council, in such manner and under such rules as are observed in appeals made to His Majesty in Council from His plantations or colonies.

Provided always, and it is hereby declared and ordered, that nothing herein contained doth or shall extend, or be construed to extend, to take away or abridge the undoubted right or authority of His Majesty, His heirs and successors, to admit and receive any appeal from any judgment, decree, sentence or order of any of the said Supreme Courts, on the humble petition of any person or persons aggrieved thereby, in any case in which and subject to any conditions or restrictions upon and under which it may seem meet to His Majesty, His heirs and successors, so to admit and receive any such appeal. Ånd it is further ordered, that in all cases of appeal allowed by any

of the said Supreme Courts, or by His Majesty, His heirs and successors, such Court shall, on the application and at the costs of the party or parties appellant, certify and transmit to His Majesty, His heirs and successors, in His or their Privy Council, a true and exact copy of all proceedings, evidence, judgments, decrees and orders had or made in such causes so appealed, as far as the same have relation to the matter of appeal, such copies to be certified under the seal of the said Court.

And it is further ordered, that the said Supreme Courts respectively shall, in all cases of appeal to His Majesty, His heirs and successors, conform to, execute and carry into immediate effect such judgments and orders as His Majesty, His heirs and successors, shall make thereupon, in such manner as any original judgment or decree of the said Supreme Court can or may be executed.

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And whereas there are in the said Courts, or some of them, divers unnecessary officers, being or claiming to be entitled to fees of large amount for services by them rendered to suitors and others concerned in the proceedings of the said Courts, to the great charge of His Majesty's subjects, and to the obstruction of the due administration of justice; it is therefore hereby ordered, that the office of Sworn Accountant, as at present existing in Demerara and Essequibo, and in Berbice respectively, shall be the same and is hereby abolished, and that the duties heretofore performed by such Sworn Accountants shall henceforward, but subject to the rules of Court to be made as hereinbefore mentioned, be performed by the Vice-President of the Court of Criminal and Civil Justice of Demerara and Essequibo, and by the Vice-President of the Court of Civil Justice and of the Court of Criminal Justice of Berbice: and it is hereby further ordered, that the office of Father-General of Minors, and the office of Defender of the Absent, and the office of Depositario-General

, and the office of Taxador, and the office of Judicial Referee, Liquidator and Partidor, as at present existing in the said island of Trinidad, shall be and the same are hereby respectively abolished; and that the duties of the offices of the said Judicial Referee, Liquidator and Partidor and Taxador, shall henceforward, but subject to the rules of Court to be made as hereinbefore mentioned, be performed by the Vice-President of the Court of First Instance of Civil Jurisdiction of Trinidad : and it is further ordered, that the office of Curateur aux Successions Vacantes, and Regisseur des Biens des Absens, as at present existing in St. Lucia, shall be and the same is hereby abolished; and that the duties heretofore performed by that officer shall henceforward, but subject to the rules of Court to be made as hereinbefore mentioned, be performed by the Vice-President of the Royal Court of the Island of St. Lucia.

And whereas various jurisdictions have heretofore been exercised by certain Courts in the island of Trinidad, which by reason of the changes introduced into the administration of justice therein, it is no longer necessary to retain ; it is therefore hereby ordered, that the several Courts or Tribunals following, that is to say, the Court of Criminal Inquiry, the Court of Audiencia, the Complaint Court, the Court of the Alcaldes in ordinary, and the Court of the Alcaldes de Berrio, and all offices in and connected with the said Courts respectively, shall be and the same are hereby respectively abolished.

And it is hereby further ordered, that all orders heretofore made by His Majesty, or by any of His royal predecessors in His or their Privy Council, and all laws, customs and usages now or at any time heretofore established or in force in any of the said colonies, so far as such orders, laws or usages are in anywise repugnant to or at variance with this present order, shall be and the same are hereby revoked, abrogated, rescinded and annulled.

And it is further ordered, that for the purpose and within the meaning of the present order, any person lawfully administering for the time being the government of any of the said colonies shall be deemed and taken to be the Governor thereof.

(signed) C. C. Greville,

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WHEREAS on the 23d day of April 1831, an Order was made by His Majesty, with the advice of His Privy Council, for improving the administration of justice in His Majesty's colonies of British Guiana, Trinidad and St. Lucia; and for that purpose it was thereby ordered, that the Chief Judges of the said three colonies should from time to time repair to the said colonies, for the purpose of holding in succession therein the Supreme Courts of such colonies respectively: And whereas unforeseen difficulties may arise to delay the execu, tion of the said order, and it may be necessary to make provision for the administration of justice therein ; in the meantime it is hereby ordered by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice of His Privy Council, that it shall and may be lawful for the Governors for the time being of the said

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