The Victorian Supreme Court was established in 1852 after the Colony of Victoria was officially created in 1851. Section 28 of “An Act for the better Government of Her Majesty’s Australian Colonies” (the Australian’ Constitutions Act)” initially provided for the establishment of the Supreme Court of Victoria:
XXVIII. And whereas under an Act of the Governor and Council of New South Wales passed in the Fourth Year of the Reign of Her Majesty, intituled An Act to provide for the more effectual Administration of Justice in New South Wales and its Dependencies, the Number of the Judges of the Supreme Court of New South Wales constituted under the said Act of the Ninth Year of King George the Fourth has been increased to Five, and One of such Judges is resident, and has such Power, Jurisdiction, and Authority within the District of Port Phillip, subject to such Appeal to the said Supreme Court as by the said Act of the Governor and Council of New South Wales is provided : Be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for Her Majesty, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to erect and appoint a Court of Judicature in the said Colony of Victoria, which shall be styled “The Supreme Court of the Colony of Victoria ;” and such Court shall be holden by One or more Judge or Judges, and shall have such ministerial and other Officers as shall be necessary for the Administration of Justice in the said Court, and for the Execution of the Judgments, Decrees, Orders and Process thereof ; and all the Provisions of the said Act of the Ninth Year of the Reign of King George the Fourth, concerning the Appointment and Removal of Judges and Officers of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and for the appointing Persons to act in the Place and Stead of Judges being absent, resigning, dying, or becoming incapable to act, and concerning Appeals to Her Majesty in Council from Judgments, Decrees, Orders, or Sentences of such Court, shall apply to the said Supreme Court to be erected in the said Colony of Victoria, but so that the Powers of the Governor of New South Wales in relation to the Matters aforesaid shall be vested in the Governor of the Colony of Victoria ; and from such Time as shall be mentioned in such Letters Patent all the Authorities, Powers, and Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and of any Judge thereof, over or to be exercised within or in relation to the said Colony of Victoria, including all Admiralty Jurisdiction exercisable within the Limits thereof, shall cease to be had and exercised by such last-mentioned Supreme Court and Judge respectively, and shall thenceforth be vested in and exercisable by the Supreme Court erected by such Letters Patent ; provided that in the meantime the said Authorities, Powers, and Jurisdiction of the said Supreme Court of New South Wales and of the Judges thereof, within and in respect of the said Colony of Victoria shall remain as if this Act had not been passed, unless or until the same shall be varied by Act of the Governor and Council of the said Colony of Victoria.
However, no such letters patent has ever been received in Victoria… THE 1855 Constitution for Victoria was also silent on the nature and scope of Judicial Power within the newly established Colony. It was not until the 1975 Victorian Constitution the power of the Supreme Court was consolidated into statute, but under what power?
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