GOVERNOR LE MARCHANT TO EARL GREY.
C.O. RECORDS 194/1.
St. John's, Newfoundland,
4th May 1848.
Herewith I have the Honor to forward to your Lordship the Blue Book for the year 1847, at the same time accompanied with my report upon the state of the Colony throughout that year, as also its present condition and its future prospects.
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In pursuance of the power conferred upon the Governor by the 18th Section of the Judicature Act (5th Geo. IV., c. 67) a Court of Civil jurisdiction was established for those parts of the Labrador within the limits of this Government, presided over by one Judge at a Salary of £700 Sterling, and having as Officers a Clerk and Registrar at a Salary of £150 and a Sheriff at a Salary of £100. This Court heard and determined in a summary way all suits and complaints of a civil nature arising within the limits of its jurisdiction, and for this purpose visited all the different Harbours on the Coast once a year during the months of August, September and October. An Appeal lay from the decisions of this Court to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland in matters at issue above £50, and in cases affecting the title to lands and tenements, rights of fishery, annual rents and matters where rights in future might be bound.
This Court was in existence from the year 1826 to 1834, when it was abolished by the Local Act 4 Wm. 4th, c. 20, which repealed so much of the Judicature Act as provided for its Establishment.
Since 1834 the Labrador Coast has been entirely without any provision for the local Administration of Justice, and although a very extensive fishery is annually carried on there by the Inhabitants of this Island, and there are moreover many permanent settlers, there is not even a single resident Justice of the Peace.
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