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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

Ex parte Pattisson [1828] NSWSupC 87

legal practitioners, admission to practice

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Forbes C.J., Stephen and Dowling JJ, 26 September 1828

Source: Dowling, Select Cases, Vol. 1, Archives Office of N.S.W., 2/3461

[pp 340-341]

[An Attorney of the Supreme Court Van DieMans Land not being an Attorney of the Superior Courts of Great Britain not admissible as an Attorney of the Supreme Court of New South Wales but in Default of a competent number of qualified persons willing to appear and act for the latter Court.] [1 ]

[p. 340]Ex parte Alexr Pattisson Gent

Kerr moved that this Gentleman to admitted an Attorney and Barrister of this Court on an affidavit that he had been admitted and continued to be an Attorney and Barrister of the Supreme [p. 341] Court of Van Diemans Land.

It did not appear that the he was an attorney or barrister of the superior Courts in England &c

After consulting with the other Judges.

Forbes CJ. delivered the judgment of the Court on the application.

We are of opinion that the affidavit on which this motion is founded is not sufficient to justify the Court in admitting this Gentleman as a barrister and Attorney of this Court.Without determining upon any claim which he may hereafter have to be admitted, by reason of his being an attorney or barrister of the superior Courts of the mother Country, all we say is that he has not on this affidavit made out a sufficient case to entitle him to be admitted to practice in this Court.  By a general rule of Court of the 24th December 1825, made in pursuance and by virtue of the Kings Charter of the 13th October 4.G. 4.[2 ] it is provided that nothing therein contained, shall be construed to entitle any person, being qualified as [p. 342] last aforesaid to be admitted to act as aforesaid it in the said Supreme Court as of course but that such admission shall always be subject to the discretion of the said Court, to be regulated by the spirit of the said Charter, and the circumstances of the Case.

"The Charter in the first place authorises and empowers the Court to admit certain persons who have been admitted as practitioners of the Courts of the Mother Country, and secondly it provides that in case there shall not be sufficient number of such persons competent and willing to appear and act for the suitors of the Court, then and in that case, the Court is authorized to admit so many other fit and proper persons to appear and act as barristers &c as may be necessary according to such general rules and qualifications as the Court for that purpose shall make or establish.  Here therefore is a discretion vested in the court to be exercised with reference to the number of competent persons qualified and willing to act for the suitors of the Court, and if the Court shall be of opinion that there is already a sufficient number of qualified persons [p. 343] then they may consider the propriety of admitting any persons not qualified in the manner pointed out by the Charter upon looking over the list of persons admitted as practitioners qualified in the manner so pointed out, the Court thinks that the number of such qualified persons is at present sufficient to appear and act for the suitors of the Court, and not feeling the necessity of admitting this gentleman (who does not shew by his affidavit that he has a right as of course to be admitted) we in the exercise of our discretion do not feel ourselves warranted in yielding to his application.

Admission refused.


[1 ] On 12 September 1828, the Australian published the Rules of Court, including one dated 24 December 1825 on the admission of "Attornies, &c."  A person was not to be admitted as an attorney, solicitor or proctor unless he had been articled for five years, or he had previously been admitted in another court.  The Rule also had a general qualification that "such Admission shall be subject to the discretion of the said Court, to be regulated by the Spirit of the said Charter and the Circumstances of the Case".  There was also provision for allowing unqualified people to act in case of shortage of qualified people.

On admission to practice, see also Ex parte Raine (No. 1), 1828.

[2 ] A sidenote here says "Vide Rules of Court No 61. page 29."

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University