Supreme Court of Tasmania - 200 Years

Two hundred years ago, on 19 July 1823, the British Parliament passed Imperial Act 4 Geo IV, c.96, titled Administration of Justice in New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land  but generally referred to by its short title New South Wales Act 1823.

While the Act provided for the eventual administrative separation of the settlements in Van Diemen’s Land from New South Wales, the immediate focus was on setting up a permanent Supreme Court in Van in Diemen’s Land as recommended in the Second Report of Royal Commissioner, John Thomas Bigge, titled The Judicial Establishments of NSW and Van Diemen’s Land.

What is the significance of 10 May 1824?

The Supreme Court of Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) first opened its doors on this date, making it the oldest Supreme Court in Australia, predating the proclamation of the Third Charter of Justice in New South Wales, which occurred on the 17th May 1824.

On 10 May 2024 the Court will celebrate its 200th anniversary in providing an independent judicial system for the Island State. Open up the pages within this exhibition to view some of the history of the Court, or click on the collections to view images of each Chief Justice, Judge, Master/Associate Judge and Registrar.