Documenting Democracy
Australia's Story
Western Australia

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Western Australia documents
Act establishing Civil Judicature 1832 (WA)
Act establishing Civil Judicature 1832 (WA), p1
Act establishing Civil Judicature 1832 (WA), p2
Act establishing Civil Judicature 1832 (WA), p3
This was the first Act passed by the newly established Legislative Council of Western Australia, the Colony's first legislature. The Bill was introduced and passed through all stages in one day on 10 February 1832, and assented to by Stirling on the same day. This Act laid the foundations of a judicial system in the Colony by setting up a Civil Court.
At this point in the Colony's history, the Legislative Council consisted only of the Governor and a number of his officials as specified in the Despatch of 28 April 1831: there were no elected members or nominated members who were not also officials. The Act passed without dissent – as did a second Act a week later dealing with straying cattle. In general there was little argument in the Council until it dealt with matters such as taxation.

The Civil Court, which dealt with issues such as disputes between masters and servants and between rival property owners, had heard more than 2000 cases by the late 1830s.


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.

Colebatch, H, A Story of a Hundred Years, Western Australia 1829–1929, Government Printer, Perth, 1929.

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, (Fifth edition) University of Queensland Press, St Lucia, 1991.

Stannage, CT, A New History of Western Australia, University of Western Australia Press, Perth, 1981.

The pages are looseleaf tied together with a ribbon at the top left-hand corner. The paper is somewhat dry.

Long Title:An Act for establishing a Court of Civil Judicature, 2nd Guliemi IV, No. 1
No. of pages:7
Measurements:34 x 41 cm
Provenance:Legislative Council of Western Australia
Location & Copyright:State Records Office of Western Australia
Reference:SROWA: WAS 1417, Cons 92/1832-1