Despatch No. 2 re legal and judicial subjects 28 April 1831 (UK)
The inclusions to this document provided the authority for James Stirling
to appoint a Legislative Council, the members of which would also comprise his Executive Council. The inclusions were his Commission as Governor, the Order-in-Council of 1 November 1830 relating to the Legislative Council and Instructions including the appointment of the Legislative and Executive Councillors.
The Despatch of 28 April 1831 is included here as an intriguing consideration of the problems of founding a distant Colony and establishing the rule of law. The Despatch covers many issues, including the explanation that the arrangements for appointing dual-purpose members of the Councils could be under the authority of the King without the need for an Act of Parliament.
Although the original Order-in-Council which accompanied the Despatch has not been located, a transcription of a copy of this Order-in-Council is appended to the end of the transcription of the Despatch.
The Despatch reached the Colony in December 1831 and the Councils were duly constituted. The Executive Council met for the first time on 6 February 1832, the Legislative Council for the first time on 7 February 1832. Under the terms of the Order-in-Council, laws or ordinances for consideration by the Legislative Council had first to be proposed by the Governor (or his deputy) and were subject to disallowance by the Secretary of State in Britain.
The British Government was not prepared at this stage to consider the possibility of adding elected members to the Legislative Council, as proposed by a number of the Colony's inhabitants in 1835. The Government subsequently agreed by Order-in-Council on 1 August 1838 to the inclusion of four non-official nominated members. They were sworn in as members in March 1839.
Battye, JS, Western Australia: A History from its Discovery to the Inauguration of the Commonwealth
, Oxford, Clarendon Press, (WA) 1924.
Black, D, The House on the Hill: A History of the Parliament of Western Australia 1832-1990
, Parliament of Western Australia, Perth, 1991.
Clark, CMH, Select Documents in Australian History, 1788–1850
, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1950.
Crowley, FK, Australia's Western Third: A History of Western Australia From the First Settlements to Modern Times
, Macmillan, London, 1960.
Lumb, RD, The Constitutions of the Australian States
, (5th edn), University of Queensland Press, Brisbane, 1991.
Stannage, CT, A New History of Western Australia
, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, 1981.
The Despatch cover states that it contains 11 enclosures. An annotation has been made on the cover that 'Mr Brown (aka Mr Broun, Colonial Secretary) has got all the Inclosures belonging to this Despatch – A.S.'
|Long Title:||Despatch No. 2 re legal and judicial subjects|
|No. of pages:||26 (+ Despatch cover, not shown)|
|Measurements:||19.5 x 31.5 cm|
|Location & Copyright:||State Records Office of Western Australia|
|Reference:||SROWA: WAS 1182, Cons 391, Despatch 22v2|