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

In re United Friends Society [1831] NSWSupC 1

benefit societies - mandamus - charities

Supreme Court of New South Wales

In Banco, 5 January 1831

Source: Sydney Gazette, 18 January 1831


Mr. Kerr moved for a writ of mandamus directed to the Justices in Quarter Sessions at Sydney, ordering them to enroll in their Court the Rules of a certain Benefit Society, called the ``United Friends" - or so much of them as the Magistrates should approve - in accordance with the provisions of the Act 33rd Geo. 3, c. 54.  The learned gentleman went on to state, that the Act which he had quoted was peremptory on the Justices, and that the Rules, or so much of them as they should approve and enroll, acquired, after such enrollment, the force of laws; that the society would be enabled to sue in the name of the secretary, and all disputes arising out of any matters comprehended in the Rules were to be decided by two Justices.  Under the provisions of this Act, he had applied, at the sitting of the last Court of Quarter Sessions at Sydney, that the Rules of the ``United Friends" Society - or so much of them as the Magistrates should approve - might be enrolled; but as the Chairman of the Bench had some doubt of the applicability of the law to this Colony, the motion was refused, and he (Mr. Kerr) was therefore under the necessity of applying to the Court for a mandamus.

The Chief Justice said, the sole question was as to the applicability of the law; but as his attention had then, for the first time, been called to a case of this nature, the Court, before pronouncing any opinion upon the subject, would take an opportunity of looking into the Act of Parliament under which the application for a mandamus was made.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University